Beauty, whimsical, comfort, nature, and creative freedom are all words, that you can use to describe the Soul-Flower. Founded by Mike and Peggy 1999 to promote a bohemian, eco-friendly, and peaceful lifestyle, the company started humbly in a small shop on Grand Avenue in St. Paul, Minnesota which was a gathering place for college students and locals. Soul Flower later emerged as completely online store in order to better serve their customers needs.
Recently Global Looking Glass had the opportunity to sit down with lovely Maddie Burke of Soul Flower.
Who is your target customer?
Our customer enjoys a laid-back, bohemian, eco-friendly & peaceful lifestyle. A typical Soul Flower bud likes comfort AND fashion, is thoughtful about how his/her clothing is made, & seeks organic, natural fibers, recycled goods and products made in fair working environments. Most care deeply about the environment & other cultures in the world. Many enjoy live music and the vibe of a festival environment and lots of other outdoor activities. They all like to wear unique clothing & accessories that help express who they are.
What inspires your designs?
We are inspired by all of our surroundings. Nature, our environment, each other, animals, seasons, music, illustrations, etc. Our hand-drawn designs promote positive, earth friendly messages.
What goes into creating your designs?
There is a lot of creativity that goes into each design. Besides doing our research to add a lot of different elements to each, we will also get our hands dirty! For instance, our Eco Freako design was literally made using recycled products. Leiah, one of our graphic designers, pulled items from her recycling bin and began to create. Some things used in this design range from using a packaging box to cut out letters to using bubble wrap as a stamp – literally making this shirt quite the “eco freako!”
What are your favorite pieces from your fall line?
I would say our favorite new piece is the Flow Mandala Pants which are 95% organic cotton and 5% spandex. These pants come from our Fair Trade manufacturer in Nepal and are sure to please! They are offered in three different colors and have a beautiful half moon mandala decal on the bottom of each leg that gives it an extra edge. These pants can be dressed up or are perfect for lounging!
What are your best sellers?
We have some longtime best sellers that never seem to fail us! The first and foremost product is our 100% organic cotton Painted Elephant Ebb & Flow Top. Made in the USA, this top has a very intricately decorated elephant of India head that is screen printed on our loose fitting, concave, organic ebb & flow top. This top is very flattering on many body types!
Another top seller for us is our USA made, 50% organic cotton and 50% recycled fibers boho tube headbands – they are amazing. We have about 12 different design options for these headbands and they all seem to fly off the shelf! They are great for yoga class or going out – can be dressed up or down!
What is your company’s message or image they are trying to portray?
At Soul Flower, we create positive, comfort-focused styles while keeping three philosophies close to heart: Be Kind, Be Soulful, and always Be Yourself. I have also attached our Soul Flower Manifesto that lays out what we’re all about!
What surprises you most about your company and fashion industry?
What surprises me the most is how much people aren’t aware of how their clothes are being made and what they are being made out of. This is something that people really overlook because they may not be aware of what goes into this process and how it can affect their lives and others lives. We always do our homework and make sure that all the companies and designers we work with have similar and thoughtful philosophies in the production of their products. We focus of organic, recycled, hemp, low-impact dyes, USA made, and fair trade clothing.
What are some benefits to using organic cotton?
To Soul Flower, and to many of our buds, organic is a lifestyle. Whenever possible we choose organic cotton over conventional cotton in an effort to rid our air, water and soil of dangerous pesticides, and to help promote a more sustainable life for everyone. For these very reasons, our Soul Flower Originals line of t-shirts, yoga wear and more, are made from organic cotton. It takes roughly 1/3 pound of chemicals to make one cotton T-shirt from conventional cotton. Conventional cotton is laden with pesticides, several of which are known to cause cancer. Organic cotton is produced in a certified chemical-free environment, using clean, organic farming methods the good ol’ fashioned way. Organic is healthier for both you and the environment, keeping not only our cotton toxin free, but our soil and water, too.
What’s in store for the future?
Without giving too much away, the future holds many opportunities for us! We will be expanding our personal line and pushing ourselves to come out with new, funky, unique, and positive eco-friendly products for everyone! We will also be travelling more and spreading the Soul Flower vibe at trade shows and conferences such as the POOL Trade Show in Vegas and the Minneapolis Yoga Conference in Minneapolis, MN. You can sign up for our email newsletters to keep up to date with us!