Buds, it seems impossible but it’s been almost 20 years since we started our little hippie shop on Grand Ave in St Paul, MN. We are celebrating all year long with fun throwback t-shirts, great deals and awesome memories. So take a walk down memory lane with these great old photos and stay tuned to our blog for more awesome stories and photos throughout the year! (more…)
Introducing our new Soul Flower logo! Sometimes companies will hire out when refreshing their branding. We kept it in-house. As you know, our Soul Flower original designs are hand made by our in-house designers. And they’re screen printed by hand in our print shop right here in our warehouse in Minnesota. What you might NOT know is we also have a small team of creatives who do all of our photography, online graphics, and branding. We have all the creative brainpower we need right here at Soul Flower! Our logo was a group effort, inspired by our past but with an eye toward our future.
Recently, all us buds here at Soul Flower got together, ate some insanely good pizza and talked about the things that make Soul Flower everything that it is to us. We did a bit of serious reflection, and also had quite a lot of laughs, and what came out of it was a list of almost 150 things that Soul Flower represents to us. Which is a lot! So we took that list and began to narrow it down to a few things that are truly at the heart of Soul Flower, and what came out of it was a poem we now embrace as our very own MANIFESTO!(more…)
Recently we created a set of eco icons to help define the products on our site. The fun thing about eco icons is that they are pretty cute. But the beneficial side of eco icons is that they can help you find out about a product nice and quick.
Hey buds, if you want to get a behind the scene glimpse of what goes down at Soul Flower on a day-to-day basis, Instagram is the place to do it. Check out images of our team rockin’ out at the warehouse, staging photo shoots and just being our goofy, fun selves out ‘n’ about in MN and more! 🙂
This Valentine’s Day I would just like to tell all of you how amazing you’ve been. Good vibes abound here at Soul Flower, thanks to you! We can’t help but Love you buds! Your enthusiasm and support never fails to amaze us. Every time we go onto Facebook, (i.e. the internet) we’re always welcomed with wonderful energy and great stories.
There have been several instances where I almost hugged my computer, because the messages you send put a huge smile on my face. You go beyond the support of buying our product by sharing your insights, humor, and soul through your comments & letters, and it never goes unnoticed.
Ha- that’s ME! (…If I were bald & not lovingly addicted to the internet)
My job title here at Soul Flower is Copywriter/Daydreamer, and part of my role is to keep tabs on our Social Media. I want you to know: I read every little line of it; I even read the best ones out loud. I gush and geek out over the pictures and witty, inspiring words of wisdom. In fact, that’s how this blog came about. The other week I burst into the office across the hall, ecstatic about the response you buds were giving on a post. I gushed, “Do you see this!? I want to hug my computer; they just rock!” To which our photographer, Jenn said, “You should tell them that!” It only makes sense.
So, here I am. Writing you a love letter of sorts. 🙂
I heart my job to pieces, and a lot of that is due to YOU! Some of you post frequently, and I’m starting to feel like we’ve hung out, or hiked a favorite trail together – it feels like I’ve actually met you! You’ve made social media the friendly place it was intended to be, and you spread the good vibe that Soul Flower stands for. If your messages one day stopped (fingers crossed they don’t!) and my inbox became a ghost town, I’d miss you all tremendously! So please don’t let that happen. Instead, be Soul Flower’s Valentine?
Guess what? We’ve finally joined the Pinterest craze! If you have a Pinterest account (or will be making one today) be sure to come follow us. We’ll be pinning our latest fashions, craft interests, quotes and overall inspiration.
On Pinterest you can “pin” photos in order to save ideas and links that you love. It’s much like creating your own personal online magazine. To keep your pins organized you are able to create as many boards as you like, such as “Style Inspiration” or “Words of Wisdom.” They will look like this:
Want more? We’ll be sharing all of our Soul Flower favorites, such as Karma Krewe reviews, Fresh Picks and videos, along with random beauty and inspiration from a variety of outside sources, (like the painted rocks and wall graffiti pictured above). Anytime you like what you see, all you need to do is click “Repin,” and BOOM! it’s on your board. With the pin button, you can also go on all of your favorite websites and start a pinning craze all your own.
