Behind-the-Scenes

Meet Our Soul Mates: Soul Flower Wholesale


How do we put the SOUL in Soul Flower? When we first created Soul Flower, our name seemed the perfect combination of spirit and beauty. But did you know Soul Flower has a deeper meaning? Sure, the flower is easily defined – you can see it in the beautiful & lovely items we choose. But we want to spend some time telling you also about the Soul.

The soul of our goods is really important to us – we work hard to make sure that our products are being made in a fair way. We seek quality, raw materials that are in tune with mother earth. We ask hard questions of our partners & strive to find not just the most beautiful things but also the most thoughtful & ethically made items we can. We find small, local manufacturers to work with. Then we develop strong relationships with the people making our products – striving to not only make sure they are treated fairly but also to improve their livelihood and communities.

But to make this happen, we have awesome folks we work with – other artisans and designers who have followed a similar path in manufacturing their creations – and so for that reason, we want you to MEET OUR SOUL MATES. For each of these posts, we will introduce you to an artist, manufacturer or designer from Soul Flower & learn about their soulful practices. You will love their inspiring stories. Plus, we will feature a week-long sale on a few of their select creations on our site. So, meet…

Our First Soul Mate: Soul Flower (yeah, that’s us…)

These are our own exclusive and unique creations. Most of these designs are t-shirts from our CircleTees line, which are designed right here, in (ware)house at Soul Flower by your buds Peggy & Leiah. We combine unique artwork with purposeful messages. Who wouldn’t want to encourage others to let their soul shine? Or fly an eco-freako flag? Or to come on get happy?


Save 30% on any of these four shirts with coupon code SOULMATE1
(good until 9/9)


By spreading a message of peace & positivity in our daily lives we hope to keep kindness always at the center of our thoughts and actions. And to really complete this message we choose organic cotton and other natural fibers whenever we can. Plus we print our tees in small batches right here in the USA.

Probably one of our most soulful choices in our creations is our use of organic cotton… a simple choice that can make a world of difference. Why?

Conventional cotton farming is one of the most damaging types of farming towards the environment. Producing cotton uses 25% of all insecticides in the world and 10% of all pesticides. It is second (corn is first) in the amount of chemicals used to produce it. It you buy just one t-shirt made from organic cotton, you are saving 1/3 a pound of synthetic fertilizers & pesticides from entering the environment. These chemicals damage soil so badly it can’t produce, harm animals in the vicinity, and ultimately contribute to global warming.

Natural and organic fiber clothing are processed with as few chemicals and harmful impact on the environment as possible. By purchasing natural and organic fiber clothing you support environmental causes & help to nourishes the earth and the lives of all people involved in the process of growing, manufacturing and distributing the clothing. Growing cotton organically takes skill. It takes time & patience. And, yes, it is more expensive. But worth it!

Soul Flower works hard to keep positive vibes going – and our tees are just one way we do that. We hope you enjoy wearing them. Peace.

Additional information about organic cotton:
Detoxify: tips to become more organic in your life
– Compare It: Differences between conventional & organic cotton
Just the Facts, Jack: what is organic cotton

DIY Soul Flower Threads

Check this Out! Our Bud Leiah has been doing some great side projects using old Soul Flower scraps to create great, new styles. She got the Soul Flower Positively Hemp Cargos for her beau & ended up creating a sweet belt from the hemming scraps. Then she took an old, no good tapestry (or so we thought) to create a sweet new wrap skirt. Check out the results below and read all about these & other cool sewing projects in her blog Ruby Bows.

Winner! $30 Gift Certificate

Hey buds! Thank you all for your entries (there were a lot!) – we love reading all your stories about flowers and the variety of flowers you like!

We have a winner, and it is Maggie, whose soul flower is the lilac:
Maggie, please contact us at yourbuds@soul-flower.com so we can send your your $30 gift certificate! Happy shopping!

Giveaway drawing: What’s your soul flower?

photo by Photon Phisher

Hey buds! We’ve had contests on our Facebook page before, but this is more like a giveaway drawing… The prize? A $30 gift certificate to Soul-Flower.com!
To enter, leave a comment on this blog post with your answer to the following question:

What is your soul flower? That one flower that speaks to your soul and warms your heart… the one that catches your eye every spring and brings the biggest smile to your face…

Share with us your favorite flower, and why you feel like it is your soul flower.

On Friday, June 18 at noon central time, we’ll pick a random winner. You can use your gift certificate to purchase anything you want from Soul-Flower.com, and we’ll even throw in free shipping on your order.

Be sure to leave your name and email/contact info so we can get in touch with you if you win. Good luck!

Part 4 of 4: Meet the Glue Krewe!

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.


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!

Peace & Love ♥ Team Soul Flower

Part 3 of 4: Meet the Dew Krewe!

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.


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!

Introducing…

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! 🙂

Coming up: Meet the Glue Krewe!

Part 2 of 4: Meet the True Krewe!

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…


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!

Part 1 of 4: Soul Flower Warehouse!

This post is the first in a series of 4 posts about the Soul Flower warehouse and the people who work here. We are starting with an introduction to where we work – our warehouse:

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!



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.

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!


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?”)


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.



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!


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.


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!


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!

Meet Peggy, Soul Flower Co-Founder

My name is Peggy, I live & virtually work in my home town, Des Moines IA. 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 hanging with my kiddles, great food (cooking), good books, and live music.

Here is a link to an article about me that just ran in our local paper – you can read a bit about me & about soul-flower.com.

My Favorite Band: Michael Franti & Spearhead.
My Favorite Soul Flower find: My Zoey Wrap Dress with the green mandalas. Got it over a year ago & still wear it all the time!
My Favorite website (besides Soul-Flower.com of course): http://www.etsy.com

Giving Back

Here are Soul Flower we do our best to keep the vibe going. We support environmental organizations who are working hard to reverse the harsh effects man has had on the world. We also believe in supporting local community – as an internet shop, it is hard to focus on what is local, as our customers are all over the world. But our day to day lives, at least those of Mike & Peggy, the founders of Soul Flower, find us in Des Moines IA, a great city with many great organizations that help to make our community & world a better place.

In 2009, we continued our efforts with the
Arbor Day Foundation to plant two trees for every one that we use in our catalog production. This is an effort we proudly began in 2008 and continued this year. We helped with an amazing project to plant 125,000 total longleaf pine trees in the Manchester State Forest in South Carolina.

Also in 2009, Soul Flower supported the the Des Moines Music Coalition (
DMMC) in producing the 8035 Festival in Des Moines, IA. We continue to support Camp Courageous (also located in Iowa) by donating enuf to send 8 kids to the camp in 2009. (Camp Courageous works with disabled children and adults to build self-esteem through an awesome camp experience – please check them out if you get a chance.) We continue our support of the Iowa Food Bank. We began working with a new organization this year as well called After School Arts Program (ASAP). We realize there are many great organizations out there, so please let us know if you have a favorite you would like to see us support.


In addition, we support Carbonfund.org in helping to offset Soul Flower’s carbon footprint; and we continue to expand our green practices as a company.


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