Brand Oversaturation

(Giorgio Armani Cafe. I didn’t know M. Armani knew all about coffee and croissants!) Istanbul, Turkey

Brand saturation: When The Going Gets Greedy; how much is too much? Opinion, open to comments and suggestions and opinions! 🙂

Brand saturation. We all know it, even if we don’t realize it. This can also fall under “excessive licensing” to those who are more industry savvy. It’s a topic I find fascinating, and will be doing several posts in regards to it.

You know it. Most people think that Ralph Lauren dreamed up the exact combo of lilies and roses to make his perfume, or that he is just a jack of all trades and knows how to make a watch move. And now look, he has bed linens and plates and picnic baskets! You can go from the cradle to the grave, all day long, using Ralph Lauren.

Not so fast. It’s all licensed. It amazes me, when I bring this up to people in casual conversation, either they’re showing off their new bracelet or admiring the Dior mascara, and I remark about the profits of licensing. Really? He doesn’t design these flip flops? Sorry to burst your bubble about him being your dream guy (designer). I guess my FIT education did me some good after all.

It’s a win win. I do the work, but I get to borrow your name. You don’t do the work, but take less profit and trust me with your name. I personally feel the brand gets the better bargain, but hey, then again, the designer worked their butt off to be in the position where people would PAY them to slap John Smith on their OWN design, so I guess it all is good.

Many designers of course thus take advantage of brand licensing, but isn’t there too much of a good thing? Yes, you might get excited that your favourite designer is now making sunglasses or something of that elk that you can actually afford without surviving on stale saltines for a month, but then all of a sudden, you’re seeing his products everywhere. And I mean everywhere. People of all. It’s nice when everyone can maybe afford a taste of a designer, or is it? Personally it leaves me with a bit of a rotten taste…if everyone can have it, if it’s that accessible, why do I want it?

It’s not that you don’t want people to be able to afford things. Some people save and save to buy a designer bag that they’ve coveted for years. It harkens back to being a child on the playground. You were the first one to have red sparkly Dorothy shoes, and everyone admired them. You ruled the sandbox. But soon word of where your mom got them got out, and then there were a million little Dorothys running amok. You grew bored, and looked for the pink power ranger hi-tops as your next fave thing.

This mentality has not changed much, although instead of Payless Dorothy shoes it might be Valentino, with a 5 inch taller heel. If everyone has an item, you don’t feel unique, and in this day and age, people want to stand out, make a statement, not blend in like sheep. Sometimes you can’t help but to look similar- for example, an outfit of skinny jeans and black booties and a slouchy sweater- but you certainly don’t want to spend top dollar and the exact bag that everyone and their grandmother is carrying.

You start to question, a designer who became famous for perfect fitting blue jeans, do they REALLY know about cups and bowls? About bicycles? About stationary and pens? They start to lose your trust, as you question this superhuman ability. You see the name EVERYWHERE. It’s like your favourite record or CD- eventually you get tired of hearing “hit me baby one more time”, no matter how much you loved it.

Often, the brand loses sight of their original mission, their 20/20 vision becoming as blurred as a 92 year olds. They lose focus on what made them famous. Weren’t they all about the fit of flares, not health food!? So you’ll move on, to greener, un-mowed pastures, forgetting all about your once beloved, coveted item.

Or, you just go to www.etsy.com/shop/japonicanyc to buy unique, vintage porcelain tableware that I can’t find anywhere else!

 

Next up: branding in the sense of basic; to wear it or not to wear it (because everyone else is) how to determine

 

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Branded

(Actually, this is not really an example of far-out branding, as Hermes is a sponsor AND makes top quality saddles and equestrian equipment) Hampton Classic, Bridgehampton, New York

Tuesdays Thoughts On Famous Designers Designing Different Things (all in good humor!)

Tuesday afternoon I decided to scope out the Wedgewood website. Not because I was looking to pick up some duck print fine-bone china or a pair of crystal goblets to that cost more then my car. Just idly browsing. I enjoy homewares.

