We had the good fortune of connecting with Kim Guerra and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Kim, how do you think about risk?
Risk requires courage and vulnerability. It also requires you to believe in the power of your dreams. It asks you to say yes to yourself and trust your wings. Risk has been a key factor in my life. I took a risk when I decided to start sharing my writing on my Instagram feed. “What if people think it’s stupid? Why would they care about what I have to say? Should I delete it?” I kept writing and sharing. The poems and affirmations I wrote turned into a book called Mariposa. The butterfly is the perfect example of a being who risks its entire being in order to gain wings and potentially fly. “Mariposa” became an Amazon bestseller. This was a year ago. I was a recent divorcee living and healing in Seattle. I packed up all my fear and belongings and went on my very first book tour. Another beautiful risk. There was no certainty. Nothing was guaranteed. I had no idea if people were going to show up. Could I actually go ahead and do this on my own? I did. And they did too. There were times were people stood in the back because the chairs were full. It was community run and it was one of the most powerful experiences of my life. Brown Badass Bonita was birthed out of a deep personal need to reclaim and celebrate my identity while missing my community. It started with a t-shirt I made for myself. I shared it online. It blew up. Hundreds of Brown Badass Bonitas were reaching out to me. They too, felt seen and celebrated. This one shirt evolved into a small business and a big movement. Each step along the way has been a risk. At times, I didn’t know if I could make it. I felt in over my head. I am not a businesswoman, I would constantly tell myself. Yet, I kept learning, getting back up, and trusting the process– trusting my wings. Ultimately, that’s what risk has become to me: an opportunity to trust my wings.
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
Brown Badass Bonita and my writing is based on revolutionary self love, social justice, and our fight for collective liberation. I create things that I need to see, wear, hear, and feel that I don’t necessarily see out on mainstream media. I am creating and writing things I wish someone had told me. I am giving myself permission to not only celebrate my culture, but also challenge it from a place of love and knowing we can do better because we deserve better. As a queer Latina who is learning to say “me vale” more and more, I want other Mujeres to feel free to be their full, glorious selves– whatever that may look, be, sound, or feel like. We are resilient, unstoppable humans who are learning to heal and love themselves and ourselves collectively. My work reflects and invites us to step into self love, advocacy, and liberation in revolutionary ways.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
Drinks: Bar Flores, Xelas, Border X Brewing, NoaNoa Place, anywhere they sell El Samaritano mezcal Food: Dear Mama LA Pop-Ups, La Guelaguetza, Las Glorias del Buen Comer, Tacos el Venado, The Frontyard, Escala, Opennaire Outdoors: Hikes I have a few secrets spots in The Valley I like to take people to, Griffith Park hikes are beautiful, Ernest E. Debs, love hitting up dog beaches (Long Beach), Venice Beach boardwalk and Canals, Echo Park, Elysian Park Local Bookstores: Tia Chucha’s, Lighthouse Bookstore Coffee: Tierra Mia, Cafecito Organico, Bloom and Plume I love picnic, art making time outdoors, listening to live music, dancing salsa, Cumbia ( I miss Cumbiaton!) , and visiting museums (MOLAA, Getty, LACMA, MOCA) are some of my favorites, love going to the Flower District, and fun brunching!
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
I would like to dedicate this shoutout to my friend Edwin Soto Saucedo and my girlfriend Ana Sheila Victorino. They are constant sources of light in my life. They inspire me daily to grow and shine brighter. Their work and passion for justice, conscious living, and community anchor me and add fuel to my fire.
Chelsea Cullen for the photos with the Metamorfosis (purple butterfly) shirt.