Behind the Business- Meet the Founder

Danielle Garcia is the Founder of Soultree City, a lifestyle brand. She is a wife, mom, and creative spirit with big dreams for Soultree City. We thought an introduction to the woman and the history of the brand would be a great starting point for the new blog! Keep reading to find out more about Danielle and Soultree City.

Danielle, share a little bit about yourself.

It's always hard to know what to share, but I'll go with what feels most connected to what led me to Soultree City. I am an introvert who enjoys time to recharge and be around my family, but I also get so much energy from creating. Growing up I loved dance and music. It wasn't until I was in my early teens that I realized I love fashion and designing. My love of fashion brought me to the Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising to study design and entrepreneurship, where I got to explore what it could look like to open a business someday. 

Can you share a bit about the meaning behind the name Soultree City?

I wanted the name of the business to feel like it meant something and also eventually be able to make sense when we expand because my dreams for this business stretch farther than I think I’ve imagined so far. As a California girl, I love the city, so I knew I wanted to have a name that reflected that. I also wanted a name that felt grounded and homey, because I love that about the countryside. When I was thinking of names that I felt described curvy women, which was the initial market I was going to launch into, sultry just clicked. But, I always like spelling things in a way that gives it a double meaning, and I feel like “Soultree” does just that.  

It's always fun to learn the history behind a name. What made you want to start a business?

I wanted to build a brand with inclusivity in mind, as there is still so much lacking in the industry and I wanted to create a community that felt like home- easy going, comfortable and welcoming. I didn’t really see lifestyle brands creating that feeling and I kept feeling a pull to finally take the leap. I also wanted to show my kids that you can do so much more than you realize and that your dreams are worth exploring. They don't fully understand everything that I do yet, but they know that it's something that I love!

What is your favorite part about Soultree City?

My favorite part is hearing from our customers and building closer to the ideas and vision I had for Soultree City. I’m always so happy to see how well people are responding to what we’re doing and that our vibe is resonating with someone. Sometimes I have to remind myself that this is real and that I actually started because sometimes that feels like the scariest part.

What is the most challenging thing?

The most challenging thing is growth and making sure we’re connecting with people in an authentic way. When you’re a small business it can be hard to stretch yourself to new limits, but it’s all part of the journey. I also want to always be genuine, but also have balance in what is shared since not everything we do is very interesting lol.

Let’s mix it up- what’s your favorite food?

My favorite food is salad! I could eat salad everyday because it’s so versatile. One of my favorite salads is buffalo chicken salad, but I also love a great taco salad, or antipasto salad. I crave them often!

What is something you learned last year that you’re carrying with you into the New Year?

I’ve learned to trust myself more. I have a lot of faith in God, but I didn’t have a lot of faith in myself to carry out the plans that he’s had for me. I hold on tight to trying to control the outcome and predict the next step, but I realize that in order to get there sometimes I have to trust the vision that he’s given me, even when I can’t see 100% of the steps all at once. I’m a big planner, so I’ve had to get out of my own way.

What are your dreams and aspirations for Soultree City?

I have so many dreams for Soultree City- some include designing our own product. That is one of my biggest goals. I went to design school to learn product development, so I’ve always dreamed of creating something from start to finish and eventually having a family of brands. That’s why Soultree City started as a lifestyle brand- because I knew one day I’d want to expand beyond clothing.

Last question, what is your focus for Soultree City this year?

My focus is on really building more brand awareness and connecting more with our customers. Finding inclusive products has always been a challenge and I think I had this impression that I had to bring as many options as possible to Soultree City because there's so much missing in the market, but didn’t really have a consistent look or feel when buying. I’m taking a more uniform approach in what we bring in to make sure it feels right and resonates with our customers.

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