Dominican-American influencer strikes a deal to get her natural hair products at Sephora

Dominican-American influencer Caroline Contreras has built a strong following through her Miss Rizos blog and natural hair salon series, and now she’s secured a partnership that will take her brand to the next level.

The Founder and CEO of Miss Rizos is set to launch her new line of products designed for curly and Afro-textured hair as part of Sephora’s Accelerate 2022 brand incubator program.

“I knew, I knew, what we had was special. And I knew there was kind of an empty shelf both online and in stores waiting for this product to happen,” Contreras said. BNC News.

She started the blog in 2011 to showcase the beauty of curls, coils, and Afro-Latina culture.

Her inspiration came when she returned to the Dominican Republic, where she was born, to research her roots within the Dominican diaspora and how that relates to her blackness. Not an overtly embraced subject in Dominican culture, Contreras knew she was treading difficult ground in highlighting African history and influence within Afro-Latin culture.

Her two-month trip to the Dominican Republic turned into a 10-year adventure where she confronted colorism issues within her own culture. One day when she was at the beach sunbathing, two teachers approached her and told her not to sunbathe too much or she would get too dark.

When she told them she didn’t mind tanning her brown skin, Contreras says she was told, “You talk about embracing the dark, but you’re relaxing your hair,” she recalled.

The encounter, among other things, inspired Contreras to launch the Miss Rizos brand which has become an official line of natural hair care products which she hopes will represent her Dominican pride.

“I want people to be able to run their hands through their hair with our products and feel that ease and joy around their curls,” Contreras said.

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