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Episode 5: Hanji Gifts

Updated: Nov 24, 2021

This week I talk to a store owner who reminded me how much I miss helping you curate your wardrobe.

She runs her business from a very heart centred place which brought up a bunch of memories and led me to the question: How ARE you?

Dressing people requires a profound degree of intimacy...people are sensitive about their image. There are body issues, medical issues and interpersonal issues. Clothing intersects all those aspects of life and I was blessed to participate, even if it was in a small way, to the Big Events in your life. If you weren't all so g'damned special, I wouldn't miss y'all so g'damn much!

And how am I?

Well, now that I have launched the podcast I'm much better. I was sick with nerves on launch day.

Would people like it or slam it? How would I even know?!

Would I be happy putting my energy into something that could take months (years? long?!) to build.

The response has been better than I expected (thanks to Apple Podcast stats) and building each week. So I am very happy.

More importantly: I love the process and the reason, again, goes back to YOU:

Theodore 1922 attracted a surprisingly diverse group of people. From clients to vendors to trades people, I talked to people from all walks of life. Each time you came in, or each buying season when we'd sit down over swatches, we'd pick up where we last left off.

So listening to peoples stories comes very naturally to me and I love it.

I also loved talking to you about the Business of Business, if you know what I mean. What was going on in the Italian fabric market? The stock market? In Queen's Park? We'd talk about groundbreaking legal decisions, or life changing elections. You'd let me know what was happening across canada and the world. You guys brought those stories to me...and now it's my turn to bring some stories to you.

This podcast is not simply a tactic to "fill the gap" between now and the next big thing. This IS the next big thing. I'm reporting first hand on the speed (and devastation) of retail consolidation, the bottleneck of shipping and how that effects us all, the resilience mounted by small local shops against a tsunami of forces. OMG, am I a huge nerd or what?!

Here's something else: I worry that the kind of retail I’m highlighting, small boutiques, may soon only be accessible to the very wealthy. Imagine that kind of societal divide where it's a luxury to be able to shop "local".

We’re living through a distopian era in retail and it's happening in real time.

No human society has ever been so disconnected from their intimate belongings. Never have goods travelled so far and so fast to arrive in your hands.

Like I said in my first What's This Place? Newsletter, shopping (which is both hunting and gathering) is in our DNA and shopping in "stores" is hundreds of years old. We all participate in the retail economy and it has never been as complex and fraught with issues.

I have brought up more questions than I have answers for today but this is a journey. A journey to re-discover stores and what they mean to us. To talk about new and interesting business models.

Podcasting is a very solitary world

...there's no feedback or even a dialogue. It's the polar opposite of having a store on a busy high street.

I need ways to get feedback...the buzz of humanity...and I have some ideas:

Statistically, I am going to say you're doing less shopping right now. Or maybe the stuff you do buy is more intentional? Am I right? How connected are you to the Things In Your Home? Do terms like "shop local" or "zero waste" turn you off or does it make you curious? Do you care? I know I get a visceral reaction to both those terms and it's not always in a good way...more on that in another post.

I'd love to hear from you. Would you drop a line? Even if you're not listening to the podcast...I would love to hear from you to hear how you're doing. You can also take it to The Socials on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook. There are so many ways to communicate but which one brings the best connection? Let me know.

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