As Brittany Chavez recalls a day in her life, which includes back-to-back PR meetings and viewing upcoming products, she never forgets the daily check-ins with her team of four that include tarot card readings, evident that empathetic Chavez puts the humanity of her team before work. “We have a lot of fun, but we run a really tight ship,” says Chavez. “I feel like that's because everyone takes pride in what they do. We all know that [Shop Latinx] is bigger than us.”
While Chavez spoke about her company and mission, it seems as if she’s always had it all figured out. Building a company from scratch was the hardest part of it all, like many BIPOC (and especially Latinx) creatives, but her hard work has definitely paid off.
Brittany Chavez is the CEO and founder of Shop Latinx, which is the first Latinx-curated marketplace for all of your beauty-fashion-home goods needs created “by community, for community.” After juggling random gigs over the years, the second-generation Guatemalan and Nicaraguan “cultural and brand expert” jumpstarted SLX back in 2016. Through hours of teaching herself the ropes of entrepreneurship and investing her own funds into the company, SLX evolved into a marketplace that has since amassed over 71,000 followers on Instagram. Shop Latinx has also collaborated with companies like Shopify, and most recently, they partnered with FootLocker NYC in honor of National Hispanic Heritage Month.
Currently, the e-commerce site is home to an array of items from 12 different brands, including woven handbags, scented candles, cute knickknacks, and more. Each product beautifully marries culture and must-have items, and it’s likely to become your favorite place to indulge.
The Latinx community is seen as having more than $1.5 trillion in buying power, according to a 2019 study by Nielsen. While SLX’s plan to redefine Latinx representation is nuanced, it starts by catering to more accurate portrayals of the Latinx diaspora. “[Our customer] is 23-years-old and she’s from uptown. She loves Bad Bunny, and she'll listen to Selena just as much as she'll listen to Olivia Rodrigo,” Chavez tells NYLON. “She'll shop at Aerie, but she'll also shop Latinx. She'll do tarot, and go to a community organizing event. I think that understanding those dualities and incorporating them into our feed and marketing in a way that feels good and authentic to us is how Shop Latinx will win.”
Their detailed curation is slow, steady, and intentional, including brands that want to foster a true partnership and, most importantly, create one-of-a-kind products that authentically resonate with the audience. “Growing up as a Latina, there was a lot of merchandise that I felt like they put something on a T-shirt that I wouldn't necessarily wear. I wanted to see products that resonate with my culture, are also very trendy and brand-forward, and something beautiful that I’d be excited to have in my home.”
“Shop Latinx has a heart and soul that can't be bought.”
On account of this approach, the platform has seen major success. “I think our following has increased month after month drastically because of the way that we represent the consumer,” explains Chavez. “It looks like this healthy balance of community, culture, and commerce, but without the compromise.” For example, Nopalera, a Brooklyn-based Mexican botanicals shop, came to Shop Latinx because of its values. “I was really curious because when we first onboarded her, it was very new to us,” she adds. “I was like, ‘So, why Shop Latinx?’ and she was like, ‘Out of every retailer I've been in, Shop Latinx has a heart and soul that can't be bought.’”
Just like their mission, their new merch line also puts community at the forefront. Priced between $6 to $34, Shop Latinx’s first-ever capsule collection features a range of products from limited-edition tees, tote bags, water bottles, and stickers. Each item is stamped with vibrant, gradient hues and affirmations like “Seen, Supported, and Celebrated.” Not to mention, the campaign also stars Afro-Latina artist and activist Katherine Vargas, activist Imxn Abdul, and model Grace Clark Delgado. “The models that we had for the merch line are incredible young women. We really wanted to pay homage to the next generation and continue to put these amazing Latinxs in the forefront of everything we do, from merch drops to partnerships. That's why we created the line, and all of us on the team wanted to have our own stuff on the marketplace that people can buy, too.
“I've been really transparent in my founder journey, so there are people that are really bought into the story and are excited to have T-shirts with our own logo, or even ones from, like, three years ago up until now,” Chavez adds. “We have a mission statement that really resonates with not only us and the team, but this community, and I think for us, the ‘seen, supported, celebrated’ message serves as a reminder of what we're here for. It's kind of like a sense of accountability for us, too.”
Available now, you can purchase Shop Latinx’s first-ever capsule collection and more of their products on their official website, and view the campaign in detail, below.