The homepage displayed some nice wares, with the stamp “Vera Wang”. Underneath the block Vera was “Wedgewood”, as if we needed reminding whose page we were on, and then below that in microscopic print: England 1759. Wedgewood, an English institution, who has made china literally fit for a Queen for actual centuries. Using a famous, celebrity-like designer who creates custom wedding gowns? Sounds like an odd… marriage.

I sat there, not clicking away and switching panes, but staring at her big Times New Roman plain font. When did the human race become so gullible that they’d buy anything as long as it had some recognizable designer name on it, even if that designer did NOT gain fame in that field?

What did Vera know about china? I’ll admit, I would give an arm and a leg and maybe a few eyeballs (no, not my eyes. I love my eyes) to be able to don one of her delectable creations on my non-existent wedding.  Her gowns are top-notch; that can not be disputed.

But what does the Queen of satin and silk, tulle and lace know about crystal stemware? I’ll admit, the pairing seems ideal. A fluted Vera dress and matching flutes to toast to your nuptials might definitely appeal to a specific character, with her happily ever after fantasy and colour coordination down to her bridesmaid’s underwear.

Still, the garment industry and the tableware industry are two distinct separate industries, for good measure. Just because you can design a dress does not grant you the authority nor knowledge or ability to design a tea set. Yes, the pottery was quite pleasant, no garish prints (I mean this WAS Wedgewood), but I was still irked.

Even if you can, do you WANT a Vera Wang white porcelain sugar container, at $135 a pop? Does the bride really need to receive all her new china from someone whose name is eponymous with weddings and dresses? Weddings are fun and all, but I don’t think the marital bliss will remain simply because every time I look down at my scrambled eggs the plate boasts Vera’s name.

Just because she was good at gowns, she could just plaster her name on anything and think it would sell? That countless advisories and marketing analysts and financial consultants all agree with this mindset? I know there’s months, years that goes into getting that goblet on the go, but still, couldn’t she leave it up to the specialists, such as Wedgewood? Why did everything have to intermingle? I always felt like products as such were cheapened somehow, even though I’d never utter a word of that nature in direction of her dresses.

I’m not going to even touch in this article about the whole over-saturation of a brand name and how that can drown a company that was previously Titanic –quality in its respect.  I’ll save that for my next post.

In the meantime, for some quality, handmade, unbranded, vintage porcelain made by dinnerware artisans, head over to www.etsy.com/shop/japonicanyc !

Exposing Your (Creative) Bones

(Don’t flat out refuse like this cowboy) New York, New York

Friday musings about being torn between the reluctance to share and desire to protect.

Exposing Your (Creative)Bones

In college, I took an intro to entrepreneurship class. We were required to present a business idea to the class. I, always brimming with ideas (usually as a result of my own frustration with some aspect of daily life), piped up.

“What if someone steals it?”

My professor didn’t miss a beat, even though he often would pause before speaking.

“You will be doing yourself a disservice. Keeping it to yourself will not prevent anything. It is your idea, your passion. Other people may listen, and like the idea, and yes, they could take it and run with it, but it burns brightly within you, with a fire that they do not possess. If you truly believe in it, and work for it,  it will belong to you.”

(I am paraphrasing this, as my memory has not improved with age, fancy that!)

I pondered this. Did I want to divulge my (what I thought brilliant idea) to a group of young eager students all dying to make money?

Reluctantly, I took his advice. Some of their eyes brightened, a few less had a bone to pick, thus of course driving me crazy, and he himself enjoyed it, but had some reservations, as he did with most of the others too. And that’s when I realized.

You need feedback. Secrecy does one no favours when it comes to developing an idea- we humans are not meant to operate alone; most mammals live in packs or groups. Scores of great things never would have been built/achieved/discovered if it hadn’t been for teamwork.

