I love the shop, especially supporting artists and small, women-run businesses. I thrive on aesthetics and see my gift as offering beauty and simplicity. Still, I struggle with the commerce side of things. Is it truly mindful when the bottom line is always to sell more stuff? I’m always searching for a purpose beyond this bottom line.
I find purpose in art and functional items made with care and intention that hold an energy of reverence for the materials used. When we work closer to the earth, simplifying the process and connecting with the ingredients or materials, we’re connected to the source. I’d like the shop to be a gateway to this connection. For example, a truly natural deodorant, or face wash made with purity and simplicity can inspire a customer to ditch the old products packaged in plastic and filled with synthetic ingredients and even inspire people to make their own. I love the idea of someone discovering one of our all natural apothecary products and after it’s used, filling the reusable container with their own creation. Inspiring creators, instead of consumers. I’ve always had an aptitude for mindfulness, yet it’s been more subtle, more of a background sentiment. I’ve been slow to express this side of myself for fear of offending people, or coming off too self-righteous. That’s still a concern but I am coming to understand a new way.
A way to inspire instead of shame, a way to find the joy in connection. Now I feel a renewed commitment to be radically ethical and earth-friendly and to have that be the lead driver—to make that the core of every decision infused with a deep love for nature. Not just by using buzz words like ‘sustainable’ or ‘ethical’ as a way to make people feel good, but to use this as a core value that goes deeper into every aspect of the business. So far, this manifests in creative new ideas, like a zero-waste collection or spending more time with vendors in learning about every part of their process. Or, asking my vendors to refrain from using plastic in their packaging. It’s the little wins, like opening a box from a vendor known to wrap everything in plastic, to find only recycled paper, beautifully wrapped. I feel I am just scratching the surface of what’s possible when we turn our attention to the source, after all, that’s were all inspiration stems from.
Above are some examples of new products I’ve been introducing as part of our zero-waste collection. The wood hairpin is a lovely gift from Saya Designs and will have a happy home here in the shop as soon as they are available (hopefully this summer). I’m really excited about what Victoria, the founder, is creating here. Each hairpin is handcrafted from roots salvaged from old plantations and with each purchase they will plant up to 10 endangered trees.
At SAYA we take a waste material and turn it into something beautiful and purposeful, while giving back to those dedicated to protecting our planet. At a time of globalisation, industrialisation, and climate change, being able to put money directly into the pockets of local artisans, to support NGOs, and those going the extra mile to work ethically, is a very powerful thing. I believe we are on the brink of change, and I am personally determined to drive more energy into this change. – Victoria