Kim Guerra is a lot of things — a writer, a Latina entrepreneur, a business owner, an artist — but what makes her unique across all those roles is her ability to empower. After all, inspiration can come in many forms. With her company, Brown Badass Bonita, Guerra is on a mission to use all the tools in her belt to lift other Latinas and remind them that they are badasses.
Brown Badass Bonita is not just a brand; it’s a movement. Guerra considers it a “revolutionary act of self-love and love for our Latinx community.” It’s an opportunity to embrace your culture and celebrate and explore all of the complexities of being a Latinx. Through the many products the brand offers — from clothing to graphic prints, stickers, and books — Brown Badass Bonita is on a relentless mission to continue empowering Latinas and provide them with a way to feel proud and untouchable.
Guerra hopes that people will wear her t-shirts and will look at her prints as a statement and shield — the goal is to “feel like a walking and living revolution when they wear a Brown Badass Bonita tee,” she explains.
Think of Brown Badass Bonita as a community of people embracing self-love and focused on being the best versions of themselves — proud of who they are and where they come from and liberate in their self-acceptance. Her Instagram page describes the BBB mission as “for mariposas giving themselves wings: you are the revolution. Advocating for justice & liberation through writing, creating, amor y ganas.”
That’s just what you’ll find in Guerra’s creative collection of inspiring social media posts: a gorgeous selection of poems, t-shirts, images, inspirational quotes, and beautifully personal messages of healing in a mix of English and Spanish.
Guerra is as impressive as she is inspiring. Her journey from being a Latina on a mission to being a successful entrepreneur will lift up others as they embark on their own unique paths to making a difference. BeLatina chatted with Kim to share her words of wisdom for other Latinas and get some inside scoop on what’s next for Brown Badass Bonita.
What first inspired you to launch Brown Badass Bonita? And what continues to inspire your product designs and messaging as you create new content?
Brown Badass Bonita was born in a bathtub. My mami used to take baths when she was anxious or needed time for herself. I started to do the same. During one of these existential bath times, I realized I was losing myself. I missed my community, our food, Español, and cultura. It was one of those moments when you ask yourself, “Who the hell am I?” and “What the hell am I doing with my life?” — the words came to me: Brown, Badass, Bonita. I got out of the bath toda encuerada and grabbed my phone. I needed to write this down. Then I thought, “This would look cute on the shirt! Then I can wear it around Seattle and show these people what’s up.” I put it on a shirt and a week later received it in the mail. It felt like a shield and reminder had just arrived. I wore it proudly and put a photo up on IG. It blew up. I had women from all over the world reaching out to me, stating, “I’m a Brown Badass Bonita too! Where can I get one?!”
Through this one t-shirt, I found a community. I started to write about my process as I began my self-love journey. I felt the Brown Badass Bonita community walking with me, walking with me still. I create things I need but don’t see anywhere else. I create things founded on self-love and love for my community.
What do you hope Latinas take away from your brand, and how do you hope they feel when wearing your shirts?
I want whoever wears my shirts to feel like a walking and living revolution. I want people to feel powerful, badass, and so beautiful. I create things that are a statement of our voice, cultura, and commitment to collective liberation. I hope they take away how powerful and beautiful we are as reinas, mariposas, and as a community.
A lot of what you do and what you create explores the complexities of being a Latinx — how do you hope that your movement helps to encourage other Latinas to be proud of who they are and where they come from?
A big part of exploring and loving our community is learning, unlearning, and celebrating who we are. We are a complex community. We have multiple culturas: de aquí y de allá. At times, we have cultural dysmorphia: ni de aqui, ni de alla, a donde chingados voy, quien chingado soy?! We also have moments of coming together as a community where our struggles, oppressors, and ganas unite us. In order to love and celebrate our cultura we have to know our cultura and the areas in which we need to grow as a community.
What’s next for Brown Badass Bonita? What upcoming products and projects should we be on the lookout for, and what are your goals for the future?
We are actually rebranding to Badass x Bonita. After much reflection, we decided to take the “Brown” out of our name. As I mentioned, part of loving our cultura and community is learning and unlearning. When we use Brown to describe our cultura, we were unintentionally contributing to the erasure of the Black folks in our community. We want to honor and celebrate our Black & Indigenous hermanes and make sure our brand represents that. There are many beautiful shades of melanin, and we are here for them all!
Another exciting adventure is our “Badass Bonita x Nacho Jota” clothing collection. We’ve partnered with a Mexican designer: Nacho Jota — to bring y’all a whole new clothing line. Inspired by my style and Mexica fashion, we’ve included a mix of flowy, femme, badass items such as flowy blouses, skirts, pants, dresses. This is a huge dream of mine come true to create something new and grow partnerships with Mexican brands and designers. I hope this is the beginning of long-term and multiple international partnerships.
Lastly, we’ve partnered with a fulfillment company and are streamlining our products to expand our catalog and fulfill our growing orders in a quicker, more efficient manner. This has allowed us to add a lot of new products to our catalog! This is super exciting because it allows me to focus on what I’m passionate about: creating and writing!