Meg Sievek is the owner and curator of the fabrics and designs at Sakatah Colors. This name derives from the biking, hiking trail—The Sakatah Trail—that runs right through Meg’s neighborhood. Sakatah Colors has is more than a hobby for Meg. This beautiful creative outlet is her full-time passion. As the collections change with the seasons, Meg truly loves making apparel for children 0-24 months and baby necessities. More than that, she loves the connection to community that her Minnesota business has given her.
Talk about the beginnings of your Sakatah Colors. What inspired you begin this endeavor?
The start was not a paper business plan that’s for sure! We really stumbled into making scarves around winter time that others asked if they could order for a gift. Simple as that. It was flattering and sweet. Then ideas about starting a small online business started to form when it was more consistent.
I have to talk about the name, Sakatah Colors. It derives from the biking, hiking trail—The Sakatah Trail—that runs right through our neighborhood. I hoped it would resonate with the community, as it did to me, a place of recreation and inspiration.
Have you always been creative? What forms or channels have you explored in your creative journey?
Yes! I think we are all called to create in some form. Early on, my parents saw a strong creative bent in me. They nurtured this well, even buying me my first sewing machine at age 8! It wasn’t all fabric though, as I went through pounds of ceramic molds painting them, and early on in high school through graduation I apprenticed in Floral Design where I fell in love with color and texture.
How have the items you make evolved? How have you evolved?
Oh yes, wow, we started with just one single style of scarf for winter. Currently what we make encompass’ a line for Women’s scarves and accessories for every season, Men’s winter scarves, a full line of children's apparel and accessories, and home throw blankets. What that looks like is small collections released at the start of the season.
For myself as owner, I have learned my bent for who I am as a designer and curator of our collections. Growing that confidence has taken time, to put something new together for a season but maintain the feel and integrity of my brand has taken maturity. I have also learned to trust my instincts. In the beginning I didn’t even know I had them concerning business but through the support and advisement of good mentors and others who have taken the time to look in and affirm I walk in increasing confidence.
Why is local important?
This is a fun question for me, as lately, someone told me no one can pronounce my business name online! I laughed, but honestly, I chose a familiar name for local brand identity. At the time I didn’t know I would be shipping my goods all over the world. Last summer I loved doing a pop up art fair locally where a 75 year old tells me he bikes The Sakatah Trail every morning in the summer.
Owning a small business has never been just about me, it takes community to build success. Local is where one’s reputation is known in that face-to-face way, where who you are as a person is caught. As I run my business I hire locally and, for as much as I can, purchase locally. My brand is carried by a local store called Salvage Sisters. Salvage Sisters became an incredible platform for my brand just six months into my journey as a small business owner.
How has living in Minnesota influenced your creative work, specifically through Sakatah Colors?
The changing of seasons is an overwhelming time of color and texture exploration. I love planning such variety in fabrics and color tones for our apparel and home collections. In my opinion our best work is our winter line, from our scarves to our 6-foot home throw blankets. This summer our children’s apparel line has something new and exciting for collaboration coming out in the end of April!
What is your home community like? Does it inspire you creatively?
Mankato shows an overwhelming support to their makers and creatives; this has allowed so many of us to move from hobby to business, the stories are so inspiring. Watching the success of the store, Salvage Sisters, I sell with in Mankato has inspired my own business goals to dig a little deeper and grow a little stronger all the time.
Do you feel like Sakatah Colors allows you to contribute to something larger than yourself?
Yes! At the start of Sakatah Colors, I wanted to take a portion of sales and give back tangibly. We do so anonymously and nothing gives me more joy, yet I also wanted to work alongside the people in my local community and last year we started our Make Events for chemotherapy hats for donation. Over 25 people showed up and over 100 hats were made for donation. I’m really excited for what I learned in that process and for what this means for opportunities in the near future.