We had the good fortune of connecting with Shannon Huang and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Shannon, maybe we can start at the very start – the idea – how did you come up with the idea for your business?
The idea for my shop, the soul edit, seemed to create itself. I began writing down what kind of energy I wanted to put into the world. I imagined people discovering or recovering their joy in everyday life through the appreciation of small things. I imagined how our physical spaces lend to our mental ones and how we can create the reality we want for ourselves starting with what we surround ourselves with. I wanted to create an avenue for inspiration and creation and to encourage others to intentionally select the art and home decor pieces they put in their spaces.
I started thinking about what kind of pieces I like and the art that inspires me, essentially curating an online home for myself, and then went from there. I have tailored my store over time and since I naturally follow artists, every once in a while, I will see work I really enjoy and will reach out to the artist to see if they would like to be a part of the soul edit! It’s an ongoing process and is fun to be able to create the store’s reality.
My shop is, I hope, a place for discovery. A hand-curated selection of artwork through authentic artist partnerships and home decor to bring joy and meaning to a space. A place that friends who come through can see a bit of themselves in the pieces they select. And a place that focuses on soulful living, the kind that savors moments.
Art has been a crucial way that I identify with and find meaning in the world. I’m excited to be able to share art from amazing artists and to also support them through our commission-based model. The store is my creative outlet and a mission-oriented endeavor all in one. I’d like to think it plays a small role in supporting others in finding joy in the little moments.
Can you give our readers an introduction to your business? Maybe you can share a bit about what you do and what sets you apart from others?
I started the soul edit in May 2020. Prior to that, my well of creativity had run dry and I was seeking something that could focus my energies to create something from nothing. I usually have a more constant flow of ideas for artwork, businesses, community projects, and more that I write down, but I was uninspired. I decided to learn about how to create an online business and this somehow helped me channel the listlessness I felt into creating something I hoped would be positive for me and eventually for others. The pandemic has been devastating and my business kept me motivated and energized through it. I have been fortunate to be in the position to start this store amidst what the world has been going through and I don’t take that for granted.
Something I’d like to share is that my true hope is for individuals to find pieces that will live with them for a while. It’s great to see new sales come in, but I would rather a person pick out two things that really bring them joy than ten things they will get rid of in 6 months. I believe in intentionality in life and in consumption.
I have been empowered by: the knowledge that we can create real things from our ideas, that we can actually create jobs for other people! (I have a mighty team of two right now and it’s so nice to be able to share my store with someone else), and that I can see art I really enjoy and reach out to the artist to develop a partnership and it’s really that simple.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
There are so many things to see and eat, so this is where I would (and have) taken my friends, in no particular order.
Stroll around Highland Park area so I can show my friend the passion fruit vines that I’ve discovered on my neighborhood walks.
Homestate – For the potato taco and queso. There are other tacos, but the potato taco is excellent.
Villas Tacos – Because we always need more tacos – get in line at Vic’s grandma’s home for some bomb blue corn tortilla potato and chicken quesotacos.
Estrella Tacos – And just one more taco place, the cabeza tacos here are delicioussss.
Joy on York – Taiwanese food – faves are the ground pork rice and sea salt jasmine tea.
Ernest E. Debs Regional Park – Take a little hike/stroll to the lake and find the tree swing with beautiful views. Stare at clouds and dream next to the lake.
La Cuevita (The Cave) – I really like this place for the mezcal cocktails. And on certain evenings, the Los Dorados truck is outside with its flautas!
Café Birdie – Stop by for the Moroccan Fried Chicken.
Scoops – Ice-cream place with rotating flavors , but we would get Brown Brown Bread! It’s the only flavor that doesn’t rotate and there is a reason why.
Take a (short) drive:
BOPOMOFO Café, San Gabriel – creative milk teas and seasonal drinks made with fresh ingredients and in-house syrups with fusion Taiwanese food (MAPO TOTS are a must). We’d pick some food up and head over to Story Park for a picnic which is just a few blocks away.
Roma Market, Pasadena – Stop by here and go to the back of the market to pick up two (or more) italian sandwiches. There is one type of sandwich that was created and made by 81-year-old-owner. It’s simple and one of the best I’ve ever had. There’s a local park near here that we would go to so we can hang up hammocks and eat.
Little Tokyo and the Arts District:
Fugetsu-do – this family owned business is so quaint and they really know how to make mochi! We can pick up some traditional mochi and the less-traditional like the chocolate filled mochi!
Marugame Monzo – just next door lives the best Uni Udon that I dream about – and soon my friend will dream about, too.
Breadlam – Bread and Cheese heaven awaits us here at Breadlam!
Hauser & Wirth – as long as we’re in the arts district, this gallery is fun and always has a good mixture of installations.
And it would be fun to go to ROW DTLA because they have a beautiful view of the LA skyline at sunset.
Lastly, we will also be going to beaches, a place to dance, some more hikes, and will eventually sleep and rest.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
My community – my fam and friends who have encouraged me and also been a sounding board as I’ve worked out ideas for the store, shared new artwork, encountered challenges, talked nonstop about my business (haha!) especially in the early stages. I am also a part of a wonderful group of small business friends, we check in with each other weekly and have an ongoing group chat. We keep each other accountable, share knowledge, work through challenges together, and support each other in life and in our business ventures! And I would also like to shout out my wonderful customers who took a chance on my little store and share their photos of new art pieces or home décor once they have found a place for it. This is so heartwarming and is why I spend energy and time on the soul edit.
Wanru Tseng, Kay Kennedy, Megan Kane