IT IS ADDICTING! But I’ve placed it in the category of “good addictions,” you know, like coffee. Some addictive insanity is needed to stay sane…at least, that’s the saying I made up to make this ALL okay for ALL of us. 😉 So, if you pin once and find you’ve pinned a thousand times by tomorrow, you can’t say I didn’t warn you!
Ahh holiday gift shopping – you either love it or hate it, right? Help take the stress and guessing game out & get what you really want this year: create your very own wishlist at Soul Flower! No more size guessing, or even worse – style guessing. Show them what you want instead. You can add any item from Soul Flower to your wishlist, then share it with anyone.
If you’ve never used Wishlists on Soul-Flower.com before, here’s a quick tutorial:
Soul Flower Originals are our exclusive designs that feature original artwork and reflect positive messages of peace, mother nature and music. We choose organic cotton and other natural fibers, like recycled PET, whenever we can, and this fall we’ve just released our “greenest” line-up yet!
While the Soul Flower line has always been environmentally focused, the Fall / Winter 2011 catalog has improved even further on fabric selections and manufacturing techniques that impact the environment even less. As our X-Factor Mike says —
Soul Flower’s line of original eco-friendly styles are now dyed and manufactured in the good ol’ U.S.A., while the screen printing is done locally in small batches to reduce waste. This season’s line includes fashion forward styles like concave T-shirts, long sleeved scoop dresses, soft hoodies and lounge pants.
Our organic clothing concept comes from the idea of getting back what you give – simply put, karma. We love both you (our customer!) AND our Mother Earth – so we work hard to please you both by creating unique, quality products and focusing on sustainable fabrics and earth friendly practices.
Be Kind, Be Soulful, and always Be Yourself, Soul Flower
Ever wonder how our Soul Flower Original designs come about? Well today, all those questions are being answered by our graphic designer, Leiah – the talent behind those positive, upbeat, gotta-have-it Soul Flower designs!
So…Tell us a little about yourself, Leiah.
My name is Leiah and I am the (self-titled) Pixologist here at Soul Flower! The term Pixologist (to me) means a graphic designer who mixes handmade and traditional art techniques with digital processes and pixels to create cool stuff.
I studied Studio Art in college, and first got into graphic design creating posters for my school’s choir. After graduating, I worked for the University of Minnesota graphic designing, and then found my niche at Soul Flower doing what I love most—a mix of graphic design AND art. Originally, I got into graphic design because there was a need for a creative person to produce marketing pieces. I knew the basics of Photoshop and studying art helped develop my eye for aesthetics, so I was the girl for the job!
How long have you worked for Soul Flower?
Soul Flower hired me at first to help out in the warehouse picking and packing orders in the summer of 2009. Working hard on the side doing graphic design projects for Soul Flower gave me that extra push I needed to snag the best position I could ask for at Soul Flower – as their graphic designer! I’ve been Pixologist since May 2010
Do you have a favorite Soul Flower design that you created?
I really like one of our newest designs, Soul Rebel Cycles. For this design, I really pushed myself to come up with something super creative and a little bit badass, which was fun. Another favorite is Be Yourself, a tweener and now women’s tee design. It’s super simple, but has a great positive message, which I love.
What process do you go through to create a T-shirt design?
First of all, I’m always on the lookout for inspiration. I’m constantly collecting images that grab my attention and that I think could inspire a sweet design. The Karma Captain (Peggy) and I then talk through some concepts we think our Soul Flower customers would love. If you haven’t noticed already, here at Soul Flower we especially love peace, love, nature, and music!
Then comes time to draw! Depending on the concept, the design will either stay pretty true to the original sketch (like Road Warrior, Soul Rebel Cycles), or it gets a sweet digital treatment (like Gypsy Soul, Soul Flower Nouveau). Most of my designs started as a hand-drawn sketch, and evolved from there.
I like keeping it real with the designs I create. Along the way, I use real pencils, ink, crayons, and paper. I used a linoleum block to create Soul Flower Block Print, and a stencil and spray paint for Free Your Mind.
Line and color. I love lines and see them in everything: line drawings, outlines of tree branches, strands of hair, the veins on a leaf, stitching on clothing… And color: I love color! Since childhood I’ve been a huge fan of Lisa Frank, Rainbow Brite, everything rainbow, tie dye, and just bright colors in general.
