- Brings creative inspiration to communities everywhere
- Nourishes the mind & body with writing and art
- Designs collaborative environments for learning
- Fosters relationships with other artists and writers
- Offers a successful business model for creative entrepreneurs
The idea for Food for the Soul Train began with a food truck in Decatur, Georgia in September 2012. We had been invited to the Decatur Book Festival to showcase the Type Rider project. A local friend came to see us and recommended lunch at the Good Food Truck parked opposite the Little Shop of Stories. We picked up two of their savory cones and were so impressed with the food, their style, and the whole idea of a business flourishing inside such a small space.
It turns out we both love tiny houses, miniature things, traveling, wordplay, and small ideas that become big ones. As we wandered through the streets of Decatur later that weekend we stumbled into Homegrown, co-operative artistsʼ market, which has a vintage refrigerator in the back covered with doodles and inspirational quotes. There was a cupholder of Sharpies attached to the fridge, and one of us picked one up and wrote “Food 4 the Soul Train” on the side panel. And there our small idea got a name.
A few months later, we attended an event at Teahouse Studio in Berkeley, California. Our good friend, Stefanie Renee had decorated a miniature evergreen tree with a vintage camper trailer ornament. Maya bought the ornament as a surprise for Amy. Another small spark. We brought it home and hung it on our Inspiration Wall, pinned to a laminated map of the country. The map seemed like a key. Every morning on our way to breakfast weʼd pass it and the trailer ornament, thinking about what these two things had to do with our current work, since we each already had businesses of our own.
But then a new thought landed: What would happen if we housed our business in a vintage camper trailer, co-creating a space where our writing and art workshops could intersect?
Our creative collaboration unfolded even further. The camper would become a real and metaphorical vehicle – an inspirational canvas to express the spirit of our work and would be a way for us to travel and bring these workshops elsewhere.
Our first order of business for Food for the Soul Train was to write an agreement together, in order to establish the parameters of this collaboration. In part this agreement states, “We are committed, both to each other and to our own “self.” We will open the universe inside each of us and we will open the universe for the other to have limitless space to express our ideas to one another in full honesty, and provide a safe and loving space for each other, even when this means we disagree.”
We had already begun teaching together at Amyʼs BraveGirlsArt classes, but this agreement expanded our roles and responsibilities on a more energetic level. In February 2013 we began scouring the internet for campers. We found one just a month later, a 1965 Covered Wagon, in Boxborough, Massachusetts, and in April we drove from New Jersey to pick it up. There was work to be done to fix it, and over the next few months we discovered the stretch and strength of the agreement weʼd written, making collective decisions about all aspects of the trailerʼs restoration. Itʼs this template, along with our mission statement, that we keep returning to as we move forward with developing the full lineup of Food for the Soul Train offerings.