Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in fashion bags but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Jennifer Boonlorn, Founder of Soul Carrier, located in Phoenix, AZ, USA.

Tell us about yourself

I was part of an art project when Barneys was opening at Scottsdale Fashion Square mall in 2009. Valley locals were asked to take blank mannequins and turn them into art. The mannequins were then placed on display throughout the mall as part of the celebration surrounding the grand opening of Barneys.

I collaborated with my architect friend Bob Wilkinson. Bob and I went to the Dollar Store and purchased a ton of recycled-rag rugs, which we used to cover the entire mannequin.

The rag rugs were vibrant, colorful, and had a fabulous texture. Bob encouraged me to do something with rag rugs beyond the mannequin project - I had recently returned from my days in the NYC fashion industry and Parsons School of Design. And Bob motivated me to put my creativity and design skills to use. And thus, out of those rag rugs, Soul Carrier’s very-very first bag collection was born.

At first, the bags were really rustic and bohemian, I would hand sew and hot glue gun pieces together, and then with time, I polished the designs, evolved the brand, and moved on to using leather and working with an actual handbag factory. I am motivated by the desire to grow my brand and expand my product offerings. I am also motivated by the idea of spreading my brand’s messages of encouraging people to listen to their own soul, their own voice, and their own intuition OVER the noise the world constantly throws at us.

What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?

I am very proud to have my bags carried at places such as The Beverly Hills Hotel, Silver Oak Winery, Four Seasons Hotels, Waldorf Astoria, Hyatt, and the like. I adore my contacts in the luxury resort and hospitality industry, and I am very honored and proud to have them as colleagues and friends.

Another accomplishment I am proud of is the network I have built. I have an incredible network of fellow entrepreneurs and friends. And I love connecting awesome people to other awesome people. I am very proud of the community and circles of phenomenal women I find myself in.

What's one of the hardest things that come with being a business owner?

Learning the art of the slow “yes” and the quick “no.” Stretching my budget when times are lean, or business is slow.

What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?

  1. Be okay with failure. There is no payoff without hard work and vulnerability. Sitting behind closed doors, keeping your dreams and goals safe and guarded against the world’s criticism, is a recipe for cemented stagnation. You have to get out there and play ALL OUT on the court of life. There is no success without trying, and sometimes trying will lead to failure, AND THAT IS OKAY! Learn from it, grow from it, pick yourself up and pivot forward.
  2. Listen to your intuition. If something feels off, it probably is. Learn to put confidence in what your internal voice is saying. Learn to turn DOWN the VOLUME on whatever else is saying or doing. Everyone will have an opinion; everyone has “advice” or something to “sell” you on; however, their advice is not always applicable to your business or the stage you are at. Listen graciously, and then learn to filter out what is not applicable. There is so much golden wisdom when we can get quiet and still and listen to our own intuition and voice.
  3. Don’t Overcommit; Less is More When You Are Running A Business. Be okay with saying “no.” Learn to be discerning, and learn the limits of your energetic bandwidth. As humans, we can do anything we set our minds to; however, we cannot do everything. Running a business and building a brand will take everything out of you. It’s okay to say no. It’s okay to put your self-care first. If you are not refueling your mind, body, and soul, there will be limits on your business growth. Your business won’t grow unless you grow first.

Where can people find you and your business?


If you like what you've read here and have your own story as a solo or small business entrepreneur that you'd like to share, then please answer these interview questions. We'd love to feature your journey on these pages.

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