Phind out Phriday: Nia Minard of Souled Out

We first met through a mutual friend two summers ago. We were both unsecret lovers of anything creative and both enamored with the allure of entrepreneurship. I was starting Phreedum, and Nia Minard was starting Souled Out a tee shirt brand which in the past two years has grown to encompass the art of all things creative as well as the art of challenging and supporting other creative types. So it was only a matter of time before I called Ms. Minard , a self proclaimed social engineer, to meet up and interview her to let the rest of the world phind out what I phound out when we first met in 2009.
Phreedum: Who are you in 5 words?
NM: Funny, efficient, a social engineer.
Phreedum: Social engineer?
NM: I figure out how to make the world better, helping ideas grow- social bumble bee.
Phreedum: What is the most fulfilling thing about the work you do?
NM: The power of creation is very empowering. Not only do I get to create I get to collaborate with people who never saw themselves as creative.
Phreedum: What has been the most challenging aspect of your work?
NM: Keeping it going. It can be a challenge having a constant flow of ideas, materials, and artifacts.
Phreedum: How does the work you do change the lives of others?
NM: From what people have said, my work helps people get back into their creative process, believe in their vision, and that entrepreneurship is not a pie in the sky. Souled Out is a way of life, not just a t shirt brand. I’ve also taught classes. I teach something that helps people leave their stamp on the word. Souled out also a growing culinary part to it. So I make food and that always brings people together. People like to eat. My work resonates with people. I believe it inspires action which in turn inspires change.
Phreedum: How have you evolved as a person and a professional?
NM: I’ve come to understand the means and process of production physically and structurally. I’ve also evolved in recognizing the need to and actually collaborating with others which allows me to be challenged. Through Souled Out I can also say I have learned what it means to believe in something, fight for it, and do so with integrity, to live a way of life I believe in.
Phreedum: Who has been the most influential person in allowing you to phreely pursue your dreams?
NM: Other vendors and artists. My parents, grandmother, and my brother. Theses people hold me accountable and help me keep my voice.
Phreedum: What is one piece of advice you would give to the Nia minard of 10 years ago?
NM: Stop smoking cigarettes.
We both laugh.
NM: What?! For real.
I just look. I know she enjoys her smokes.
Phreedum: Okay. What else?
NM: You got it in you, you just gotta harness it. Harness, refine, repeat and moisturize daily. he influence my work has with children. Also, I know you said the most, and I know I like to talk a lot, but my growth as an artist and as a team has made me really proud too.
Phreedum: What has been your proudest moment so far?
NM: Being able to say I did it. To start and continue with it. I accomplished a task I set before myself and it’s very rewarding.
Phreedum: What’s one thing most people don’t know about you?
NM: I’m incredibly shy.
Phreedum: Whatever. Stop lying.
NM: I am. I have performance anxiety. But, I secretly want to be a comedian.
Phreedum: What’s the best advice you were ever given?
NM: Build your kingdom where you’re at. People always talk about leaving Philly and better opportunities somewhere else. But you’re the constant. You and your skills so you gotta Build your kingdom where you’re at.
Phreedum: How would your staff, friends, and family describe you in one word?
NM: Gregarious.
Phreedum: What’s your favorite way to de- stress?
NM: Play music really loud and dance.
Phreedum: If your brand was a sport what would it be and why?
NM: Tough Mudder Competition.
Again I give Nia the good ol’ "Yes I am slow, repeat please" look.
NM: You never hear of it?
Phreedum: Definitely not.
NM: It’s a series of cross training, biking, running, swimming. You have to be crazy to do it. I’ can’t even swim so you know I wouldn’t do it.
We both laugh.

For more information about Nia Minard and Souled Out tweet Nia on Twitter @phillysouledout

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