Reflections on Retail
Wednesday February 20, 2019
A week after we wrapped our Valentine’s Pop-up at The Americana at Brand, we’re just starting to settle back into our normal workflow: catching up on emails, shipping orders, making coffee runs, designing upcoming collections. But even as our hands fall back into the familiar routines and responsibilities of the day-to-day, our minds are dreaming about all the possibilities retail holds. Retail is dying, they say. Everything can be done online, they say. But somehow, we keep finding ourselves drawn to to the irreplaceable beauty of being in person, the joy of connecting authentically with people face-to-face.
These pop-up opportunities are so far beyond transactions and sales; more than anything, they offer time and space for us to engage with people, to cultivate the first glimmerings of real-life community, to hear love stories and connect over hardships - all the things that make being human so darn beautiful. We’re meant to go this life together, friends. We love hearing about why you picked up that second Imperfect People card (one for your wife, another for your future son-in-law to give to your daughter when he proposes), helping you choose a print for your wife’s special reading nook (a ZZ Plant Print in 11x14”, framed in gold, please), seeing your soft smiles as you spin the card rack looking for the perfect sentiment. We wish we could invite you to stay awhile, to tell us more about your growing family, your brilliant wife with the black thumb, those three forever friends you’re traveling to Brazil with this summer.
The pureness of these moments are only possible in the physical presence of one another; they’re neither convenient nor efficient like simply adding to your virtual cart might be, but they’re undeniably real. Amidst increasing disconnectedness, these kinds of meaningful exchanges with lovely strangers feel like just the thing we need more of. So while traditional models of retail might be waning under the pressure of the digital marketplace, our deep need for true human connection persists - a yearning that cannot be satisfied with all the follows or likes or DM’s in the world. And because we believe this is true, we’ll be over here figuring out how we can, one day soon, invite you for coffee and ask you to stay a while.