My friend recently took a job at one of my favorite brands, Nau, out in Portland. I have always found their product to be beautiful and well made, with a bit of futuristic thinking. As a designer working through building a small brand based on this blog, I am often thinking through concepts that mean so much to me and building it into the foundation of the brand, similar to what Nau has done. One page on their site that really resonated with me was their True Cost page (here). I think they did a wonderful job identifying the true cost of doing business, not just dollars and cents, but the cost of each decision we make and the effect one our environment and humanity. What makes me excited about having a tiny business is knowing that no matter how big or small, it is part of the bigger picture and each decision matters—right down to the paper I source and the ink the printers use. For me, it is also the launching point for the design briefs and design process. I ask myself: will this last, will someone desire to keep it a long time, is it useful? So while I wish my process was quicker, I know the time it takes to launch the site will be worth it and that the questions I constantly ask myself will be reflected in the end product.
This quote from a Nau customer is spot on:
"I'm definitely not a high-income person, and I've been trying to adhere to the treasuring idea. Buying less - only getting what I truly need, and when I do buy something not settling for the ordinary...I see this as an investment. Not just a jacket for myself, but for the future. You see, being green, treating workers well, considering both form and function - all of this could become the new normal."
So, do you find yourself following the treasuring trend, buying only what you need and not settling for the ordinary? Do you think this mentality will continue to grow past trend status and be a life long commitment to more people?
What are some reasons that you value & treasure an item?
1. I value home. I just started this book, Homeward Bound: Why Women Are Embracing the New Domesticity by Emily Matchar. So far so good! It resonates with me and my vision of the home office—that place where you go to relax, create, explore and contemplate. All activities that are healthy for the mind and soul, but often times are not given priority. This book starts to pinpoint some of those reasons why more people are taking time to make a home as well as making choices to stay at home.
2. I value function. I found the shape and texture of this bag to be so beautiful. I am always looking for something that can carry anything and yet is lightweight and packable. The woven Maguey (a natural plant fiber) bag is handmade in Israel.
3. I value comfort. The Nau Repose dress is made of sustainable Micromodal® jersey dress that is unique, feminine and luxurious to the touch. Great for travel and relaxing.
4. I value smart heritage. I love the curves of Around the Tree's West Wings Chair. This company mixes it's Portuguese heritage with today's technology using cork and wood to create beautiful pieces that speak to nature and their company's history.
5. I value childhood memories. I don't know about you, but I have a box of childhood memories. Handwritten letters, journals, pictures and pieces of art fill this box. While I don't go to that box daily, it sits on the shelf and is there, a reminder of past days—a personal time capsule of where I have been. It made me wonder what others had in their box. This painting of a bullfighter, “Le Picador,” 1890 is by Pablo Picasso, painted at age 9!
6. I value sustainable. The Workstead Desk Lamp utilizes a re-purposed O.C. White industrial joint and brass socket and looks beautiful on any desk.
7. I value tangible history. There are so many great items out in the world, sometimes I wonder why make more, but of course, we need to push forward and keep creating. But mixing in old with the new is my favorite thing to do. This is a rare Alfred Hendrickx work desk from 1958.