The past twelve months have involved a sizeable amount of hard work and hustle for Soul Purpose Boutique Owner Kristie Moore as she’s launched her vision.
“Everything we’ve done this year has been a brick a day,” Moore explained.
Soul Purpose Boutique opened its doors last November in downtown Rochester, providing a different type of shopping experience. This retail establishment aims to show that “newer, bigger, and better are seldom as satisfying to the soul as artistically repurposed, smaller, and reimagined.” Some of the clothing, jewelry, and home goods in the shop may look like items that could be purchased anywhere. But every selection at the boutique was carefully curated and sourced to empower and improve the lives of both the artist creator and the consumer through fairly traded, hand crafted, and repurposed goods.
Moore was deeply impacted by the mission of “shopping with purpose” through her church, where she was exposed to the value of fair trade to sustain and improve lives. She logged ten years of experience in retail working with her sister at Refashion Consigned Furniture and Clothing; the stores are now literally linked together and share the same door on South Broadway. After her time at Refashion, Moore spent several years at home raising her children, but missed owning her own business, building those relationships, and just creating.
After her kids went to sleep at night, she would stay awake researching socially impactful organizations on the internet, familiarizing herself with their stories and purpose. She ended up filling over ninety pages of information on her findings.
“I could not even really go to bed and sleep at night. I felt like people didn’t even know about [these organizations],” Moore said. “I firmly believe that the average person wants to do good, but they don’t always know how and they don’t have access to it.”
To fill this void, she launched Soul Purpose Boutique in 2016, focusing on artists, organizations, and missions that empowered women and put spending dollars toward their support, both locally and globally.
The greater goal of the boutique is to provide creative, unique clothing, jewelry, and home goods of deep meaning and value; items that are healthy and safe, pay a fair wage to their creator, and are ethically sourced. The store aims to provide balance between what looks good and what actually is…good.
Often these items can’t be sold at the same price points as products in big-box stores, Moore explained. In part, Soul Purpose Boutique educates consumers to be mindful of where their goods are coming from and how they are created, to use their spending power for the greater good of at least one person.
Soul Purpose Boutique sells items from Minnesotan artists like Amber Engelhardt, Joyful Revival, Allison Marie Design, and Creative Gathering. The boutique also stocks products from Art 2 Heart, a non-profit in Hamel, Minnesota. This organization partners with the Beads of Faith mission in Peru to support an artist co-op for women, with the sales money directly impacting their families and communities.
Customers can also find items from national organizations like The Shine Project at Soul Purpose Boutique. This Phoenix-based non-profit helps inner city students create handmade jewelry. If a student continues with the program, they are eligible for scholarships to become a first-generation college graduate in their family.
The shop also sources handbags and accessories from the New York-based Unshattered, an organization that assists women in recovery. Soul Purpose Boutique additionally carries products from Thistle Farms, an organization that helps female survivors of trafficking, prostitution, and addiction to create and sell natural home and body products, and Women's Bean Project, a non-profit that teaches chronically unemployed women how to create nourishing food products, which are then sold across the U.S.
Now that one year is in the books for Soul Purpose Boutique, Moore is learning how to educate even more people about shopping with purpose and being more intentional with their spending power.
“I wish I had done somethings a little differently. Every day is success and failure,” Moore explained.
Moving forward, she aims to be very deliberate with each moment she has to grow her business, share its larger purpose, and shine light on the talented people supported by the goods sold within its walls.