Editor’s note: This post has been updated to remove product recommendations.
Babba Rivera, CEO and founder of the branding agency ByBabba, was traveling to fashion shows last September when she realized that she was often the only Latinx person in the room. This wasn’t a new feeling: Growing up in Sweden, she had few role models with her background. It was only when she moved to New York and found a home within the hispanic community that she reconnected with her Chilean roots.
Now, with the launch of her new haircare line, Ceremonia, and its first product, a hair oil called Aceite de Moska ($25), Rivera is celebrating her heritage by creating a brand with the Latin American community in mind. And she did her market research: “Hispanics spend 46% more on hair care products than non-Hispanics,” she says, adding, “but there is an immense scarcity of products that adhere to their values and needs.” Her accessibly priced hair oil is intended for everyone, though:”It’s for [people] looking to optimize their natural hair strands through products that nourish, rather than masking their strands with toxic styling products for a short period of time.”
She took further inspiration from her mother’s beauty routine, her father’s work (he trained as a hairdresser in Chile but was unable to find a job in Sweden due to the language barrier), and ingredients found in Latin America. “Latin culture has so many rich beauty rituals and such a strong devotion to natural ingredients from many powerful superfruits and plants that are native to Latin America,” she says. Aceite de Moska contains Brazilian pataua oil, aloe vera, and castor oil, and was inspired by a popular treatment in the Dominican Republic that promotes scalp health and keeps hair shiny while reducing frizz. The formula is also free of silicones, parabens, sulfates, and phthalates.
Rivera also brought her marketing skills, honed at Uber and Away, where she served as director of brand marketing, to the new direct-to-consumer brand: Even before the brand launched, its Instagram account gained more than 19,000 followers by showcasing images from Latin American artists, including Colombian painter Fernando Botero.
And while she won’t reveal the next products in the pipeline, Rivera has big plans for Ceremonia. “We’re bringing the spa to your bathroom,” she says.