You need a fresh outlook, a different perspective other then your own. When you love something, often you are too close to it to see the imperfections. You overlook the flaws and focus on the favoured.

With the age of technology and social media, a lot of artists put their work out there. I often ponder this with my own Instagram account- I want people to see and like them, but at the same time, with all of the re-posting that goes on, I am so afraid of someone taking credit for my heart and soul as their own.

Yes, there are selfish people, who are in higher positions and may use the ideas of those less powerful, to spin them into something better, or blatantly copy for higher gain. This is a risk, but unfortunately this can’t always be avoided. A creative idea is almost like a child- you give birth to it, you love it; it’s your creation. The pain of having it stolen away is unbearable. Fight for it back; you can’t let them win.

So, do we shield our ideas from view? If you hide, no one will ever know you are any good, and you will most definitely never get discovered. The written word is especially hard- someone may not copy every line, but steal fragments here and there that sound suitable. But, if no  one ever reads your work, no one will definitely ever want to then read your work.

What do you think? Are you hesitant to expose your ideas, bare your creative being? Not for fear of ridicule, but because it will no longer be yours if it is out there? Or are you all for sharing, growing, editing- confident in the fact that it will remain yours?

Nostalgia & Quality

(I think the graffiti only adds to the character, don’t you?) Bushwick, Brooklyn New York

Monday morning musings about the tie between nostalgia and the quality of products

“Antique-design table”. “Retro hand-mirror”. “Converted radio flyer planter”. Every which way you turn, something harkens to days past, when it may in fact be brand new.  Nostalgia for days gone by, your younger years, has always been present. However, I feel more and more, in pop articles and articles generated by the bunch, that people are yearning for yesteryear. Why does this seem more prevalanet? Times were always simpler, inventions and such have always existed.

This is a topic that has been long debated, and I won’t profess to having any answer. However, in terms of nostalgia pertaining to home products, this is a lot easier to pin down.

Quality is the key word to this nostalgia for old products, buildings and designs. As I walk along Fulton Street in Brooklyn, I see so many old brownstones being gutted, just empty shells standing, while other less desirable structures are merely bulldozed and new, generic, bland looking buildings are erected in what feels like mere minutes. No decorative detailing, and everything looks eerily temporary, despite the steel beams and cement.

Technology, although wonderful with all we can accomplish, has made the process of mass production possible. The more of something that exists, the less desirable it becomes, as it is not rare, unique. We humans seem to crave uniqueness, why, maybe because we have less and less to worry about. “Too much of a good thing” is perhaps true. If you were to all of a sudden possess 300 Sailor Moon Sculptures, the original would immediately lose its value, its prestige, when before it was as rare as the “Heart of The Ocean” (diamond necklace from Titanic, duh!)

When something is handmade now, we see it as a gift from the heart, something special, something that will ultimately cost more money because it took much more time and skill to produce.  It is something unique, as no mold is being used, no two products can be completely identical.

As time goes by and the technology is honed and perfected, it somehow makes products less and less respectable, despite often improving certain aspects about them. New materials and ways of using old ones to maximize profit and minimize costs are being produced. For example, polyester is cheap, and man-made, and although can imitate silk, it does not hold a candle to the quality of silk, no matter how nice the drape is.

The items hailed from simpler times, when the current worries of the modern world did not exist, or were just a far off future issue that were not actively on our minds. With worrying about whether your Instagram post was filtered enough or if the Starbucks new drink is going to have too many calories, it is nice to rest your eyes on something from a time where you had to wait by the landline phone to hear back from someone and milk cost 10 cents, not 8$ at WholeFoods. Sub-conciously, they sooth us.

Maybe when all of the similar looking brownstones were developed, people felt the same way about them .”Oh look, another 3-window façade with a flowered scroll etched in the cement above them. Not again!” Just because we see NOW that they were quite beautiful structures, doesn’t mean that when they were new, people thought the same thing.

