We caught up with Aaron Rodríguez, a master component of love who values art, family and community. From the moment we met Aaron through the depths of Instagram, he caught our eye. Whether it’s his impeccable style, days spent harvesting, or motorcycle rides, we were totally caught up in it all. Check out Aaron’s story below and get to know how he lives a slow life and wears many hats doing it.
Tell us about you, what is lighting your fire these days?
In all of my work, I am an encourager of artists. These days, being able to set aside the work I have been doing in LA and making myself available to my family in rural Michigan has been exciting me. It is pretty punk rock to be a 34 year-old man who is able to spend time with family and help meet their needs. It is so important that men don’t leave family labor solely to the matriarchy. We all have a role to play on our family and it is important to ensure we are functioning in that role.
We are curious how you discovered Minga. What drew you to our small and growing brand?
I discovered Minga through one of my favorite designers, David Hershberger, who has also crafted a beautiful clay filtration system called @eliif_water and was showing their work at a market in Malibu that Minga was also apart of. I loved the intention and thought put into their product. Intentional business is turning capitalism on its head through friendship. Takes hard work to rethink, impact, and partner. Stop thinking in years instead in decades. Minga means and shows a lot of compassion and care, it speaks volumes. I encourage us all to create a business that is looking for opportunities to be generous. It’s worth it.
What is your favorite Minga piece and why?
I really love the black Zoila hat. It is so versatile and definitely the piece I wear the most. I also love and use the Jessy water bottle holder frequently — it holds a mason jar really perfectly so I can use it while foraging.
How would you define community and collaboration? How do those take a role in your life right now?
True community is anyone we have decided to consider our neighbors and choose to look for opportunities to be generous—not necessarily only those who live close to us but those we are comfortable enough to live and create with. We can bring questions to our community and know we will be heard and we are safe to do so.
Living temporarily in a rural town in Michigan, my community is those closest to me which are my family and their neighbors whom I have befriended. The concept of community is definitely changing in my mind right now. It is something I am exploring every day. I am physically away from a lot of the community I am used to and involved in a community that I don’t know all that well yet. I want to be a good citizen of this new place I have found myself, and I am figuring out what it looks like to honor the new people and land I am around, for whatever time I am here. That is important in whatever space you live. Even though you know you are in a space for just a moment. Live wherever you are as if you are going to be there forever. This changes how you see people and land.
Of course, those who I stay connected with on the phone and maintain as part of my community from a distance also remain vital to me, especially during the era of COVID.
What are some other small brands and makers you are loving right now?
One maker I love from my recent time in Savannah, GA is Colectivo 1050º Grados. They are an artisan brand from Oaxaca, they make amazing pottery.
I also love and becoming friends with Ital Vibrations who create astrological tea blends, incense, plant-dyed fabric, and more.
Where can we find you and how can we support your work and mission?
I am happy to connect with you on IG at @aarondr. It would also support my current mission to make yourself available to whomever you consider your family in some way this week, to check in and make sure you’re playing your role.