Take Nancy from Soul Role, for example, who is celebrating her first year Anniversary on Etsy today (November 4, 2011). YAY! CONGRATULATIONS!! Nancy wanted to celebrate her anniversary by sponsoring a giveaway on ecokaren! She’s giving away this pretty organic iPhone/iPod/Smartphone case for my readers!! How awesome is that? I was floored when she e-mailed me that she wanted to celebrate with you and me!
So, naturally, I had to find out what
was wrong makes her tick and how on earth she ended up living in Hawaii! How lucky and heavenly, huh?
Yes, ”being jealous” is putting it mildly.
Let’s see what her Hawaiian life is really like. Secretly, I am wishing that she’ll say she’ll trade places with me.
How long have you been living in HI? Were you one of those proverbial tourists who vacationed there and ended up staying??
I moved to Hawaii in November 1992 and I was FAR from your typical tourist. I had just turned 22 and had spent the previous few years traveling all over the US and Europe following the Grateful Dead and through my travels I realized that I did not want to live a typical main stream American existence. The 8 months prior to moving to Hawaii I spent living back with my Dad in New Jersey, working at a preschool and spending my free time learning about yoga, a raw foods diet (this was WAYY before eating raw foods became a thing!) sprouting and just generally exploring a healthier lifestyle. I had always hated the cold and so I began to save up to buy a one way ticket to Hawaii, not knowing a thing about Hawaii! When I moved out, I had $18.00, my bike, back pack and a desire to find a way to live in harmony with the Earth. I had this crazy idea that I would just make a camp in the jungle and live off the fruits of the land. I was so naive and had no idea what I was getting myself into.
You might have been naive but you made it this far and are living happily! What is the best part, in your experience, about living in HI, besides “the obvious”?
The best part of living in Hawaii?? That is a tough question. I live on the Island of Hawaii, also known as the Big Island and it is the largest of he Hawaiian Islands and the furthest south. There are so many amazing things about this island! We have 11 of the 13 climate zones found in the whole world right here,so you can go from basking on a hot sunny beach to the summit of a snow covered 14,000 ft. volcano (I live on the slopes of this volcano named Mauna Kea) in a couple of hours. I have had the amazing experience of sitting on a black sand beach on a full moon and watching a river of molten lava flow down the mountain and empty into the raging ocean knowing that tomorrow, that beach will be gone forever!
But I digress! The best part….living in one of the cleanest places on Earth, being surrounded by the incredible natural beauty of Mother Nature. Living a more slow paced life, free of 4 lane highways, traffic jams, and all the other trappings I found so debilitating on the mainland.
Now she’s really Really making me jealous! GREEN with envy.
Moving on to your business…before I pack up my bags…what is the meaning of the name of your shop, “Soul Role”?
To give you the meaning of my business name Soul Role I need to give a little history. Just over a year ago a dear old friend talked me into going to an Anusara Yoga workshop despite the fact that I have not practiced yoga in many many years. Four kids left me with very little time to take care of myself and in about 16 years of being a mother, I had never been away from my kids for more than a day. So for my 40th birthday,my friend flew me to Maui to take part in this weekend workshop which included Satsang with Ram Das. Now,when I was about 19 I came across Ram Das’ book “Be Here Now” and it changed my life in a profound way. I was honestly terrified to do the yoga work shop but the thought of being able to hear Ram Das speak and share helped me face my fear.
