We had the good fortune of connecting with Catherine Feliz and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Catherine, how do you think about risk?
I think about risk as catalysts for change, and maybe even adventure! The more we listen to our gut and follow our hearts the more we exercise two very ancient life skills: intuition and purpose. Risk taking has really played a major role in my life and also in my decision to start Bótanica Cimarrón. It was always a big gamble to follow my heart because coming from a poor first-generation immigrant background you’re told that the only way to “make it” is to follow a prefabricated professional path because this society doesn’t value enough the skill sets of artists and traditional healers. But the call within me was always too strong to ignore. During the pandemic I found myself collecting unemployed checks and with extra time on my hands, so I funneled all of that money and energy into building this dream that I had been sitting with. LOL so yes the brand was 100% self funded with unemployment checks.
Alright, so for those in our community who might not be familiar with your business, can you tell us more?
I created Botanica Cimarron to be a love story starring a free earth stewarded by a free people. I grew up going to Botanicas in NYC but I didn’t see anyone that was still making medicine and spiritual tools by hand, in ceremony with the earth, and in relationship to our Afro-Indigenous lineages. So I decided to start my own shop after many years of offering this work for free in my communities. I get excited about making products for people who are ready to connect back to the earth. My style is creative and fun, and people come to us when they are ready for the radical transformation that will set us all free. What’s amazing about elixirs is that you can take medicine with you everywhere! It’s nomadic, so you can always be walking in rightful relationship, you can always find ways to be in ceremony. My blends are unique stories that weave together the past, present, and future. Every formula is a blend of Western and Caribbean herbs that work together to not only treat unwanted symptoms, but bring regeneration and alignment back to our systems. Everything, from the blend to the name of each elixir, is about rooting back to the wisdom of the earth.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
LA for me is all about the ocean and the surrounding mountains! I would definitely take my friend out to the Malibu beaches, then out to a hiking to any of the surrounding trails. For food literally any taco stand on the street or Korean BBQ spot will do!
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
I would love to shoutout Angelo Fiore [https://www.angelofiore.xyz/] for lending his brilliant photo and creative direction skills that helped bring my vision to life! By lucky chance we got to be roommates together during 2020 🙂