After Jennifer Boonlorn lost her parents in a car accident during her junior year in college, she faced a profound dilemma: Should she fulfill her father’s dream of her becoming a lawyer, or pursue her own dream of becoming a designer? At first, she decided to try to honor her father’s legacy by following his advice; he’d run into problems in the world of design and had wanted her to pursue something different. But Boonlorn’s creativity drove her to Parsons School of Design in New York City, where she learned to create beautiful pieces of art that people use every day — headbands, handbags, and more.
She began her business Soul Carrier after moving back to Phoenix to be closer to her sister. Boonlorn mixed leather, rag rugs and other materials to create unique handbags that lived up to her values.
When a contact suggested that she use a factory in León, Mexico, to manufacture her products, she traveled to the site to make sure the labor practices there were ethical. There she met Rosa, who now leads the team that bring Boonlorn’s designs to life.
Boonlorn says “Trust your own internal GPS. I want to use my brand as an inspiration for people to find their own way, which is why the name Soul Carrier is so fitting.”
Soul Carrier now sells two lines of handbags, Conscious Intentions and Authentic Change, which are ethically manufactured in León, Mexico. Soul Carrier also now partners with the nonprofit Glorious, donating a portion of their sales to help fund women entrepreneurs in Tanzania.
SCORE mentor Carole Perfetti helped Boonlorn rewrite her business plan with expert input and guidance. She also referred Boonlorn to Tawana Parker, who helps Boonlorn maximize the brand’s online reach through search engine optimization.
Boonlorn points to the book Start With Why, in which Simon Sinek advises people to “find someone who aligns with your purpose, to walk with you that is not a family member or close friend. Carole is the perfect person to help walk me through that and be that mediator.”