We started our business not long before the Occupy Wall Street movement began. Around the same time, friends & family began requesting items that would fit a leaner budget. We realized that though we tend to make high-end work, we don't want to serve only the wealthiest 1 or 2% of American citizens. With that in mind, we developed smaller, more personal items that we can sell at a manageable price.
For us, being authentic means we are reliable, responsive, and accountable. We do what we say we're going to do. We keep the lines of communication open. If we mess up, we admit it and make amends. It also means we speak our truth about who we are outside of the business. The lines become very blurry between "family" and "business" when you own a small family business!
It might go without saying coming from a business built around art, but we are passionate about what we do! We love the act of creating our work, we love owning a small business, and we love being part of the local artist and maker community in Richmond. Most of all, we are absolutely passionate about creating a well-made, beautiful item that fits our customer's needs exquisitely.
These five values account for our greatest priorities in our lives and work over the last seven years. But there's more, of course. Other companies' core values inspire us and resonate with who we are and how we operate. These include "Do more with less" (Zappos), "courage and love" (Whole Foods) and "You can make money without doing evil" (Google).
And there are other values we aspire to incorporate more fully into our work such as equality, diversity, and lifting up those who've been denied opportunity. Just as a person continues to grow and evolve throughout their life, so does a business. And we have many years ahead of us to grow our list of core values!
Special thanks to our friend Erin McRoberts of Awl Snap for inspiring this post with her own blog post about responsibility practices in her business.