I've never been one to do New Year's resolutions. I've never had it together enough to have a "word of the year". I feel like every time I try, I end up falling short of my goal. Or maybe I focus so hard on one word that I drop the ball on other 'words' that are just as important.
As I look back on our first year of Ember & Sage, I do think about the words that have guided us along through all things small business. Quality is at the top of that list. From the start our goal has been to create quality, hand-made pieces for a world that is all too consumed with, well, consumption. It reminds me of a woman at a previous craft fair that was showing us a wreath she purchased from another booth. I could tell that within the mere 10 minutes she had the item, she was already disappointed in the product. She realized the fabric was tearing off on one section. The paint hadn't fully dried and had smeared slightly on the seasonal wreath she was originally excited to find at what she called a 'steal'. It was a good reminder of why we're doing things differently. Why we focus so hard on the quality of our items.
A few other words that have guided us include faith, authenticity, & connection. But there's one word that we never wrote on paper that has driven us in every way. One that is right up there with quality. Maybe we didn't realize we were doing it. Maybe we thought it was so obvious there's no reason to write it down for ourselves.
You can call it whatever you want: thoughtfulness, purposeful, or pre-planned ideas that lead us forward. When we sat down to plan for 2022, we kept talking about being intentional in our plans, in our products, and in our future as a business. So we're adding that to the list. Intentionality. But adding this word to our list is just a formality at this point, because it's been at the front of our minds since we opened.
When I started making seasonal & Christmas signs, I wanted to be very intentional about the design. So we made them reversible. Nothing extra to store with the tree & stockings. No need to find a place to hang it every year or putting new nail holes in the wall to hang it. You just flip the sign and you're done! It matches your décor. No extra stuff to store. No fuss.
Then I started the hand-knit chunky blankets. I researched for literally months to find the right yarn. Is the supplier reliable? Does it actually feel good to use the blanket or does it just look soft & cozy online but is actually scratchy in real life? Then thinking hard about you using these blankets long term, it hit me. These need to be practical. I have to be intentional in the design just like anything else we create. Machine washable yarn was non-negotiable. After more research, I finally found the yarn that I still LOVE to this day. But that's what has driven us without even realizing it. Intentionality.
I'm not going to give away our 2022 plans for this year, but let's just say we can't wait to launch some new collections, new products, and new designs. But like everything else we've created so far, it'll be made with love, care, & intentionality.
Ember & Sage