Babba C. Rivera never imagined she would start a company and give birth to a baby in the same week. And yet, that’s exactly what happened last year when the launch of her sustainable hair care brand, Ceremonia, coincided with the arrival of her first child. Luckily, the former marketing guru knows a thing or two about making time for self-care: “Growing up, I remember seeing my mom treasure alone time with beauty rituals as a form of relaxation and self-love. With Ceremonia, I wanted to recreate that idea of beauty rituals as a form of self-care,” she says. Rivera, who originally hails from Sweden, splits her time between an apartment in Brooklyn and a house in Upstate New York, but she has a soft spot for Miami’s colorful scenery and top-notch shopping.
Where do you look for interior design inspiration?
Both my husband and I are from Sweden, and most of our inspiration comes from our upbringing there, mixed with all of our travels over the years. We oftentimes have a general idea for something and then go on a deep Pinterest search, which later on turns into mood boarding and then item sourcing.
Tell us about your beauty routine—what products are must-haves for you?
I only use clean beauty products. Ceremonia was actually founded as a result of my own mission to replace my entire regimen with toxin-free, clean products. I realized how far behind the hair care category is in this regard, which eventually led me to start my own brand. Some of my go-to skincare products include Tata Harper’s Resurfacing Mask, the Saie Beauty Super Glow Serum, Kosas hyaluronic lip balm, Vintner’s Daughter’s face serum oil, Isla Beauty’s Snow Scrub exfoliator and Kristina Holey x Marie Veronique’s B3 serum and HypoTonic.
What are you looking forward to doing once things begin to open up again?
I look forward to gathering with friends more than anything. I love to host and can’t wait to organize a big gathering. I also look forward to working out in a group again. Sweating together fuels my adrenaline so much and I have yet to find a way to recreate that feeling when I’m alone at home in front of a laptop.
How would you describe your sense of style?
Colorful Scandinavian mixed with elegant minimalist pieces—and a sense of humor.
What’s your go-to outfit for when you want to feel powerful?
I love suits! But not traditional suits; I love to rock unconventional suits in either fun prints, unexpected materials or more fashion-forward cuts, like those by Prada and Tory Burch. I have a large collection of suits at home!
When you’re in Miami, where do you stay and what is your approach to dressing?
I love Soho Beach House. I always dress very colorfully when I go to Miami—but I tend to stick to my personal style, which is more playful than sexy. I have so many fun memories of being the only one wearing a dress below my knees at the club!
What tips or advice do you have for people who also want to start a business?
My best advice is to just get started somewhere, take a leap of faith and trust the process. More often than not we tend to overthink and focus on all the things that could go wrong. I also think it’s important to remember that we learn the most from failures, and a failure is only a failure if you don’t try again. I firmly believe that the secret to success is to do something that brings you joy and fills you with purpose.
Photos courtesy of Tory Burch, The Webster, Michael Aram, Ceremonia, Soho Beach House.