Kara Kochalko and Shea Hardiman met while working as a commercial photographer and filmmaker. The duo decided to put their 9 to 5 on hiatus and backpack abroad for a few months, hoping this newfound freedom would refresh their creative flow. The inspiration led them to founding Soul Sunday, a collaborative studio for fostering all of their creative endeavors, embodying the time when your soul is most free.
We've come to find that many of our designers possess many talents beyond the amazing feat of running their own creative businesses. We talked to Kara about her background and experiences in photography, travel and wellbeing.
What do you like best about living and working in your city?
Shea and I both moved to Boston after college to work. Though we don't feel like it's the city for us in every way, we've had opportunities here that have given us the means to grow creatively, travel, and start Soul Sunday. There is great pizza in my neighborhood, for which we are very grateful.
What is your background? How has it led you to Soul Sunday?
I have my BFA from CCAD, where I studied photography and fashion design. My focus has been photography-heavy the past few years, but I continued working with textiles, and eventually, aromatherapy. Soul Sunday became a place to celebrate that part of my work. We have different backgrounds that compliment each other. Shea studied film and creative writing at St. Augustine. We became friends when working together in advertising, which was the start of our adventures. Once, Shea actually starred in a TV spot that was filmed in my apartment.
Is there a story behind how you and Shea started collaborating? How do you operate together as a team?
We decided to backpack for a couple months together, for a change of pace. Once you travel like that with someone, you learn how a person operates. I'm a night owl and Shea is a morning person. With Soul Sunday, we each focus on the creations that we consider our babies. We like to stay openminded about new projects.
How did you learn the art of apothecary and essential oil blending?
Growing up, everyone in my family had flowers, herbs and vegetable gardens. When I started learning about essential oils and their applications, I was able to make a direct connection to the plants. I became kind of obsessed with learning about them. I'm in in the process of earning my aromatherapy certification. Shea teaches yoga and has always been very natural and wellness-minded. It turns out we were both into making "potions" as kids.
As a creative collective, are there any new projects you've been developing under Soul Sunday you'd like to share?
Where do you find inspiration for your designs and products?
My mama taught me to use watercolor and pastel when I was young. Her appreciation for subtlety in color and design has always stayed with me. I think a lot of what I loved about Prague flooded into our palette, and into our SS15 textile with giu giu.
Are there any favorite scents and/or oils you frequently use? Why?
Delicate flowers and herbs that feel light and fresh. Geranium is our favorite, it's feminine and balancing.
What's your mantra?
You don't really need a bra.
What is the most satisfying part of running a small creative business for you?
Following my intuition.
Do you have any advice for young women hoping to make a living with their creative pursuits?
Don't indulge in your doubts or anyone else's. Know your worth. Say no when you need to.
Interview by Jennifer Wang // All photos by Kara