by Crista Grasso May 30, 2017

If you ever step foot in the Criscara studio, or come to our home, the 1st thing you are likely to notice is the abundance of gemstones everywhere you look.  On every windowsill, bookshelf, and flat surface, and a key part of most of our jewelry displays...  Yup, I am obsessed with gemstones (no shocker there).  

Up next in our Summer Interview Series is SoulMakes, who does gemstones like no other.  Not only do they offer a great selection of crystal decor and home accents, their photos are amazing!  Full of color and good vibes, they make me happy every time I see one of their vibrant images show up in my Instagram feed.  Plus, they are run by a husband wife team, just like us here at Criscara. 

I hope you enjoy learning more about their brand and their story.   XO, Crista

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An Interview with MacK and Trevor Mars, Founders of SoulMakes

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Tell us about SoulMakes.

The SoulMakes story began in 2012 when two lovebirds, MacK (that’s me!) & Trevor Mars, combined creative forces - sharing our love of all things artistic and our deep appreciation of the great treasures Mother Earth offers. The name “SoulMakes” just came to me, as if a whisper from my own soul. It described perfectly our creative and spiritual bond, which has never stopped growing! SoulMakes has evolved into a handpicked selection of handcrafted treasures and imports from around the globe - a rainbow of healing crystals and lush textiles to adorn your sacred space. All of which allude to the wander lusting gypsy that lives at the heart of our designs, ever whispering in our ear, “the Soul Makes beautiful things.”

We're from the DC area – Northern Virginia to be exact – where Trevor & I met in 2008 whilst attending a party hosted by mutual friends. We both had our big cameras around our necks and that was the common ground on which I first introduced myself to him. We went on our first date in 2009 – a photo adventure hiking through the woods, snapping away. We've been adventuring together ever since. To date, we've explored 25 of the 50 states, spending lots of time in the Southwest and Rocky Mountains! Our favorite adventures so far would have to be a cross-country road trip (where he proposed to me inside the Grand Canyon!) and our honeymoon in Lake Tahoe. On our first wedding anniversary, we road-tripped to a place we'd never been before – Charleston, SC – and moved here two weeks later! We listened carefully to our intuition, which incidentally came to us in the form of bunny rabbits. Bunnies were a thing we'd long since come to regard as good omens and we've followed them everywhere. So, we're here in Charleston, minutes from the “Edge of America”, enjoying a subtropical paradise and countless beach days. We take our business with us wherever we go!  Every new terrain inspires new ideas!

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You have such a beautifully curated collection of crystal décor and house and home products.  What inspires your collections?

Honestly, our collection has always been inspired by what things I feel are missing from our own home. I'd look around our bedroom and think "a colorful throw pillow would be perfect." Or in our living room, I'd see an empty coffee table and think "wouldn't it be great to have some crystals as a centerpiece." Or "this empty wall space in the kitchen would be better served by a dreamcatcher." And then I'd hit my work bench and start crafting some crazy wall hanging – texture is always key for me! Or I'd be drawn to a certain crystal and later discover that it has just the right metaphysical properties for that space or where I am spiritually or emotionally in that moment. It's all kind of been gut instincts curating our collection – “Intuitive Curation” you might call it.

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The photos you take of your products are just stunning – very colorful and "happy".  What inspires your photos?

Well, we kind of live by a philosophy of bohemian-maximilism – which is to say, we have lots of "stuff". But the way in which we decorate with our “stuff” is all very well thought out, never messy or cluttered. Often the photos you see in our social media feeds are of our own home! The most beautiful compliment we receive is when our friends come over for the first time and say, "this place is SO you guys." I guess our style evokes a certain lack of proper adjectives and that's pretty awesome! I also have a knack for using pieces that are already colorful and unique in alternative ways – for instance, a crystal candle holder as a planter or tapestry as a tablecloth, couch cover, top sheet, picnic/festival/beach blanket, etc. So that often inspires little photo shoots. I like to see how many different decorative purposes our beautiful products can have and then feature all those ideas to inspire our customers! 

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Tell us about the person who loves SoulMakes.  What are a few words that describe their style and vibe?

The person who loves SoulMakes is a lover of Mother Nature, may or may not do yoga, has eclectic and worldly taste, day dreams about traveling to faraway places, and most of all, they truly want their home to be a sacred space – which is why they fill it with good vibes in the form of crystals and colorful joy.

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Tell us about you.  What inspired the two of you to start your own business together?

I had not the slightest clue that any of this would happen. I was just a girl, raised by a hippie artist, who liked to make things with my hands – especially jewelry. It turned out some other folks liked the things I made and wanted to wear them too. SoulMakes started when a super stylin’ gal stopped me at the mall and asked where she could purchase my jewelry. I heard about Etsy and happened to be dating a more technologically advanced human than myself, so I asked for his help. I did not foresee us ending up owning a blossoming business together. There was never really a conscious decision made to start this thing up, we've just been tuned in to our intuition and followed through, sometimes fearfully, but we're just along for the ride.

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What do you love most about working together as a couple?

Ummmm… I get to stare at my incredibly handsome husband all day! Besides that, our respective talents and skills complement each other very well.  We work well together as a team in marriage and life, so why not in business?

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Do you have a favorite quote or mantra you live by?

“Thank you.”

A dear late friend of mine, may his memory be a blessing, constantly talked of saying “thank you.” He’d say, “did you lose your job today? Thank you. Did you win the lottery today? Thank you.” That’s because I am incapable of seeing the whole picture and almost every time I think I know what I want or need, the Universe comes up with a better, unimaginable idea. Sometimes in life, the things I think are curses turn out to be blessings and for that reason, I say “thank you” for all of it. As long as I’m learning, no time is ever wasted. All I know is that I don’t know.

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So, what's coming up next for SoulMakes that you are most excited about?

We’re working on a huge expansion of our home décor product line, especially crystals, crystal décor, and textiles! We’re constantly on the hunt for new and exotic pieces to bring joy into the homes of our beautiful customers.

 

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Where can people find your products?

 

 

   
Photo Credit: SoulMakes

 


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Crista Grasso
Crista Grasso


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