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Swimming Upstream

A slowly made life.  It sounds thoughtful, peaceful and beautiful.  It’s what Made Collective is all about. And yet when Steph, Naomi and I looked at our lives over the past year, they were just full. Sure we had scattered moments of though, peace and beauty but these moments happened by chance not by any intentional lifestyle choice.

Last year we operated at top speed to keep up with our newly launched business, Steph’s photography, Naomi’s full-time job, my writing, our families and everyday life, all while preaching the benefits of slow made.  That’s right, we were total hypocrites!  We decided that our personal and business lives would look different in 2018 and that we would practice what we preach.  For Naomi that has meant stepping away from Made Collective.  She continues to cheer us on from the sidelines as Steph and I re-evaluate the business and slow down.

This has proven to be easier said than done.  We were thrilled with the response to Made Collective and we haven’t stopped dreaming of all the possibilities!  We have so many thoughts about products, makers, workshops and events.  The ideas just keep coming as do the requests from makers and other businesses but this year we are being very intentional about our choices so we can embrace a slowly made life.  So where do we start?

Do the Things We Love

We decided to let our hearts lead us.  We want to make the products we enjoy making, teach the workshops we love teaching and involve ourselves in projects that focus on conserving the earth’s resources.  When we wrote down all the things we wanted to make, teach and involve ourselves in, the list was tiny.  And this made us ridiculously happy.

Learn to Say No - A Lot

The tiny list evolved into a realistic plan of what we wanted to slowly achieve is 2018. The only thing left to do was say “no” - a lot!  In the past month we have said no to each other, to some of our favorite makers, to new ideas, to new products and so much more.  If we are going to be serious about a slowly made life then a polite “no” has to our new best friend because we simply cannot do it all.

Stop, Look, Listen, Think

This doesn’t mean that things can’t be added to the tiny list but before we do we are going to stop, look, listen and think.  We are going to stop or at the very least slow way down to thoughtfully examine the new thing we want to add to the list.  Then we are going to look at the new thing from all angles.  Does it help us get to where we want to go this year?  Then are going to listen to our hearts.  Does this new thing make them pitter patter?  And lastly, we are going to think about what can come off the list if we add this new thing.  The one in, one out policy applies to closets, kitchen cupboards and tiny lists.

The practice of a slow and thoughtfully made life can feel a bit like lazily floating down a river in a lovely handmade raft with 100% organic cotton curtains gently fluttering in the breeze as loud jet skis, speed boats and luxury liners speed past emitting toxic fumes and jostling you about in their wake.  All kidding aside, Steph and I are serious about the hard work of swimming upstream this year and giving slowly made our best effort.  We’ll keep you posted.  


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