If the folks at Outdoors, Inc. hadn’t bet on the “baby” designs skills that Rachelle Cooper, founder of North Evergreen Creative, had, this line of merch—and all of the Memphis motifs made by her—may not exist.
That, combined with her resolve to bet on herself, helped her establish the creative career landscape that she was looking for all along.
“I was studying Civil Engineering at the University of Memphis—and it was a really cool field of study—but I couldn’t see myself putting so much time into building bridges and beams,” Cooper said. “I needed a little more freedom.”
So, she spent time building a business instead. North evergreen creative's origin story started with a couple youtube courses.
Cooper left college in pursuit of clarity on what she wanted her life to look like. After brief stints traveling abroad, her love for wanderlust and nature lead to a position with Outdoors Inc.—where she would discover her affinity for graphic arts while doing website work.
“I love Memphis. Memphis is my home, but the rice paddy fields in Vietnam… like are you kidding,” Cooper said. “I’m just so inspired by nature. When I dropped out, I remember telling my parents that I just wanted to travel and experience life—and that’s typically not what a parents wants to hear. That generation reaches for stability first—but we don’t have any stability anyways, so what’s the point in reaching for something that’s never going to be there.”
Speaking of stability, cooper was working with outdoors inc. when the pandemic hit—and her remote work schedule made room for more personal projects.
There was already an overlap in what she was creating for North Evergreen Creative and Outdoors, Inc. Like the rest of us, that extra time to herself paved way for new perspectives.
She wanted to control her career path and the content she was responsible for creating—so she set off on this solo adventure and has been calling her own shots ever since.
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From participating in pop up shops throughout the year to having a presence in local stores like Stock & Belle, Cooper’s craft is helping her sustain a life full of her favorite things—her pets, plants, outdoor excursions, and everything else in between.
Not only that, but North Evergreen Creative's collections foster pride in others—pride for the places that have left a stamp in the passport of our souls.
“This particular design we are launching is very exciting because it speaks to the longevity of Memphis’ impact in so many ways: historically, culturally, and personally,” Cooper said.
The quote and the colors combined project a narrative that’s needless to say; this city latches onto little pieces inside every person that’s given it a chance.
“I’ve never met another city that’s so comfortable in it’s own skin. It’s unapologetically bold, and so are its people. We aren’t afraid to show off who we are—and it’s okay if you don’t like us. Because we love us.” Cooper said.