Monday, September 5, 2011

less is most.

This blog is inspired by my recent trip to a little store called Anthropologie. I know that sounds ridiculous and "un"blog-worthy, but hear me out.

For those of you that aren't familiar with Anthropologie, it's a chain retail store that has been around for awhile. It is wonderful and whimsical and the merchandise appears to be completely and totally handmade. Like Etsy herself thundered and lightning'ed out of the cyber heavens and plopped itself down into a mall near you. It's a genius collaboration, like what would happen if Jay-Z and Kanye West teamed up and made a rap album. (Oh wait, that really happened.) They sell everything from apparel to dish ware, candles to door knobs, cookbooks to jewelry. But it's intentionally organic and authentic looking. Which brings me to my reason for writing about it.

At an age where technology is at its cutting-est edge, and doctors can write lifesaving orders wirelessly on tablets, and you can play the piano by simply touching a screen- why is it that we're going back to the things that are the most simple? Handmade is officially a movement. (the "Ebay" of the handmade and vintage community) has more users than ever before and the desire for things that are handmade outweigh the desire for things that are mass produced considerably. Not only are handmade items preferred but their commercialized counterparts are now... kind of the nerdy kid in school that is allergic to everything. Why is that?

I remember when I was in first grade (late 80's early 90's) my mom took my sister and I to a local thrift store for all of our "back to school" clothes. We were a single income family and my mom had to make a dollar stretch, and she expertly did so. But I remember being embarrassed and aware of that at age 6. But nowadays, people readily shop at thrift stores for clothes and household items. I proudly announce that I've decorated half my house with thrift store gems I've found here there and everywhere. Even weddings and other parties have trended toward the simple and handmade inspired themes as far as decor, gifts and fare go.

When you think about it, the reason is pretty clear. No matter how complicated our world becomes, or how technology advances in the most unbelievable ways- it's the simplest things that consistently make us the most happy. In the old days... everything was handmade. That was the norm for everyone. So to have something purchased from a store was a luxury, and a symbol of status. Now, in this fast paced society, hardly anything is handmade. Store bought is the norm for mostly everyone. And to have something made for you by hand (often with love), is a luxury. And the skill required to make it is a symbol of admiration from others.

What makes you the happiest? True happiness isn't a double edged sword that ends up costing you money, or robbing you of time. It gives and asks nothing in return. So what is it? A smile from your baby? (No matter how old your baby is... =) A great meal with your friends? Big belly laughs with your family? A glass of wine curled up on the couch at the end of a busy day? Helping out someone in need when it was "in the power of your hand to give it"? Ironically; none of these things have an app that can be downloaded, or require wi-fi.

Trends come and go. But as I have gotten older, I've really come to appreciate the happiness that simple things lend themselves to.

Now if you'll excuse me, I'm powering down my Macbook and going to go kiss my sweet baby girl goodnight one more time... and that is a feeling money cannot buy. =)


  1. Charming, funny & witty as always. Love!

  2. Love, love, love. So true Miss Court. I will think of you when I appreciate a simple smile from my two "babies" today.