HIALEAH, Fla. – It started inside a garage in Hialeah, but a local cosmetics business has grabbed the attention of one of the biggest companies in the world and is now working with Disney to launch a collection inspired by their latest movie.
At just 28, Gabriela Trujillo is the founder and CEO of Alamar Cosmetics, a start-up that began in 2018 inside a humble garage. The makeup artist turned entrepreneur named the company Alamar, after the neighborhood in Cuba where she was born, and the line is heavily inspired by Cuban and Latino culture.
“When it comes to making my family proud and making sure that their sacrifice was not in vain by bringing me here, I’m like, ‘No, I have to keep pushing. I have to show them that it was worth it,” Trujillo says. “It’s amazing how much we’ve grown.”
That’s thanks in part to a large and growing social media presence, at 210,000 followers strong on Instagram.
“The power of social media it’s insane what it can reach,” Trujillo says.
And who it can reach. The indie brand. which has sold 120,000 units since 2018, grabbed the attention of a bigwig at Disney, turning into a collaboration on a makeup collection for their upcoming movie “Encanto.”
“One day just in September 2020 … we got a direct message on Instagram from an executive at Disney who says, ‘We have an amazing movie coming out. We think you guys would be really great to collaborate with,’” Trujillo recalls. “And I thought this is a prank. They’re pranking me.
But it wasn’t.
“This movie explores a Colombian family and they wanted a makeup collaboration that would be truthful and authentic to the Latino experience,” Trujillo says. “We literally pulled colors out from scenes in the movie.”
Trujillo hopes her success story can inspire other small Latino brands with big dreams.
“Look at my story,” she says. “I was able to start my own business and work for myself and grow this company, and other Latinos, you can do that.”