Blog Image Did any Soul Flower designs come to you like a lightning bolt, like, BAM! Yes, I have to make that!? One in particular – Peacock. One day I thought, “I really feel like drawing a peacock.” I didn’t even know if we’d end up using it, but I drew it anyway. Next thing I knew, Soul Flower’s Peacock shirt was flying off the shelves and we even translated the drawing into another design, Birds of a Feather. People love peacocks!
What other artistic hobbies are you into?
Bookbinding, art journaling, printmaking now and then, sewing, knitting (although I’m not very good at finishing any knitting projects!), and cooking. Does cooking count?
Where do you typically draw designs?
I work at home, so anywhere comfy! Actually, I prefer to sit down at a table with good lighting and draw. Sometimes the hours just slip away when I’m working on something; I love that state of flow.
Do you work in silence? If you listen to music, what’s your favorite draw-time tunes?
Usually I’m listening to music, and it depends on my mood as to what gets played. I have a couple of playlists that right now consist of some Trampled by Turtles, Jem, Alison Krauss, Nicki Minaj, Alanis Morisette, The Shins, and lots of Soulive.
A favorite moment from the short lived, but nonetheless amazing series, Freaks and Geeks, is the episode where Nick convinces Lindsay to skip school. When they arrive at his house, he immediately takes her into the garage and excitedly shows her the pieces of his drum set. As he gushes on about his love of music, he tosses an invaluable piece of information at her:
“Teachers want us to work, and I say, “Fine, I’ll work. But you’ve gotta let me do the kind of work that I wanna do.” And for me, it’s my drum kit, man. This is my passion. This is the essence of who I am now. But before I had this, I was lost, too. You see what I’m saying? You need to find your reason for living. You’ve gotta find your big, gigantic drum kit.”
And when he says that, you know he’s hitting on exactly what Lindsay needs. She hasn’t found anything that she’s impassioned about, and she’s embarrassed by the things that she used to put her energies into, such as being a “mathlete.” So it’s no wonder she’s feeling a little lost; she’s following the crowd instead of following her own bliss.
Actually, this quote totally brings to mind Peggy, our Karma Captain here at Soul Flower. Peggy’s all about the follow your passion mentality. It’s something she works hard to incorporate into all the fine details that make Soul Flower what it is – the catalog, the website, the clothes; you name it – the main message that we constantly express throughout it all is: Be Kind, Be Soulful, Be Yourself…which is all about finding your passions and following them.
Although we’re discovering ourselves and our passions throughout our lives, there is no time quite like the school years for learning what it is we need to lead a fulfilling life. It’s definitely something we need to adjust and tweak throughout our lives, but the school years teach us a lot about what we need, not only to grow up, but to make us happy.
Which is an important lesson to learn, because high school, college and life in general can get pretty complicated and hectic at times (don’t we all know it!).
Luckily, we are doing a Back-to-school Survival Kit Giveaway, because you can’t focus on learning and pursuing your life’s passion if you lack what you need to get through a crazy school day comfortably. So this survival kit will aid whomever wins on that journey towards finding their “drum kit, man.” All you gotta do to enter is follow this link and either sign up for our newsletter (under join our email list) OR update your email preferences through our latest newsletter. If you WIN you will receive ourBirds of a Feather Messenger Bagstuffed with:
After starting up our Kind Heads Photo Donations and focusing our energies on back to school, we found ourselves in a nostalgic state of mind. With thoughts of our old school days, and the funky, cute, and sometimes geekishly independent fashions we used to wear as kids, we began to realize that the funky sense of style we had as children definitely carried over to the cool Soul Flower style we have today. So, since you’re all sharing so many great photos with us, we figured we outta share some with you, too. Check it!
Since we’re busy shooting photos for Soul Flower’s Fall 2011 catalog, we figured it would be the perfect time to tell you how much it means to us when you share your Soul Flower moments with us. In fact, we love the pictures of you in your Soul Flower threads so much, we’ve decided to donate $1 for every picture that we publish in our photo album. Sending us your photo could help a good cause, and if we choose to publish it, we will donate that dollar. So what cause is this, you say?
