Elisa Van Arnam, Co-founder of SoulKu

We like to say, “The best business to start is one that fills a need you’ve had.” SoulKu, you could say, is the perfect example of a business that has grown to honor its team, serve its customers, and fulfill its founders.


Today, SoulKu (Pronounced, “soul-coo.” The word “Ku” in Japanese translates to “a place of infinite possibility.” As they say, “We like to think of our company as just that, ‘A place where, guided by our soul’s calling, anything is possible.'”) is a precious stones and jewelry brand with a twist. They make all of their bracelets, earrings, and necklaces by employing a team stay at home mothers who work when they can.


Co-founders Elisa and Alison started SoulKu in the wake of the ’08 financial collapse. They had children, mortgages, and wanted courage… and income. Fast forward to their peak and they had about 40 Mamas (as Elisa calls them) that pick up the raw materials and turn them into finished products for their growing business.


Was it always this way? No. How many times did they pivot to find this model? You’d be surprised. Are they living into their mission and vision? They sure are.


And, have they filled a need they had through the creation of the business — they sure have. Now, about 25 mamas feel empowered and make income — a gift I’m sure if they could go back to 2009, they wish they could give themselves.


Check out this episode with Elisa Van Arnam on Youtube or wherever you like to consume podcasts.


Links and Notes from Episode 119

  • https://soulku.com/
  • https://www.instagram.com/soulku/
  • use code MAKINGIT20 at checkout for 20% off *all items at SoulKu (*some restrictions apply)
  • If you’d like to win a free SoulKu necklace or bracelet, comment on our Instagram Post with your favorite part/lesson from the episode! We’ll select three winners at the end of the week.


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Music by Commonwealth Choir (http://www.commonwealthchoir.com)

Engage with the Show:

We value your input! As we continue to shape this season, we invite you to share your suggestions for E-commerce businesses you’d like to hear from. Leave a comment on the YouTube video, or direct message us on Instagram, or email Tony directly at tony@makingitinasheville.com.

Thank you for tuning in to this episode with Jacob Baumann of Devil’s Foot. Don’t forget to join us next week for another inspiring interview on Making It in Asheville Podcast!

Special thanks to our e-commerce season sponsor: Ernest Ready-Made

Ernest is the obvious co-warehousing solution for growing Asheville-based businesses. For more on Ernest, visit: MakingItInAsheville.com/ernest