Gabriela Trujillo is the CEO and founder of Alamar Cosmetics, a 2-year-old brand that is already making waves in the beauty industry. Here, she shares how the company celebrates both aspects of her culture, her American upbringing and her Latinx heritage. This story was told to Jessica Harrington and edited for length and clarity.
I was born in Cuba and my family immigrated to the United States when I was about three years old. So, I grew up with a very Cuban-Hispanic influence in a predominantly Cuban neighborhood in Miami. I got into makeup through my mom. She became an aesthetician when she got here, and I think that’s what sparked my interest in beauty. After I graduated high school, I attempted to go to college but it wasn’t for me, so my mom gave me permission to stop and pursue makeup full-time. I went to cosmetology school, and then that’s what started my career as a makeup artist.
It was always my dream to work for myself and to have something that was my own, but I just didn’t see how that would be possible. Then I thought, I can actually create a product and I can create a brand and create a story. Through work, I got to know other indie brands that were emerging, and that really inspired me because I was like, Wow, these are women just like me. A lot of them were women of color. So, I invested all of my savings into creating my very first makeup palette and that’s how it all started.
It’s been an amazing two years — very fun, but also very scary because I’ve just been learning everything as I go. I started the company by myself and with the help of my fiancé, but it’s been nothing but growth for us. We’ve been growing every step of the way, so I’m happy about that.