COURTLAND—The term "soul sister" implies a kinship, a virtual sisterhood, a deep connection. Shanna Lindberg and Michelle Lindberg are co-founders of rural small-town business known as Soul Sister Ceramics, located in Courtland, Kansas, population 245.

The quaint store is located in a former corner gas station. For environmental protection reasons, the underground tanks and old gas pumps were removed years ago. In order to restore the classic look of the building, the local PRIDE group found a set of non-working gas pumps to put in their place. Those pumps now bear the logo of Soul Sister Ceramics.

"Every once in a while, someone will pull in and try to get gas," Shanna said.

Through online sales, Soul Sister Ceramics has shipped products all over the country. They sells pottery made from Kansas clay, plus a whole host of other hand-selected boutique items. These include jewelry, accessories, home furnishings, clothing, children’s games, candles, and much more, many of these items made in Kansas.

"The boutique side of the business has become my favorite," Shanna said. "People like to order our handmade mugs and jewelry. At Christmastime, our ceramic Christmas ornaments are really popular."

Shanna grew up in Scandia in north-central Kansas. She earned a degree in broadcast journalism at the University of Kansas and married a farmer from Courtland. She worked for the local radio station for a time and then stayed home when her children were born.

Among her friends in Courtland was Michelle Lindberg, a local nurse.

"Our husbands are first cousins," Shanna said.

The two young women hit it off.

"We were talking about finding a hobby that we could do together," Shanna said. "Michelle had a mug that I really loved."

That inspired them to try making ceramic pottery.

"We bought a kiln on Craigslist and made some pieces of jewelry," Shanna said.

Not only was it fun, but other people wanted to buy their products.

They wrestled with what to name the business. Then Michelle suggested Soul Sister Ceramics.

"We are kindred spirits, and I liked the alliterative sound of the name," Shanna said.

And that’s how Soul Sister Ceramics was born.

For more information, go to