Tuesday, May 21, 2013

On relationships...

I just read the news about Kathreen Ricketson.  She and her family went away for what was to be a year long vacation, adventure, learning experience resulting in a book.  But, shortly into the trip, she and her husband drowned while swimming with their children.  I am so shocked and saddened...I just can't imagine...

One of the things I have learned the most from running this business is that it is not just for me, but has always been about the relationships, conversations, organic processes of growth, development and change surrounding it.  An unexpected reward has been to get to know the people who carry the bags we make in our studio each day.  The attachment of phrases like "made with love" to a handmade object can be both kitschy and artificial, but, in reality, a relationship begins when you purchase a bag from us. Whether we start a conversation or not, you are carrying around something that we personally made. We all come to the studio each day and, while working, share the stories of our lives. Our daily conversations about life's problems, joys and excitements, shared over the hum of our machines, is all a part of the process of making our bags. Often, I receive emails from people who recognize this and share their own stories of change, growth and adventure that their Moop bags were able to tag along for. I love these emails more than anything.

Kathreen was one of these people. She carried several Moop bags and we became part of her stories of personal experience. Kathreen was a huge supporter of small, independent and handmade communities and has had an impact on more people than she ever knew. For a business like Moop, it is these personal references and promotions that are the most meaningful and impactful and have helped us build our customer base one person at a time. Building a business this way is slow and making a career out of a life of making will not likely make you the wealthiest person in the neighborhood, but it will create a life that you are in love with living. This is why I continue to do what I do. 

While it is easy to share in happiness, sharing in sadness and loss must also happen and I felt I needed to share this for Kathreen. She and her husband's unexpected passing has left their children without parents. A trust fund has been set up by family members in the name of their children to help pay their expenses in the coming years. Every small bit we can each do will make a significant difference for Kathreen's children and will help to celebrate in memory her dedication to a life well lived.

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