To back track, I had been making a selling my work locally for sometime and I had been wanting to change my old business name for a long time. For a couple of years I thought, searched, and asked people for ideas but nothing was right. So on the first evening of Satsang I was SO SORE from doing hours of yoga (after years of not doing any!) I could barely sit up and listen to Ram Das. He has had a few strokes and amazingly is still able to speak, though it takes him awhile to get his thoughts out and he often sort of condenses his big idea into little pearls of wisdom because of the limitation in speech the stroke caused. I was getting the essence of what he was conveying and just blissed out. At one point he began to talk about humans as souls and what our ‘soul role’ in life is. It was like a lightening bolt struck when he said those two words: SOUL ROLE. I can’t even put it into words other than to say I knew right then that was going to be my new business name.I have many roles in life, and to me to business of sewing sustainable fiber apparel and goods is one of my roles, and it is my prayer to the Universe. I had identified so heavily for 16 years with my role of Mother and Wife that I had really neglected the other parts of my soul – the creative, inspired parts. This past year building my Etsy shop and business has been a growing experience on many levels and a reflection of my soul role in this life.
Living sustainable is important regardless where you live but why is it so important even more so in HI?
Sustainability is so crucial living on an Island in the middle of the vast Pacific ocean! All it takes is one natural disaster to make you realize how cut off from the world we are. We had a fairly big earthquake a few years ago (6.1) which cause major landslides in the gulches along the only highway that goes around the island,so for a couple of days we were cut off from town. So many people are totally dependent on the barges that bring in the majority of what we eat and drink,our fuel etc. We are far from totally sustainable but we do live off the grid, using sun and wind and a gas generator when we have to. Our water is supplied by a year round spring, and we have many fruit trees planted, gardens, and tilapia being raised in spring water ponds. It is very reassuring to know if something terrible happens we will be ok. Another aspect of being sustainable is limiting the amount of garbage created. When you only have a small amount of land to dump your garbage it makes one very conscious of how much waste we create and ways we can limit that.
Do you sell anywhere else other than Etsy?
I have sold to some shops locally but Etsy is my main business place right now and most of my energy has been focused on Etsy world.
Where do you see your business going in the future, now that you had an amazing year on Etsy?
This year has brought so much change into my life. I would like to see my business become a full time job in the next year. My youngest will start kindergarten so I will be able to devote a bigger chunk of time to my work. My husband was injured on his construction job about 5 years ago so he has been focused on getting our farm operational since he cannot go back to construction. Meanwhile I am working all the time on my business as well.It has been extremely challenging to both be starting a new home based business and taking care of the kids as well. So my hope is that once my youngest is in school I can have a regular work schedule.
Do you think you’ll ever outsource your operation if it gets to big for you to handle?
I have had a dream for a long time to some how create an alternative energy apparel manufacturing facility as a way of bringing more jobs back into my community. The rural community in which I live was devastated about 15 years ago when the commercial sugar cane companies closed down and consequently the rate of unemployment is extremely high. I would love to somehow make that dream happen. I have had so many people tell me I should have my designs made up overseas so I can make ‘real’ money and even had people offer to help finance an overseas venture. Sometimes I think maybe too big of a dream but I am hopeful that if I keep visualizing it, and putting my intentions out to the Universe maybe the right people who could help make this happen will come along.
Well, I think the Universe has been great to Nancy so far so I doubt she’ll have any trouble making Soul Role continue to soar while helping her community. What a great mission to have – to succeed and help her community! She can count on me to be one of her workers, if it means living off of the land and taking naps on the beach.
And now, to spread her love, as she promised, she is giving away her organic iPhone/iPod/Smartphone case (valued at $25) to celebrate this exciting milestone – Etsyversary!
All you have to do is leave a comment here. You can enter as many times as you want.
- Visit Soul Role and let me know what other items you liked from her shop.
- “Like” her Etsy shop – Soul Role
- “Tweet” about her shop
- Become her fan and like her Facebook page – Soul Role Organics
- Follow her on Twitter – SoulRoleEco
- Visit and sign up for e-mail update on her blog. (Photos on the blog might make you buy one way ticket to HI! Don’t say I didn’t warn you.)
- You can also sign up for e-mail updates for ecokaren.
*The giveaway is open worldwide and ends on 11/11/2011 at 11:59PM EST.
Thank You Nancy for your generous giveaway and again, CONGRATULATIONS on your anniversary and Good Luck with all your future projects and goals………not that you need it.