Every few months, we will choose a charity close to our (and your) hearts to donate the dollars to. To help kick it all off & since it’s back to school, our first round of Kind Heads dollars will go to Vega Productions. Vega Productions mission is:
“to rebuild and revitalize music and art education in Minnesota. We [Vega Productions] strive to provide resources and programming for schools that have been forced to eliminate or reduce music and art education from their curriculum because of budget cuts.”
But that is just our first cause! In order to truly spread good karma the charity we donate to will change every three months. So, from here on out the charities will be selected through a FacebookPoll by you, our fans! 🙂 Once the poll is posted on facebook there will be a few charities to choose from; simply vote for the charity you’d like to see our proceeds go to, and that is that. The charity with the most votes will receive our Kind Heads donations.
This first poll will determine the next charity we donate to – so watch facebook for our next poll in a few months. And in the meantime…..
Here at Soul Flower we’re all about sharing positive vibes to help others and our earth. One of the ways we give back is by supporting Carbonfund.org to help offset our carbon footprint. It’s a great organization that leads projects in clean energy, energy efficiency and reforestation. And more trees is never a bad thing! 🙂
Our recycled Bicycle Earrings and bestselling Nomadic Good Soul Rope Sandals made their way into the green fashion-lifestyle magazine boho! Blog Image Blog Image Pick up a copy of the summer 2010 issue of boho at newsstands, bookstores (including Barnes & Noble and Borders), Whole Foods, or Target (among others).
In our previous post, you got to meet the Dew Krewe: Chad, Jenn, and Joe! In this post, you’ll get to meet everyone else involved with the Soul Flower company.
Blog Image 10am – 6pm The Glue Krewe is so named because these are the people that hold everything together day in and day out. Daily, the Glue Krewe picks and packs all of your orders! We also keep the warehouse running efficiently by keeping it clean, tidy, and by keeping all the products organized and stocked on the shelves.
We love it when we can keep our members of the Glue Krewe for a long period of time, but we understand that everyone is growing and changing. So the team members of this krewe come and go, but we will always remember everyone who worked here! Currently, we have 2 full-time members of the Glue Krewe, and 1 part-time member.
Let’s meet ’em!
Leiah My name is Leiah and I grew up in southwestern Minnesota, but now live in Minneapolis with my best friend and boyfriend of 4 years, Rob. I recently graduated from the University of Minnesota with a degree in Studio Art, and now am working at the U of M as a graphic designer and also working part-time at Soul Flower! I enjoy printmaking, bookmaking, drawing, photography, graphic design, sewing, collage, and collecting. Besides art, I also enjoy pizza, blank journals in book stores, hot tea, shopping, reading, and warm winter mittens. Your Favorite take-out food: Artichoke Dip from Pizza Luce! Your Favorite flower: Poppies Your Favorite shoes: (besides my mukluks from Soul Flower), my Minnetonka moccasins
Britt Hello all, I am Brittany, currently the shortest employee here at Soul Flower. At work I take care of all your orders, picking and packing each one, and most likely shipping them out with an original sketch by me. Each night when I leave work I love to go home and make a big Italian dinner, and then eat it of course. I usually burn all those calories by taking walks to shops, hiking, and biking around the lakes here in Minneapolis. I am an avid fisherman, “just like making them late” as Mitch would say. I enjoy taking my pet turtle out in the summer, he likes it too! I love live music and dancing, road tripping is my favorite, but I enjoy watching local artist as well. I love westerns, Tombstone, Unforgiven, Young Guns…you know. That’s it for now. Favorite Flower: The Tulip, Pretty. Simple. Favorite Vacation: Road Trips!!! Tie between Miami with my sister, or unknown small town with mom and dad to oldest outdoor movie theater. Favorite Soul Flower Find:SOL034 Music is Life Eco Hoody. P.S. I love getting all of the nice notes from our customers in the “gift message” area. Keep them coming!
And that concludes our 4-part Meet the Soul Flower Krewe series! We hope you enjoyed getting to know us and our workplace a little bit better. Soul Flower is a small company devoted to giving you, the customer, the very best!
In our previous post, you got to meet the True Krewe: the founders of Soul Flower! In this post and the next 1, you’ll get to meet everyone else involved with the Soul Flower company.
