We caught up with Kendall Wilson for our second #InMyMinga series, where we highlight and get to know beautiful the souls in our community. Kendall is our neighbor and friend living in San Diego, who spends her time creating, writing and traveling in her new 1994 Chevy Van. From the start, she's been a huge inspiration and supporter of all things Minga so we we're stoked to have her here to share her story on our Minga Journal.
Tell us a bit about you! What is lighting your fire these days?
Hi, my name is Kendall and I reside in San Diego, CA — for now:’) I moved here about 5 years ago now, and truly just been shifting and sifting in and out of my passions, figuring out what to do next really or what will be the catalyst into my life’s work. Although, at the beginning of 2020, I was so crystal clear with my plans. I was supposed to go to esthetician school, and of course the pandemic happened amongst other things, and it completely shifted that course. But you know, this redirection has had no resistance, it was such a gentle and fluid pull into what I’m feeling called to now. Best mantra that has resonated lately is “rejection is redirection.”
Honestly, what’s been lighting me up is enjoying the simple pleasures in life again. I don’t think I’m alone in this, but this year has allowed me to move through life with such a different lens. Both literally and figuratively. I picked up a $25 film camera, rekindled my passion for social and environmental activism, and even started to dive into videography a little more.
How’s life on the road? What are some challenges and wins you’ve had recently?
Ah, life on the road has been just that. Life on the road. Crazy. Unexpected. Bliss. Beautifully eye opening. Ego shattering— in all the best ways possible. This is my partner, Abe, and mine’s first road trip in the van for such an extended period of time so we were bound to run into some challenges, and one of the worst things that could happen, happened. Our transmission went out only a week into the trip when we got to New Mexico, so we had to get a whole transmission overhaul. However, we had reached out for help from our friends, family and community of people we know and it was SUCH a humbling experience how many people genuinely wanted to help us out and see us get back on the road. I consider that such a big win, both for our van and our hearts.
We’re curious how did you discover Minga? What drew you to our small and growing brand?
Well I was of course scrolling through Instagram and I had found Minga being SUPER drawn to the bags. Actually, I believe it was when Minga was just bags before hats and bags. Either way, I wanted a piece of each. I felt it was something I had never seen before. Sustainably made bags made out of cactus?! Yes please! At the time, I was starting to become interested in spending my money wisely on ethical & sustainable products that also had a good mission and story to it. And, to top it off, I loved that Minga was based out of Latin America. I have such a sweet spot for those places. Everything really checked out for me.
It’s awesome to have your support. What is your favorite Minga piece and why?
Oh gosh, this is hard. I have both the Zoila Hat and the Carmen Crossbody. I get so many compliments on both… but I would say the Carmen Crossbody bag. It was the first Minga product I was drawn to and fell in love with, and even more so when I received it in person. I love the textures and the color of it. It’s my number one. But, I do wear my hat all the time too… Can I just say both? Lol!
The word Minga means, “Collaborative work in which friends and neighbors volunteer their time and effort to achieve a shared goal for the betterment of the community.” How would you define community and collaboration? How do those take a roll in your life right now?
Coincidentally, I was recently journaling about what community means to me lately— especially in these wild times we are in. The message that has kept coming up for me is that community is one of the key components to liberation. Through community, we can find inspiration and collaborative ideas, start grassroot movements that drive real change, and gain support in both times when we need it most and for a general sense of remaining grounded and connected to those around you. I think the two are so much intertwined when we speak of either collaboration or community. You cannot have one without the other. As I start to build myself within my work, I am recognizing more and more how important these two concepts are in moving life forward. I think we tend to be deceived that we are meant to do life alone, that if we don’t “figure it out” on our own then that may be seen as substandard, but I believe the sweetest success is within collaborative efforts within communities. We prosper when we A L L prosper.
What are some other small brands and makers you’re loving right now?
Jewelry: @cashmerecactus @shopneblinanoche @maaari_co
Home Goods: @cyanceramics @salamatceramics
Skin Loving Oils: @meraki_nomad
Photo & Art: @elanbyrd @hal3_
Where can we find you and how can we help support your work and mission?
Best place to find me is on IG @kendalllwilsonnn where you can see my writings and whatever content I’m inspired to create in the moment. Or @alpine_diaries for all things van life/travels in mine and my partner’s ’94 Chevy.