March 10, 2015

A Radical Investment

I buy $300 bathing suits.

There, I said it. And while I have no shame around this, I do know that speaking that truth, in most circles–the circles I prefer to marinate in at least–is a radical statement.

When something is a “great deal”, I look askance. Nothing delights me more than paying full price for, well, value!

True cost is often on my mind. How could it not. The ways in which we consume is at the very heart of how we express what matters.

What some may consider an exorbitant amount to spend for a weekly Produce Box, I see as a sound purchase. When I calculate an apples-to-apples cost comparison as to what seasonal Texas grapefruit costs at Whole Foods, against what I am paying for them through Farmhouse Delivery, it may look like I’m paying too much. But the true value of my veggie purchase lies somewhat in the rejection of conventional food industry practices (yes, even at Whole Foods), but leans more towards aligning with the subtle expressions of what matter to me: Supporting local farmers to grow produce and their business sustainably, supporting two entrepreneurs that are considerate of my experience via their smart ordering system, menu planning and pleasure-filled photography, and even supporting meaningful conversations that occurs at every Farmhouse event.

But back to the suit.

I have been a client of Malia Mills since go (or 1995). My first encounter was at a lunchtime Sample Sale when I worked as a Merchandising Assistant at Eileen Fisher. And while I didn’t buy anything that day, I was smitten. But I will admit, at retail, I was a bit taken back by the price tag. However I was attracted to her designs, sizing system and fit. Oh the fit! I knew this was an item of quality, one that would endure. Soon thereafter, their Love Thy Differences philosophy took seed in me and grew into the shift my future consumption practices would take.

Check out this video. You, too, will fall hard for Malia.

And then there is that email I got from her personally thanking me for referring a client. I’m crushing HARD.

So paying full-price could feel like being ripped-off, when say a sweater you covet can (and will) be reduced up to 75% if you just wait long enough. Paying a premium for a meal in a five-star restaurant when the service/environment/menu falls short of expectation, sucks! But $300 for a bathing suit, designed and manufactured in New York, by a company who offers their employees insurance and a positive work environment, whose whole mission is to liberate women from the feeling of inadequacy that accompany the struggle to find a suit that fits?! A company that has succeeded in getting women to embrace their bodies? Their beauty?! A company that is run by a generous, talented woman whom I can admire?

When a seductive presentation of goods and services meets a holistic purchasing experience and results in “fit-me-like-a-glove” long-term satisfaction…

I haven’t paid enough.

Good food doesn’t come cheap. Good business practices must break with convention. And the same goes for good Design. It’s a radical investment.


::  If you liked this post, your next move would be to explore here. And if you loved this post… I’m smitten with YOU too.  ::

Image: Screen capture from video by Perry and Jim of San Francisco 3D films