Mercer University alumna generates property decor brand name Tribe

Sonal Patel-Cochran enjoys making spaces and goods that provide people today joy, and she’s turned…

Sonal Patel-Cochran enjoys making spaces and goods that provide people today joy, and she’s turned that passion into a escalating enterprise. The Mercer College alumna, who graduated with levels in communications and artwork in 2002, is the owner of house decor model Tribe, which is primarily based in Atlanta.

Sonal Patel-Cochran (Photographs by Brooke Roberts & Paprika Southern)

Patel-Cochran started her career journey at Mercer, wherever she took her very first whole-time work right after graduation. For just about two yrs, she did communications operate on the Atlanta campus for the Ga Baptist College of Nursing, College of Pharmacy and College of Drugs.

She liked operating for Mercer but uncovered herself drawn to a new possibility that aligned with a person of her largest passions: fashion. She joined the clothes buyer teaching system at Macy’s South company workplace, where by she labored in the juniors division and superior quickly to the buyer amount. 

“I fell in like with that. That task is a combine of creativity, details assessment and consumer knowledge,” she mentioned.

After five a long time at Macy’s, Patel-Cochran turned a customer at K&G Fashion Superstore in Atlanta. In this part, she created the youthful women’s department and relished the inventive and style and design possibilities. Soon after she and her husband, Russ, had their to start with boy or girl, she commenced a new place with the firm that associated styling and social media do the job and a lot less travel.

When her time at K&G came to a close, her target “flipped from trend to the world of interiors.” With her 2nd little one on the way and a new property beneath construction, she dove into the customization of her residence. She found it refreshing to work with a little something moreover outfits. 

Sonal Patel-Cochran

“When you transform the place you’re in, it can improve your working day it can change your temper it can make you experience like your self,” Patel-Cochran said. “As I was building my house, I couldn’t uncover a great deal of matters that felt like me, that had the hues I required or the originality I needed. So I started creating all those issues for myself. I observed how a lot of men and women ended up so energized by what I had, and I definitely wished to be equipped to do that for other folks.”

She served a buddy launch the wholesale division of her manufacturer, Grace Graffiti, and produced some layouts for her, and she still manages that portion of the company currently. This relationship led Patel-Cochran to start off carrying out personalized textile designs, product sourcing and inside structure work opportunities for customers, and to ultimately commence Tribe. 

She experienced generally preferred to have her possess brand name but saved putting it off. When the COVID-19 pandemic hit, she ultimately experienced time to end anything and start Tribe. 

By way of her travels, Patel-Cochran had solid associations with artisans and amassed a collection of objects for her inside design consumers and retail/home projects. With tourism at a halt amid the pandemic, the artisans she understood ended up having difficulties, and Tribe was a way to assist them.

“I set myself in a position the place we would generate merchandise collectively, and I would do some pop-up shops listed here in Atlanta to consider to enable give some dependable money to the people I was operating with mainly because they had missing these chances,” she claimed. 

Patel-Cochran will work immediately with community and worldwide artisans who make the products and collaborates with them on models. She is focused to utilizing honest trade and ethical sourcing practices and “creating motivated spaces that embrace the spirit of cultures around the entire world,” in accordance to her web page. 

In addition to handmade items, Tribe also focuses on classic items and supplies, some of which are repurposed. The merchandise comprise bold colors, lively styles, and world wide and Bohemian things.

“A great deal of the merchandise we carry are impressed or established by spots that I’ve been and my personal qualifications,” Patel-Cochran claimed. “Being Indian American, the way I link most with my tradition is as a result of textiles and the history of all the distinct tribes bordering the region of India exactly where my loved ones comes from. All of our item is definitely rooted in traditional procedures, persons developing all these superb techniques to convey them selves. It is lots of matters to floor spaces and give areas a sense of society and historical past.”

Sonal Patel-Cochran

Tribe merchandise can be discovered on-line as very well as in booths in Atlanta’s Ponce Town Market, Westside Marketplace Midtown and Westside Industry Toco Hills. Merchandise for sale include baskets, blankets, pillows, art, pottery, rugs, dishes, purses, ottomans, floor poufs and accessories.

“The reaction to all of our goods has been so great,” explained Patel-Cochran, who was named 1 of Solution Culture’s 50 South Asian Ladies Founders to Know in July. “Almost every little thing is a person of a variety. I adore acquiring my very own model and holding it modest. Amount of orders is not as vital as quality.”

Patel-Cochran is currently performing to grow her website and increase her on line shopper base. She appears to be like ahead to traveling all over again in the upcoming so she can meet up with new artists, and she designs to get again to hand-dying and crafting her very own solutions from scratch for her store.

“I really like the option to seriously train folks about where items occur from,” she mentioned. “All of the patterns that you see (in my items) have come from several years and many years of artwork that men and women have finished. I adore staying equipped to go back again to the culture that developed those types of designs, illustrations or photos, colours and deliver that into a present day location and really enable those artists and cultures shine.”