Last week was quiet at the Soul Flower warehouse up in snowy Saint Paul, Minnesota. But for a few of the Soul Flower buds, February 14-16 was not-so-quiet and quite the opposite of snowy!
On Valentine’s Day, Soul Flower owners Mike & Peggy, along with buds Jenn & Leiah all headed west to the middle of the desert: Las Vegas, for the biggest fashion tradeshow in the world, MAGIC. MAGIC is a show where hundreds of vendors from all over the country gather to show off their goods and meet with retailers who want to buy their products. Soul Flower is a retailer AND a wholesaler, but at MAGIC Soul Flower was there to buy!
When we arrived in Vegas, we hit the ground running and headed straight to MAGIC from the airport. The rest of the day was spent in the convention center, walking around the show checking out vendors’ booths that would catch our eye, and searching for cool new products to carry at Soul-Flower.com. It’s a lot like shopping, except you’re not shopping for yourself (you’re shopping for ALL Soul Flower customers), and you can’t take anything home (we just placed orders and won’t be seeing the items again until they’re shipped to us). Sounds easy, but it is hard work!
At Soul Flower, it’s our mission to seek out and buy from vendors who are environmentally and socially conscious. That means we look for sustainable and eco-friendly fabrics (organic cotton, recycled poly, bamboo, hemp, etc) made by workers who are treated fairly and make a livable wage. We also look for companies who work at improving quality of life for workers, for products that are made in the USA, and items made by independent designers & jewelers. Of course it’s not always possible to achieve all these goals in every product we find, but we know our priorities and what’s important to us as a company. Even at MAGIC, there were booths with items we fell in love with at first sight, but when the vendors couldn’t give us a straight and confident answer about the conditions at their manufacturing plants or the source of their materials, we had to walk away.
The best thing about MAGIC is discovering awesome new products. A lot of the vendors we buy from are artists: they draw their own designs and screenprint it all themselves, or they design and hand-make their entire line of jewelry. It’s inspiring to see what everyone has come up with, and we love supporting small companies and independent artists so they can continue to follow their bliss. 🙂
We bought some exciting new items from our tried-and-true vendors, and found some new up-and-coming companies to work with, too – and we’re looking forward to introducing some fresh styles to Soul-Flower.com in the coming months.
Our trip to Vegas was short, but jam-packed with meeting & greeting new people, handpicking out the best of the best to carry at Soul Flower, and of course a TON of walking and people-watching 🙂
For more photos of the show, check out The MAGIC Marketplace flickr and POOLTRADESHOW Photos.