We had the good fortune of connecting with Argentina Bonilla and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Argentina, can you talk to us a bit about the social impact of your business?
My business is called Crafting for Change and it does just that. Social justice means having compassion for all parts of the community and physically acting on those beliefs. Crafting for Change is entirely rooted in this belief, therefore, we are always making a difference in our community.
Crafting for Change has donated to local organizations, individuals, and created events to support the community. Last year, 20% of our sales went directly towards these donations and events. I have donated to Somos Familia Valle, Haven Hills, Alliance Community Empowerment, to individuals in need of mental health services and or financial relief, and in the summer I make and deliver Care Kits to unhoused folks in my neighborhood.
Last year, in the summer we saw the social unrest due to the killings of many Black brothers and sisters, like George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Tony McDade, Dominique Fells, Elijah McClain, and so many more. I felt compelled to make a stand as a business. Although I don’t have professional designing skills, I started designing and posting community posters on my website and in my community. They are 100% accessible for print and download right now! Here is the link! https://linktr.ee/craftingforchange
As a private person I wanted people to know that you can do activism in many ways and that everyone has a place in the revolution for justice. I also wanted these posters to be accessible to my community at all times. I make new posters when time allows me or when I see something that should be brought to the attention of my community. So far, my posters have been dedicated to Nurses, Farm Workers, Black and Brown youth, and to people who have lost their lives violently and unjustly.
At the moment, Crafting for Change is focusing on mental wellness and inspiration. This entails being vulnerable and honest with my community about my mental being in my attempt to de-stigmatize talking about our mental health. I openly use the words anxiety and depression as these are a part of my daily struggles. I post mantras, meditations, and inspiration to keep my community going. My business is very connected to me, I feel the best way to get my message to people is to tell my story and experiences. It is a constant work in progress because it is challenging to be transparent and vulnerable, but I feel firm in my stance to make a change in how we view our mental health and well being.
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
Nothing about my creative journey has been easy, every bit of it has been earned. I am a self taught paper crafter and creative. I learned by watching a lot of youtube videos and a lot of experimenting. It is still how I learn to create. In order to start making my own success I realized I had to overcome my personal challenges. I tend to take the slower route in life and I used to feel ashamed by it because I used to compare myself to others. When I came to terms with the idea that my path is not like anyone else’s, I was ready to accept the success and joy the universe had to offer me. The most important lessons I’ve learned are failure is part of the process, never compare yourself to others, and always be yourself.
I use my brand to tell my story so that other people can know they are not alone in the struggle of life. Crafting for Change is a latina owned brand that inspires women, de-stigmatizes talking about mental health, and is committed to social change.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
Monday – Topanga Beach Day Lunch – I don’t think you can do a proper beach day without your own lunch. I would do Shrimp and chips from Vallarta, drinks, and snacks.
Tuesday – Hike in Malibu Creek
Brunch – Nats on Ventura in Woodland Hills, CA
Wednesday – Malibu Beach Walk
The Getty Villa
Lunch: Michael’s Burgers on Topanga and Sherman way
Thursday – LACMA
Lunch – Street Hot dogs
MB2 Raceway in Sylmar
Dinner – Food Truck on Canoga Park st. and Roscoe
Snack Fruits from a street vendor
Visit the Historic homes in Echo Park
Early dinner at Patra’s Burgers on Sunset Blvd in Echo Park
Echo Park Boats
Weekend : San Diego/ Santa Barbara
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
I will always thank my family for their amazing support throughout the years. They have always encouraged my creativity and allowed me to flourish. My dad bought me my first business cards when I was 13, my mom bought me my first plastic packing bags when I was a young teen, and my sister has always encouraged me to go after what I want. I have to do a huge shoutout to my best friend, Emily Aldana, she has been my confidant for the last two years in assisting me in my creative ideas, selling in person, and supporting my dream. I have such a great small, but mighty support team behind me and I am so thankful for all the friends and family who continue to support me on this journey.