Blog Image 9am – 10am 9:00 a.m. is when the morning crew (Dew Krewe!) arrives at the Soul Flower warehouse. The members of the Dew Krewe rotate between our 3 buds Chad, Jenn, and Joe. These three have been with Soul Flower the longest, and know all the ropes around the warehouse. In the mornings, they open up the customer services phone lines to your calls, take a look at all the orders that were placed on the website that night, print invoices, organize the books, and get everything ready so that the packing can begin!
Chad I’m Chad and I’ve spent the last 5 years running Soul-Flower’s operations, and doing my best to make Soul-Flower the best possible place to shop and to work. I live and play in Minneapolis with my wife Liz. Outside work, my favorite hobbies are building things from wood, puttering in the garage, and home improvement, plus listening music, and watching sports. I very rarely miss a Badger or Viking game, and I love to catch a favorite band on a Saturday night. Your Favorite Band: Phish Your Favorite Soul Flower find:PLA002 Recycled Stripes Hoody Your Favorite website (besides Soul-Flower.com of course): espn.com Your Favorite tree: family Your Favorite take-out food: pizza Your Favorite person: wife Liz of course! You think she doesn’t look at this about us page? Your Favorite bird: Scarlet Macaw Your Favorite flower: white whole wheat Your Favorite color: forest green Your Favorite shoes: 1996 Doc Martens Your Favorite hat: bad ass fedora from NYC Your Favorite team: Vikings. Shut up. Your Favorite piece of jewelry: wedding ring, otherwise not a jewelry fan Your Favorite Snack: emergency beef jerky from my glove compartment (when eaten in a non emergency situation) Your Favorite Blog:http://elliotgraven.blogspot.com Your Favorite Facebook Friend: anyone I’d never hear from otherwise Your Favorite Tweet you have ever seen: what the hell is a tweet? Sounds lame Your Favorite fruit: cherries Your Favorite Vegetable: do I have dip? If so then broccoli, if not then yellow pear tomatoes Your Favorite Vacation EVER: Europe 1972, wait that’s a Dead album, Europe 2000 Your Favorite live show EVER: Phish 12/31/99 midnight to 7 a.m. never sat down, only went to the bathroom once.
Jenn My name is Jennifer and I have been happily working at Soulflower for about 8 years now! Im sure I have talked to many of you on the phone and via email. I also take a lot of the photos you will see online and in the catalog and help to find cool new threads for you! I live and work in St Paul, MN with a couple of my best friends and my dog Kodiak. I love playing outdoors, hiking the woods with my dog, biking, kayaking. traveling, and exploring new things. I also spend a lot of time with my family and friends, camping, going to see live music, collecting vinyl records, and getting comfy with a good book. My Favorite Soulflower find: My Revolutions Eco Yoga Pants and my Make Music Not War Eco Hoody. My two wardrobe staples. My Favorite Vacation EVER: Backpacking Thailand/Cambodia My Favorite Tree: Banyan (Ficus Benghalensis) ; )
Joe Hi! My name is Joe. I am a Minnesota boy born and raised. I spend my work days swimming in the ever changing pools of customer satisfaction. Between picking, packing, shipping, doing returns, quality and stock control I get to be a Soul-Flower elf! When not working, I enjoy being at home fixing up the duplex I lord over. With that my roomies and I enjoy gaming on multiple different systems but fun most certainly ensues. You can also find me out biking the lakes (weather permitting, I’m not that hardcore), kicking a soccer ball around, trying new cooking ideas/foods, going to see live music and whenever possible having bare feet. Environment is everything so I certainly try and follow the respect, reduce, reuse, recycle mantra whenever possible. My Favorite Soul Flower find: Has been the SOL072 pants. I have had all three colors since we introduced them and will wear them until they fall off and then get some more! Followed closely by our hoody selection. My Favorite Color(s): Is the entire spectrum that runs from green to blue. My Favorite Band: Right now – The Wailin’ Jenny’s My Favorite Band(s): I could never choose just one but UM, SCI, Phish, Grateful Dead, The Beatles, Keller and Guster are ones that dominate my CD player time and time again. Special thanks to our customers for their positive vibes, stories and love and to my co-workers for making/sharing in a place where a job doesn’t have to be all work and no fun. THANK YOU! 🙂
In our previous post, you got to see a tour of our Soul Flower warehouse, a.k.a. the place where we all work! In this post and the next 2, you’ll get to meet everyone involved with the Soul Flower company.
