Who We Are – Sol Soils

Who We Are

Company Story


Sol Soils is a small Minneapolis-based company founded in the summer of 2021 by friends and plant aficionados Travis Thein and John Porter. Travis developed a deep interest in cacti and succulents during the pandemic of 2020 and realized quickly that all the mainstream specialty soils available retained far too much water for his indoor, potted plants. He spent over 1,000 hours researching, designing, and testing different soil mixes for his own plants. The goal was to create faster-draining mediums to help his indoor plants thrive. Since then he has been regularly consulting with soil scientists and botanists to perfect the mixes. John was fascinated and impressed with the whole process, and during a trip to Palm Springs--while browsing a cactus nursery--the two decided to create a business to share these mixes more broadly. Sol Soils was born.


Meet the Founders

Travis Thein - Hailing from Kansas City, Travis started his career in Consulting with a degree in Finance and Entrepreneurship. After stints in Healthcare IT Consulting and investment advising for a Mutual Fund, he eventually decided to go back full-time to get his MBA from UNC-Chapel Hill. In following his passion for sustainability Travis explored an internship in Renewable Energy for a residential solar installer in SF. Ultimately he chose to pack his bags upon graduation in 2016 and move to Minneapolis for a Fortune 40 retailer in Target HQ to start working in FP&A, eventually transitioned out of Finance and into eCommerce Fulfillment Operations for Target.com for 4 years, and is now Director of Network Planning and Long Range Strategy within the Global Supply Chain & Logistics organization.

John Porter - Born and raised in Nashville, John graduated from the University of Tennessee with a degree in Logistics/Supply Chain Management. He has held a variety of roles spanning logistics, customer supply chain, demand planning, supply chain analytics, and project management with several large, global companies. Over the last 10 years, his supply chain career has taken him from Tennessee, to Oklahoma, to New Jersey, and eventually landed him in Minneapolis in 2015, where he met his wife and has lived ever since. John would go on to meet Travis a few years later, and after discovering their mutual interest in plants and soil, the two decided to create Sol Soils in 2021.