It is said that motherhood can be a scary moment in the life of many women and even more when you feel outside your comfort zone. This is the way Carla Curiel, a Dominican “Echada pa’lante” woman, felt when she got pregnant with her twin daughters, Adriana and Emilia, after marrying the Venezuelan-American love of her life, Roberto Castro, in the United States.
Carla found herself wondering how was she going to introduce her Dominican roots to her soon to be baby girls in a country where Spanish was not even the first language. She wanted to ensure that her two little angels could embrace the culture, become bilingual, and be proud of their heritage without hesitation at all.
After much consideration, she decided to launch her own company that would not only embrace her heritage, but also teach first generation Latinos about the customs, sayings, food, and Spanish language itself. This led to the creation of Bebe Lanugo in 2011. The word Lanugo comes from the Latin “lana” (wool), which is the most used material to protect babies once they are born, due to it softness and comfy feeling. Thus, Carla thought that Lanugo was the most appropriate word to name her company.
Lanugo, Latino de Corazon is a company that sells products for babies like clothing items, feeding essentials, wall décor, baby books, and products that help Latino parents pass on their culture to their offspring with the aid of nine colorful characters that are full of warmth, love, and Latino flavor. The main baby character that represents the company is Gloria, a beautiful lamb that is very smart, strong, and very positive. She loves to read and enjoys sharing her wisdom through wonderful fables, stories. and classic Latino sayings. In fact she lives by “saber refranes cuesta poco y vale mucho” (Knowing sayings doesn’t cost much, but is very valuable).
In addition to Gloria, Carla created other characters that kids could easily relate to and identify with. Among the most representative characters of Lanugo is Mama Pata, who is a proud mommy duck with three baby ducklings and lives by “Madre solo hay una” (Mother there is only one). She is the loyal representation of Latina moms who are very loving, protective, giving, and by singing lullabies she can dissipate anything bad that is going on with her little ducklings. Another cute character is Mukie, a happy little monkey whose motto is “La vida es una carnaval” (Life is a carnival). He is the most hospitable little one and he likes to play outside. And, there is Lula La Consentida, a charming bunny that always says “bueno, bonito, pero no barata” (good, pretty, but not cheap). She is like most babies, curious, and ready to learn to new things, but sometimes her immaturity gets the best of her and makes her look a little bit spoiled.
After two years in operation, Carla feels very happy to have turned her fear into a very proactive idea that can benefit many other Latino parents going through their same situations. With her characters and products, babies can now fully embrace the Hispanic Heritage very proudly and display it to everybody else.
For more information about Lanugo and their products, got to their website