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Meet Monica Linda and Shell Lewis Garcia of Girl Squad Inc. in Pasadena

Today we’d like to introduce you to Monica Linda and Shell Lewis Garcia.

Monica and Shell, please share your story with us.
Can we take it back to the movie the Godfather?

I started my obsession with print when Life Magazine in 1972 printed out the photos from the movie the Godfather. I remember roller skating to my neighbor’s trailer to see what she was selling in her garage sale and there they were HUGE 11×14 prints of the movie on each page. I was instantly obsessed. I begged my mother to buy me all of them for $5 and she did! (Ya, my mom is kinda a bad ass and at the same time would kill me for using the word bad ass to describe her. Sorry Mom.)

But, it wasn’t until I was in my 30s that I discovered photography and it was at Community College Night Class with a girlfriend of mine from college. We both had Canon film cameras and signed up for a 6-week course. And each week, I walked into a film store to develop my images and each week I walked out amazed that I was capturing the world as I saw it. I was hooked.

I started to photograph EVERYTHING. Birthday parties. Weddings. Cake smashes. Family portraits. You name it, I probably photographed it.

Then… one day, a friend who was starting a website asked me to take photos of her. We sat on my couch and planned every moment. What was she trying to achieve? What was her vision? What did she want her audience to feel? What colors were important to her? And then we grabbed my camera and did it.

I quickly discovered there was a pattern with all my women entrepreneurs.

They weren’t in search of being famous.
They weren’t in search of pleasing me or anyone for that matter.
They were in search of getting their time back.
… in search of creating a morning that made them sing & feel alive.
… in search of slowing life down a little bit, so they can sit across from their families and be present.
And being their own Boss gives them the opportunity to live their lives on their terms.

I mean who can compete? I knew I had to help out the women who were in search of living her life her way.

And, we know how the rest plays out.

Now, I do it ALL the time!

Girl Squad Inc. Manifesto:
We are bound by the belief that women were meant to stand for more.
We believe in a life lived deliberately.
We embrace each other because we are worth holding onto.
Asking for help when we need it.
We are Courageous Women leaving a legacy.
We celebrate all the wins. Big & Small.
We have no time nor need for guilt.
We define our own success.
We are a sisterhood of women supporting women.
We believe women are perfect, just as they are.
We are the why-nots in a world of cannots.
When we fall we get up. Every. Single. Time.

Overall, has it been relatively smooth? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way?
No way! It has been really hard. I don’t have an MBA. I was not the smartest kid in school. I had a math tutor my entire year of high school and I failed english 101 in college. I mean who does that! ME!

I have had to really figure out how I could use who I am to my advantage. To learn as I go. To say yes and figure it out later.

And, I think it is working. This is my 2nd year of doing photography full time and I am killing it!

Alright – so let’s talk business. Tell us about Girl Squad Inc. – what should we know?
I am a branding photographer and community builder for women entrepreneurs. I help women who are struggling to tell their story, so I take professional photos of them to elevate their brand and connect with their dream clients.

You won’t find this down home Texas girl wasting her time, searching endlessly for shortcuts to my entrepreneurial success, and you certainly won’t find me shying away from a challenge.

My love of photography borders on obsession, I crave the hustle and I deeply care about every relationship in my life, I will risk everything to be creative. Being an entrepreneur affords me the opportunity to take risks, I embrace my destiny, and I am not afraid to be better than the day before.

Grit and authenticity set me apart.

Any shoutouts? Who else deserves credit in this story – who has played a meaningful role?
My wife, Shell, is my biggest fan and my co-pilot in this business.

We are more than spouses or even co-founders, we are each other’s personal cheerleaders and each other’s biggest advocate. Being a couple of twenty years, it was pretty simple to identify each other’s strengths and weaknesses, we embrace our differences and leverage them accordingly as it relates to running our business. Being married to your business partner is a challenge but we found out that if you give 100% to each other every day the business side just works itself out. We always try our very best and then next time, we do it better. We formed a relationship, then, a marriage and now, we are building a business together.

Contact Info:

Image Credit:
Monica Linda, Shell Lewis, Kathy Schuh, Tiffany Luong, Girl Squad Inc.

Getting in touch: VoyageLA is built on recommendations from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you know someone who deserves recognition please let us know here.

1 Comment

  1. Maria Garcia

    May 10, 2018 at 02:47

    Awesome pictures and story

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