Interview with the Founder of Soul Carrier
When and where did you come up with name Soul Carrier? How does it reflect or shape the design? What gives these bags (and your brand) “soul?”
I was brainstorming with my friend Andy Brown (the Phoenix mural artist and guy behind the local brand Solider Leisure). Andy had suggested the word “Carrier” as something simple and straight forward for the brand’s name. I responded “Yeah, but it’s needs something more…what about the name Soul Carrier!?” I immediately checked Go Daddy to see if the Domain name was free, it was, and that is the origination of the name. The word soul had been floating around in my head due to a conversation with another very dear friend, Cameron Donnell, prior to my meeting with Andy. Cameron and I always had deep soul chats and that particular conversation stuck with me. And I liked the concept of creating a brand that inspired people to carry their soul in all that they do. The brand name shapes the design aesthetic, in the sense that every time I design a bag, I think about my customer going out int the world, on her journey, living her life, and carrying her soul into all that she does. I want my legacy to be that I was the girl that wasn’t afraid to walk through the fire, I want to be remembered for being tenacious, resilient and a soul warrior. I want to inspire people to have the courage to live out their dreams and to be authentic to what is going on in their soul, versus what the world is pushing them to do, that is what I think makes Soul Carrier “soulful”.
How has life in the Southwest (and being back home in Arizona) influenced your designs?
I live in a mid-century modern Al Beadle home that is made up of 90 degree angles and very straight lines. The linear, minimalist aesthetic definitely influences my handbag designs. My father was a commercial architect here in Phoenix, and I grew up going to job sites, and playing on the office floor of the architectural firms my father worked at, all of that has shaped me as a designer. And although, I am the furtherest thing from a country-western girl, I feel that the Southwest does infiltrate my conscious and show up in my use of textiles and design accents such as the cowhide and whipstitching.
What’s at the heart of your personal style?
Ohh, fun question! I absolutely love my accessories and my shoes. I will pile on the bracelets and layer my necklaces while wearing a simple pair of FRAME jeans and some fantastic shoes. I do LOVE my shoes and the higher the heel the better :-) I also collect sunglasses - it doesn’t matter how many pairs I have, I always want more ;-) There are two TV shows that I always turn to for styling inspiration, Suits and Gossip Girl. I will say out loud when shopping “Ohh that is so Blair Waldorf!” (Gossip Girl) Or “I need that! That is so Jessica Pearson/Donna Paulson from Suits!” When I have a fancier event to attend, I definitely try and channel Donna from Suits.
What’s Soul Carrier's signature item? If there is one bag every chic woman should have - which is it?
I personally love the Illuminate Messenger bag in cowhide https://soulcarrier.com/collections/true-north-collection/products/illuminate-messenger I love this bag because the cowhide patterns vary from bag to bag (the silhouettes all stay the same) - this concept plays well with wanting to inspire my customers to be authentic and true to their own unique soul. I also love the idea of Illumination - illuminate your soul’s own truth versus conforming to what the world is wanting you to be.
What sets her brand apart from the rest, and what do you think buyers are drawn to?
The brand’s message. The idea that we want to ask our customers “Where do you want to go!?” And to encourage them to listen to their soul to find the answer. That question is so powerful, because it was the last question my mother would ever ask of me. She asked it moments before the tire blow out on my father’s SUV, taking the life of both my parents, while my sister and I walked away from the accident completely unscathed.
You are thriving in the boutique, luxury resort space. What works about this business model?
I love being a part of the resort world and being able to say we are aligned with such fabulous properties as The Four Seasons, Andaz, Royal Palms, Mountain Shadows and Miraval Resorts. It gives the brand a lot of cache without having to be on the fashion calendar and play the typical fashion game. If I was chasing after the big retailers, I would have to produce multiple collections a year. And being a small start up, I don’t, currently, have the bandwidth to do that. The resort market is also looking to provide their guests with items that are unique and that you can’t find at the mall, and Soul Carrier can step up and really serve that demographic.
Who do you design for? Who is the Soul Carrier customer?
She is a dynamic woman. Someone who loves to travel, and who is open to going on the journey, both internally, and out into the world. She is fashion savvy and loves finding unique and special items. She doesn’t follow one particular style, but rather curates a fantastic wardrobe made up of purpose and meaning. She carries her soul out into the world proudly and confidently, and the brand is a symbol of that courage and boldness.
What do you want shoppers to know about your materials or production?
We work with a phenomenal team of artisans in Leon. They have become like family. It makes me smile so hard to Face Time with them and hear American music like the band Imagine Dragons blasting in the background. They told me they love listening to Imagine Dragons while making the Soul Carrier bags. We constantly are bantering and laughing as we Face Time to do our meetings. We also source our leather from top rated tanneries such as Le Farc and PanAmericana. These tanneries are socially responsible and committed to the environment. They both have Gold rated certifications from the LWG Environmental Stewardship Audit. Alignment is EVERYTHING when it comes my Soul Carrier partnerships. Those I work with, must be ethical, and have the highest level of integrity, for me to even consider collaborating with them.
What inspired the latest colors?
I wanted a clean-sleek color palette. I have slate gray concrete floors at home and that color concept was drifting through my head as I flipped through the swatch books of fabric and leather when we were down in Leon.
Your motto is : Follow Your Journey. Where will your journey take you next?
I hope my journey also takes me to more speaking events. And to Kygo concerts. I want to share my story and the Soul Carrier message through public speaking. I really enjoy public speaking and I feel very passionate about sharing my brand’s message. And I absolutely love a great Kygo concert. EDM music is a huge source of inspiration for me when I am designing and creating.
With all my soul,