Let’s take a look at a typical day at Soul Flower…
Blog Image 6pm – 9am 6:00 p.m. is when we close up the warehouse, and between that time and 9:00 a.m. when we open the next morning, things still get done! The website is always up and running, and that’s probably when you do a lot of your online shopping at Soul-Flower.com.
The True Krewe (as I like to call them!) consists of owners Mike & Peggy. They are the true founders and the original team members of the Soul Flower company. These two are always working on things to keep Soul-Flower running smoothly. They are in charge of selecting and ordering products for Soul Flower, designing the original Soul Flower line of products, finances, marketing, the website, catalogs, wholesale, and everything else running a business entails. Let’s meet them now!
Mike Hi buds – Mike here. My role with Soul-flower is to be a good multi-tasker; I deal with the marketing and finances for Soul-flower. I also work with our design partners and go on buying trips. One of the best parts of my Soul-flower life is getting to go to St. Paul and hang with our incredible crew. When I’m not working you’ll find me enjoying family time with Peggy, Siera, and Dakota. I love to eat good food (Vegetarian), go see live music, enjoy a good beer/wine, play golf, and hang with my friends. Favorite Take-out food: Thai Curry Favorite Tree: any LIVE one Favorite Songwriter: Bob Dylan Favorite Singer: Jerry Garcia (especially when he plays a Dylan tune!)
Peggy My name is Peggy, I live & virtually work in my home town, Des Moines IA, my business Soul-Flower.com is in St Paul MN. I spend most of my work days on my computer designing clothing, bits of our website & finding cool, new things for Soulflower. When I am not working, I love hanging out with my family (2 kids,a cat & a husband, Mike, who is also my biz partner). My favorites beyond work are my kiddles, great food (cooking), good books, and live music. Your Favorite Band: right now – Michael Franti & Spearhead. Your Favorite Soul Flower find: My Zoey Wrap Dress with the green mandalas. Got it over a year ago & still wear it all the time! Your Favorite website (besides Soul-Flower.com of course):http://www.etsy.com
Mike and Peggy both work from Des Moines, Iowa, but since our warehouse is located in Saint Paul, Minnesota, we have a few more important faces for you to meet! Both of these krewes keep all the behind-the-scenes ops and the warehouse running smoothly. Coming up: Meet the Dew Krewe and the Glue Krewe!
If you’ve done some exploring around this Soul-Flower Blog, you may have come across a blog post from July 2008 about the Soul Flower warehouse. We’re still in the same building we were two years ago, but the times they are a’changin’ and we’ve made some big changes to the warehouse and our process.
In this post, we’ll take a tour of Soul Flower North (a.k.a. the Soul Flower Warehouse), and in the next 3 posts, you’ll get to meet all of the SF buds!
Let’s start the tour!
Blog Image This is the hall of Soul Flower fame! All of our previous catalogs are framed up on the wall, right next to our favorite concert/band posters. Blog Image The hallway is decorated with Soul Flower memorabilia and notes from our customers! If we love your handwritten note (and we always do!) you can count on it being tacked up on the wall some place!
Blog Image We love music. And we listen to it all day long! This shelf is filled with our favorite CDs, so there will never be a silent moment… (and if there is, we can all count on Joe to say “HEY! Can we get some tunes?”)
Blog Image All of our SF merchandise is delivered right to the warehouse via our old skool elevator lift. Some days we’ll have dozens of boxes waiting to be sorted on to the shelves! And see that stack of cardboard in the background? That stack is ready to be taken to recycling: we reuse or recycle all of our big ol’ cardboard boxes.
Blog Image Blog Image Blog Image Blog Image Here it is: the main room of the warehouse in all its glory! We’ve got shelves and shelves of products, all sorted by type and product id number, so we can quickly and efficiently pick everything to be sent out to you! Our walls display some old tapestries to keep it lively. You can even see Joe in the last photo, rushing to pick out all the bags to be sent out!
Blog Image Blog Image We have a separate room for accessories (it is temperature-controlled so our body balms and soaps don’t melt!). This room also doubles as our lunch room, which is a sweet place to kick back (with tunes, of course!) and chow down.
