About 6 million adults in the U.S identify as Afro Latino, each with very distinct cultures, history. That includes Alexa Dolmo, a Houston based influencer who came to the United States from her native country Honduras at the age of 14. Living in Houston was a “wakeup call” when she realized that it was difficult to find a space that recognizes and celebrates all of her identities. Her classmates often deemed her not Black because of her heritage, and the experience made her uncomfortable in her own skin.
But that changed.
The 26-year-old lifestyle and beauty bloggers showcases her culture through her social media platforms Darling Skin and Garifuna Bosses to educate and highlight the beauty of being Afro-Latina. And she has grown as organic following of more than 13,000 across all social media platforms.
Dolma spoke with the Defender about Her experience as an Afro-Latina woman in Houston and how she merges her upbringing with her brand.
Defender: Tell us about yourself. Who is the person behind the brand?
Dolmo: I’m a very charismatic person, friendly, social, and determined. I’m very family oriented and I enjoy creating spaces for people.
Defender: You are from Honduras. Did you see enough representation of your culture in Houston?
Dolmo: I moved to the U.S from Honduras when I was 14. It was a culture shock for me because when I went to school, I thought everybody knew that Black people also can speak Spanish. I was still learning English because I wasn’t fluent, and I wanted to create a platform to really educate others about who we are as a people.
Defender: What got you interested in lifestyle and fashion blogging?
Dolmo: I got married when I was 19. I was young. After a while I wasn’t happy in the marriage, so I started to get into the makeup world to keep positive. People from back home would ask me about how I did my makeup and the products I used, so I created content to show people how to do so. I posted it on YouTube and ever since then I started doing makeup tutorials. I fell in love with the beauty world. From there I made my own website because I sarted to like writing, and when I was going through my divorce, that was a way for me to express myself. I never thought to create this as a way to make profit. I was having fun doing what I enjoy.
Defender: Has this grown into a full-time venture?
Dolmo: This is a full-time thing now. I got fired from my job as a receptionist at the beginning of this year. I didn’t like the job, but I was always afraid of quitting because I needed to pay bills and survive. I realized that I was so comfortable. Sometimes in life you have to be uncomfortable. I decided to go full force with my passion and I can see myself doing this long term. I do other things outside of influencing as well to have additional streams of income. I do taxes, I’m a social media manager, and an event curator.
Defender: What is the best and most challenging part of being an influencer?
Dolmo: The best part is that you get a lot of perks, you get invited to a lot of places, and meet a lot of great people. I form relationships with people who follow me online. There are people out there who look up to me, so I have a responsibility to keep producing good work. Another part is authenticity. I can be myself and live my truth. The challenging part is the fact that I do everything by myself. I take my own pictures, edit them, negotiate my own pay with brands, while managing people online who feel entitled to know our life.
Defender: What inspired the development of Darling Skin?
Dolmo: The skin care line was inspired by my grandmother. She passed away a the beginning of this year. She was a holistic woman. Growing up back home, she was considered a healer. She was into herbal medicine. Everything was organic. If I was feeling sick, we’ll boil the herbs, drink it and be fine. As for lotion, I’m big on moisture and hydration of the skin, because who likes to be ashy? I created my own body butters and make them from home. It’s crazy how this once was a hobby of mine.
Defender: From running a business to running a blog, what daily routines keep your focused and energized?
Dolmo: I’m very big on time management. I don’t do everything all in one day. I have days set when I’m focused on everything regarding my skin care line. Other days I do my influencing and work on different partnership content. On the weekends I give myself as break. I believe in balance.
Defender: How does it feel to be representing Afro Latina women in the beauty and fashion space?
Dolmo: It’s an honor for me to be honest. There’s not a lot of us in this space. Now Afro-Latina voices are louder and bold. Back in 2010, there was none of this. At one point I was ashamed because I didn’t think people were going to be receptive to it. Now I’ve created the space to represent my culture and do the things that I love on my own terms. I go back to Honduras and I try to film as much as I can to bring content back to show my audience that I have the best of both worlds. One thing I’m working on now is speaking Spanish on my platform. It’s a bit difficult because most of my audience is African-American so I want them to understand what I’m saying.