Tahoe City man eyes spiritual blueprint with Sacred State Designs
January 27, 2016
TAHOE CITY, Calif. — From the geometric patterns of snowflakes, flower petals and pine cones to the cornea of our eye, the spiral patterns of our DNA and the composition of our galaxy, these structures and patterns are all rooted in the principles of sacred geometry.
It's the mathematical, scientific and spiritual code of the physical world that has been studied for centuries by ancient and contemporary scholars, physicists, scientists, religious and spiritual leaders, and beyond.
"There's a blueprint behind everything in this world and the way in which we're all connected to nature, to the universe, and to all living things," said Tyler Minnick, founder of Sacred State Design. "Every culture from ancient Egyptians to modern-day has ties to sacred geometry, and when I started studying all sorts of texts, that's when I really shifted into living in a more sustainable and conscious way."
Grounded in the fundamental philosophies of sacred geometry, Minnick began developing his organically produced apparel, graphic design, jewelry and decals company seven years ago in conjunction with his newfound Tahoe lifestyle.
“Moving to Tahoe was what made me fall back in love with graphic design.”Tyler MinnickFounder of Sacred State Design
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"Studying sacred geometry changed my life in a way where I stopped living for myself and started caring not just for myself but for our whole species as one, and I thought, if that could affect others the way it has affected me, it would make such a positive impact on the world," Minnick said.
CUT FROM A CREATIVE CLOTH
For Minnick, who was born and raised near the shores of Lake Michigan, concepts like sustainability, organic materials and environmental consciousness weren't popular topics of discussion; however, the importance of artistry and creativity were.
"My mom dabbled in a little bit of everything – she was a painter, a drawer, a designer – and she definitely influenced me in that way," Minnick said.
Aside from their shared passion for art, Minnick was also raised to be an avid sailor, and it was through a combination of those two seemingly different interests that one business concept was born.
It all started with an old and slightly dilapidated sailboat amply-named "Chrysalis" – referring to the stage when a butterfly is still in a cocoon.
"The spinnaker had a beautiful sail and putting it up made that ugly boat beautiful, kind of like when a butterfly emerges from a cocoon," Minnick said, snickering at the memory.
When the family finally invested in a new sailboat, the upgraded vessel needed a name, but they quickly discovered decaling a boat was an expensive ordeal. Rather than pay the hefty price, the mother-son duo decided to put their combined art skills to the test by launching a boat-decal business based in their hometown marina.
"It was one of the best bonding experiences I've had with my mom," Minnick recalled.
The small-business enterprise eventually led Minnick to pursue a degree in graphic design, but he didn't find the craft as fulfilling as it once was, and it seemed his future was more uncertain than ever.
FALLING BACK IN LOVE
In one giant leap of faith – cushioned by a job offer bartending at Manzanita Restaurant at The Ritz Carlton, Lake Tahoe – Minnick relocated to North Lake Tahoe.
"Moving to Tahoe was what made me fall back in love with graphic design," Minnick said. "Being around people who are outdoorsy, who care about sustainability, the community, and the environment, and who are interested in things like sacred geometry is definitely what took my brand to where it is now."
The business quickly gained larger-scale projects like customized vehicle decals for Homewood Mountain Resort, logo designs for music festivals, and eventually, his first-ever screen printing T-shirt line for Tahoe City's Fat Cat.
Since then, the YouTube-taught screen printer has generated a following through sales on his website and on Etsy, as well as through partnerships with other jewelry and apparel designers like Kaiya Waler, owner of Truckee-based Sew Much Love Clothing.
It was also Waler who, six months ago, encouraged Minnick to devote himself full-time to the production and expansion of Sacred State Design.
"The first month of being self-employed was pretty scary," Minnick said. "But I focused on organizing and fine-tuning everything, and it just sort of took off from there."
MANUFACTURED WITH MINDFULNESS
Looking back, Minnick traces one particular sticker to the birth and evolution of Sacred State Design – a geometric flower of life symbol that goes hand-in-hand with the fundamentals of sacred geometry.
"When I made that first sticker, I never thought at the time that there could be any money in this, or that it could ever be a business," Minnick said. "I just did it because I loved making people happy."
In line with that conscious thinking, Sacred State Design donates $1 from every shirt sale to the Plastic Pollution Coalition, a global alliance working to clean up plastic pollution all over the world, as well as spread knowledge about the harms of one-time use plastics on humans, animals and the environment.
"All my shirts are made in America, and they're all organic cotton blended with recycled plastic bottles, which makes them the lowest carbon footprint of any material," Minnick said. "I feel like I've been given this great opportunity to not only make people happy, but – on some level – to also help make the earth a better place."
Jenny Goldsmith is a North Tahoe-based freelance writer and a former reporter for the Sierra Sun newspaper. Have an idea for a merchant to feature? Email her at email@example.com.