Blog Image Blog Image In the two opposite corners of the warehouse, we store some pretty important stuff. In the one corner is tubs and tubs full of extra product that doesn’t fit on the shelves, and in the other corner is where we keep packaging supplies (boxes, envelopes) as well as our huge bins for recycling! As you probably know, here at Soul Flower, we think, work, and live green. And we recycle absolutely everything possible that comes in our door– this includes takeout dishes, pop cans, Tyvek envelopes, paper, and more!
Blog Image Last but not least, here is a glimpse in to where all the packing happens! In this beautifully-sunlit room is where we spend most of our day putting together the orders and packing each one up to be sent out. It’s a great place to work: notes from happy customers on the walls, Soul Flower goods all around, and tunes flowing– every day!
We have been working hard to create another great catalog experience for all of our buds out there. We just want to give you a quick preview of what is coming.
Our catalog designer, Mindy, has been hard at work on creating original artwork with a Soul Flower flair…she does an awesome job! Check out the cover for our fall/winter catalog. And check out Mindy’s site, MayDayDesign.net, for more information on her & her awesome work.
Hello to all of our buds in blog-land. Better late than never, we are finally starting an official Soul-Flower Blog. So much of our day-to-day work involves talking with customers and hearing your stories, we thought we should take a little time to share some of our stories with you. Our blog will create another way to connect to you (our customers and friends), as well as a place to share more about Soul-Flower and the things we care about and take an interest in.
So, to start it all off, here is Soul-Flower’s birth story:
Mike & I both were working in the corporate world when we made a decision to start our own company. We liked our jobs, but were far from getting the most out of life when most of our waking hours were spent in front of our computer screens, coding in my case, selling in mike’s case. We thought, hey, let’s figure out a way to make a living out of what we love most. And what we loved most always came back to the music. We have been festival goers for years, starting with the Grateful Dead (various shows/tours from ’85-’93), then NO Jazz Festival, Horde Fest, and many regional gatherings. We had a couple of friends with a classic hippie shop in Iowa City, The Peaceful Fool, and they were kind enuf to give us tips and ideas on opening a store. Owning our own business was nothing we had done before, but we had the love and commitment to create what became Soul-Flower. With positive attitudes, a little capital, and alot of sweat equity we started off on our own ‘long, strange trip’…
We opened the doors (in october 1999) to our 1000 square foot shop on Grand Avenue in St Paul, MN. It was a little boutique full of Hippie duds, Jam Band T-Shirts, Posters, Stickers, Patches, and lots of other cool threads. We relied on the many college students in the area, and of course there were good days and bad days, but looking back it was a blast – especially getting to know the students and locals in the community. Folks like Mike M-our local Grateful Dead statistician who could name a dead show in just a few notes of Jerry’s Blog Image guitar; Carl-the guitar playing, bike-riding minimalist who would stop by daily to just say hello; Katelyn – the baby and now young girl whose mama owned the Thai restaurant next door (Pad Thai Cafe – one of the best Thai restaurants in St.Paul); all the SPA students who would visit after school each day; the list goes on…we had just a few employees – most of whom we are still in touch with, and some that are still working with us 🙂 We were also getting our name out in the midwest scene by vending various festivals and events – something that we finally have given up as our own Soul-flower family (Siera and Cody) grows.
Now fast forward 9 years and we’ve transformed from a brick and mortar boutique into an online boutique. Soul-flower
still resides in St.Paul, but now we work from the second floor of an old warehouse that has been funked up to suit the laid back and fun attitude of the team. Oh, and somewhere along this trip we decided to start printing a mail order catalog, which has been an absolute blast. So 9 catalogs later here we are, in front of our computers again…only now it is all good. I think that Soul-Flower, much like a child, has grown into it’s own entity – we created her but she has become her own, independent, growing experiment.
Blog Image So now, Soul-Flower is a catalog and online store, a bit different from the original boutique – but we are more passionate and committed than ever to continue creating the same friendly, community-related atmosphere online that we had at our shop. It can be a tough act – i.e., personalizing the internet – but we believe the littlest things make a big difference. A thoughtful product (from concept to existence), a pleasant phone call, an extra note (and occasional random gift) in your package, a thank you to our customers. Our company has always been defined by the Golden Rule – treat others as you would like to be treated and everything else will be fine. When you’re happy, we’re happy.