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When looking for fashion or beauty brands and ventures, we generally look to another country when in Mexican territory we have innumerable talents who, day after day , teach us that fashion does not belong to large foreign companies.
Mexico is the second Latin American market in the cosmetic and perfume sector, behind Brazil, and the third largest producer in the world, after the United States and Brazil. In addition, this sector contributes 0.7% to the country’s GDP. Therefore, it is worth turning to see the new proposals full of quality and originality that are generated in Mexico. Unique brands that provide creativity and business opportunities, in addition to opening the doors to other entrepreneurs in these industries.
The fashion and beauty industry is one of the most important in the world. However, you can focus on different areas such as well-being, national identity, or even technology.
These are four startups by Mexican beauty and fashion brands: JNC QUOI, Marama, Pai Pai and Portèlo.
Don’t be scared by the name, JNC QUOI , is a Mexican brand that focuses on seafood, clothing and accessories. The company was born and grew by the hand of Raúl Rivera Muró , originally from Zacatecas, who always knew that he wanted to dedicate himself to design and fashion.
At first, Raúl did not know exactly what he wanted to do, he was only clear that he wanted to create and followed his instincts and dreams. So, he started his creative process at the beginning of 2018, so he can be considered a young brand. However, it was launched fully on the market in September of the same year.
The entrepreneur dedicates all his energy and focus to the branding, audiovisual production, creative direction, brand identity, website, content and design of JNC QUOI.
Since then it began to expand with a concept focused on the new generations: a cosmopolitan style, without gender. In other words, Raúl does not create his pieces thinking of women or men, but of the person who is going to wear them.
Image: JNC QUOI, Instagram
On the other hand, JNC QUOI , has a business model that favors unique and unrepeatable pieces, created by hand. “We represent an immaculate taste for good dress. In the eagerness to own unique items… We personalize your essence ” , Raúl comments about the brand.
The line specialized in hair, was born from a family tradition of more than 20 years ago. Mariana Luna, originally from Monterrey, Nuevo León, at just 18 years old , received positive comments about her hair, so she came up with the idea of starting to market the shampoo and conditioner that the Luna family used all their lives.
“We realized that we were not taking advantage of having such a good product that we could share with people,” says Eugenio Garza, Mariana’s business partner and husband to Entrepreneur en Español . “When we made the decision to launch, we only had a transparent boat, so we started the work of commercialization, marketing, brand identity, branding, in order to develop Marama as such.”
Marriage bears the brand, but Mariana is the mastermind behind the product, “she is 100% the creator and the entrepreneur,” said Eugenio. However, it is not enough to have a good product, they decided to find their niche since their two shampoos are 100% natural, free of sulfates and parabens , as well as the conditioner and a hair reconstructor.
Image: Courtesy Marama
Eugenio explains that hair has three follicles; a small, medium and large one and when you have been using shampoos, conditioners and masks with chemicals for a long time, they eventually clog and impede natural growth. So, they bet on the need for people to consume natural products, in addition to awareness for the environment.
At the moment, Marama is selling online , but they hope to expand first in different physical and aesthetic points, to later reach the large distribution chains.
Practically the hair care brand started its business in the middle of the pandemic, a situation that they saw more as a challenge than as a brake. They had to redesign their strategy, but that didn’t stop them from reaching their consumers. “There is always an opportunity in front of us,” concludes Eugenio.
The brand created in 2013 by Karen Rodarte and Andrea Ibargüengotia , is undoubtedly one of the most recognized in the world of beauty in Mexico. It has stood out for its colorful designs and attached to the national culture and art. However, what many do not know is that its name comes from an indigenous group, Pai Pai, which means “living people, people who move .”
Since their first launch, they have generated great alliances and added various products to the Pai Pai family, from shadow palettes, blushes, nail polishes and their iconic lipsticks. In addition, thanks to their natural ingredients and organic pigments such as olive oil, argan, mango butter and shea , they have the Ecocert seal and are approved by the FDA.
Image: Courtesy Pai Pai
The two entrepreneurs have had to overcome various obstacles , but they have also had their rewards such as getting their products to the United States. To date the company has launched 21 cosmetic collections, illustrated in collaboration with Mexican artists.
A technology brand in Mexico focused on the luxury market? Yes, that’s Portèlo, a venture between two friends Balbina Garza and Jimena Ruiz that was born out of love and curiosity. However, when they started they ran into their first obstacle: technology.
Portèlo is a platform that connects sellers with buyers specialized in the conscious and sustainable luxury market. But, how to set up a technology company without knowing anything about technology? The entrepreneurs took a year and a half to develop the platform, as it is very robust in terms of logistics, privacy and security for everyone involved. They looked for the right people and weren’t put off by not knowing everything about their business.
In her third year of operations, the CEO, Balbina recalls in an interview for Entrepreneur en Español how her career was: “We knew we could create something different in Mexico, innovate and we both really liked the fashion and luxury niche.”
“We started with iOS, then with Android and after a year we raised capital, so we just launched the website, ” explains Balbina. Even with the pandemic, thanks to the turn they are in, they were not so severely affected and they were able to grow the business. In addition to having a foundation that supports different causes.
How does the platform work? Portèlo is the channel to have an extra income. They are intermediaries, that is, they have a physical inspection point to ensure that the garments or products are in perfect condition and assess the price assigned by the seller. However, not everyone can sell on the platform, Portélo has high technology to approve or not the person, making the process completely safe and avoiding some type of fraud. The photos of the products are also verified in case there are any strange details. And in the end the product is approved in less than three business days. In this way it is guaranteed that a quality item will arrive to the buyer.
Word of mouth marketing was what helped drive the platform so quickly, and a business that formally started with a team of five became one with 25.
Image: Courtesy Potrèlo
Achieving dreams and aspirations in this type of industry is possible, regardless of the age, gender or niche you are going to immerse yourself in, if you have a good business idea you can achieve it. Challenges arise every day and these entrepreneurs have managed to face them to continue growing in the world of beauty and fashion in Mexico.