Hugging the Block X Lomography: A Day With La Brujita del Jardín and the Simple Use Camera

For this series of articles, we're collaborating with Hugging the Block, a community market who's goal is to create support and community for BIPOC and first-generation Latino immigrant entrepreneurs in Pasadena, California.

In the spirit of their mission, we're here today to highlight a day in the life of La Brujita del Jardín — founder Natalie Garcia's lifestyle manifestation brand that she describes as reflecting her own multidimensional spiritual lifestyle — all documented on the Simple Use Camera.

Photos by La Brujita del Jardín

Hi Natalie, welcome to Lomography Magazine! Can you start off by telling us a bit about yourself and La Brujita del Jardín?

I am a Chicana born and raised in Los Angeles and I am the daughter of indigenous Mexican immigrants. My parents are a big influence on me and my brand. My dad has always been fascinated with Astrology, space and the planets while my mom loves plants and holistic remedies. They both spend a lot of time in their garden.

Growing up I gravitated to theater, dance and music. However, I never had the confidence to pursue my creative passions, until I wrote the book I've been saying I wanted to write my whole life in 2021, Cosmica: A Poetic Journey to Awakening the Magic Within.

My brand La Brujita del Jardín was manifested from this spiritual writing journey. This started when the world and I were forced to slow down during the pandemic and I reconnected with my garden and my family's teachings. I began to write poetry, lyrics, mantras and affirmations that came to me when I was in my garden. I spent a lot of time in my backyard and that's where I felt the safest and most grounded. That was the same energy I poured into my brand, my book and posts.

Whenever I feel lost, depleted or unsure, I go back to my garden or I go back to my book and cards or posts. My hope is other people find what they need from my brand, whether it's inspiration or just reassurance.

Can you tell us a bit about what you decided to shoot with the Simple Use Camera?

I decided to shoot my garden, my family and myself in my natural state. It's a merging of my Catholic cultural background, my indigenous background and the connection to Mother Nature. To me those are the sources of my inspiration and love that I pour into all my projects. My grandmothers played a big role in my life. I am nothing like them. They were homemakers and wives and never pursued their dreams. They sacrificed their dreams for their grandchildren to pursue theirs. It's a huge privilege to even sit here and talk about the brand I built and my creative achievements. If it wasn't for the ancestors that came before me, their teachings and energy I wouldn't be here. What I shot is the simplicity of who I am, where I came from and why I create.

How do you decide what moments and aspects of your business to capture with the camera?

I capture a lot of the moments in my garden and with my family. We had a funeral during this time, one of my uncles had passed away and I took a picture of the cemetery. In my Mexican indigenous culture we celebrate death and the rebirth journey. La Brujita del Jardín is a reflection of my family's traditions and celebrations. I really wanted the photos to feel like you are seeing the world through my point of view and what inspires me daily.

I love just staring at trees and plants and hearing birds chirp. We take mother nature and family for granted sometimes. So, I love to always show my gratitude by acknowledging my roots. It's not always glamorous or as fascinating as other more creative and aesthetically pleasing things, but it's very real and magical to me.

Photos by La Brujita del Jardín

Can you walk us through a day of your work with La Brujita del Jardín?

I am creative and I cannot do the same routine everyday. I love that I can do that working on La Brujita del Jardín. I really allow my spirit and energy to guide me to what I need that day. Some days I wake up ready to move, exercise and dance while others I take it slowly, setting my intentions. I meditate or write poetry. Other days I go outside to get some sun while just reflecting on my emotions and some of my best ideas come from me doing nothing at all.

I do feel many people nowadays create a lot of pressure around over achieving or doing a lot of work, myself included. With my brand I try to do the opposite and I wanted it to be a slow process, from the creation of my books, to journaling and coming up with new ideas. This is the only space I feel that I give myself permission to slow down, and rest, and enjoy the flowers blooming and feel the energy of the sun. Which later helps get me inspired to write more books by connecting and tuning in to my natural frequency.

What inspired you to branch out from your indigenous spiritual practices to incorporate aspects of journalism and lifestyle into your work?

There was no doubt in my mind that writing is my biggest passion. I am a natural storyteller and a lot of indigenous practices involve storytelling. I don't think it's a coincidence that I chose to be a writer and journalist because I do feel my ancestors were also storytellers and artists too.

The reason why I chose this field with La Brujita del Jardín was because I want to pass on my practices and capture my journey for future generations to study and connect with. It's the legacy of where I came from.

Can you expand a bit on the concept of La Brujita del Jardín and your work with Hugging the Block?

La Brujita del Jardín is more than products, it's platform that is focused on helping individuals tap in their own magic and manifest, but it is also here to support their work whether I am shooting content at community events, promoting brands or inspirational leaders, or just showing up to support and help at my friend's events. Community goes beyond social media and to me it's important to show up and connect with individuals who are also helping the community like Hugging the Block is doing.

Photos by La Brujita del Jardín

What are your hopes for the future of your lifestyle brand?

I hope to write more books and have more tools like journals, and notebooks, and candles that allow people to slow down, relax, and manifest. This year, I will be releasing my second book and ritual collection called "Cosmica Evolution". It has a lot more poems, rituals and more background on how to manifest and find alignment through the journey. I am also releasing the audio version of it with some fun musical collaborations. I really want to be in as many independent bookstores and shops as possible. I love supporting small businesses and I love seeing bookstores support BIPOC authors and writers. My goal is to see my book in small towns, other countries, and hopefully it connects and inspires individuals to keep shooting for the moon and manifesting their dreams into reality.

Anything else you'd like to share?

I always like to end my videos, and podcasts with a Brujita affirmation and mantra. So, here's one, "I am evolving through this journey with purpose and love. I listen when the universe is speaking. A new me is always evolving. I love who I am and who I am becoming." - Cosmica

If you're interested in keeping up with La Brujita del Jardín, make sure to follow Natalie on Instagram.

written by eloffreno on 2024-02-09 #gear #culture #people #community #documentary #photo-diary #suc #small-businesses

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