Perhaps it takes a lot of time to pass to realize what we had, to adjust, to accept, to realize that something is not all that bad. Maybe sixty years from now we’ll think that that clothes from Forever21 are something to clamor for, but in the meantime….. I’ll just shop for vintage porcelain dinnerware and other cute vintage items on www.etsy.com/shops/japonicanyc

But I Totally Could Have Made That…

 

(All this takes is some yard sale finds and some glue…) Armory Shows, New York, New York

Short musings of art and peoples perception

But..I could make that! You think, shaking your head and muttering at the last art fair you attended. Sometimes, it just seems so absurd. A bunch of Instagram-like party shots of wasted 22 year olds going for thousands of dollars. Maybe I should try to frame mine and give it a go, you think, swirling your non-alcoholic beverage straw. Next up, a bunch of ….whirring Evian bottles?! Has the world gone mad? This looks like a ten year old boy-genius science project.

Yes, I’m sure you can tie a motor to an Evian bottle and call it a day.

But would you? You haven’t yet, have you? Maybe that’s the difference. Some people are more impulsive then others, and whether or not it is easy as pie or as detailed as a Rubens is not, in fact, the important factor. The factor is the act, deciding to make the move.

It’s true that maybe not a lot of thought goes into a plain navy blue canvas that has a smiley face stuck in the top corner.

When I was five I definitely could have painted a canvas blue and stuck a sticker on the top, albeit the brush strokes would not have had that distinct pattern, and …wait. Now suddenly something that seemed so simple, is actually not.

Whether it is simple or not, I feel that the main purpose of art, when it boils down to it, is not simply just decoration, or to add beauty or colour to a room, but to elicit some sort of emotion. Whether it is surprise, disgust, delight, . Art can make you pensive, it can make you incredulous. It just has to make you think something.

It is a conversation starter. The best kind of first date is actually at a museum- and you can learn a lot about someone from what they have to say about art, whether they appreciate it or not.

It can improve our mood. Looking at a mural of kitties definitely would brighten my day.

It can add beauty, colour, life, to an otherwise dull room. Personally, my mood plummets if I am in a bland, ugly space, and I would think that applies to most humans.

Another world to enter when yours is not to your liking. Getting lost in a wildflower field is much preferable to a windowless cubicle.

It can provoke inspiring thoughts and ideas. Your mind opens up while observing, almost like you are the artist. What would you change?

I myself am a fan on Monet and Renoir, the beautiful detailed yet abstract mixture of colours, the soothing scenes that I feel I can enter. I like the precise detail of a Rubens, the mood of Vermeer. I like things that are realistic, that blatantly take hours to produce. Time is money, precious, you can’t buy it. But it doesn’t mean that something that doesn’t take 4 years to produce can’t be just as appealing, does it?

That being said, there is something appealing about modern art, the art that we are referring to, a bunch of geometric triangles suspended from a fish hook. Each piece is for a different setting.

An office, a restaurant, a theatre lobby, a private school, over my toilet, my living room fireplace, a subway passage, a hotel room. Certainly the bronzed poop emoji statue I saw the other day would be much more appropriate at a comedy club then a bunch of Cezanne grapes.

A time and a place for everything.

So yes, I could have ripped that Persian rug that I stapled to a board, but I haven’t. And it would look pretty damn cool, simple or not.  Does everything have to be so detailed, extravagant? Sometimes life simplified is all we need. Soothing. To the point. Direct. Like an all white room. Zen. See? I’m feeling relaxed just writing about it, I can’t even construct a proper full sentence. Buy vintage porcelain pieces and other unique items on www.etsy.com/shops/japonicanyc

The Armory (Art) Show

(Is it just me, or does the head of that…thing wearing the million button coat remind you of the snake in Beetlejuice?) Armory Art Show, Manhattan

Who doesn’t love a good art fair on a  sunny Saturday afternoon? (All our posts in good humor)

This weekend was the annual Armory Art show at the west side piers in Manhattan. Of course, being the creative type, I paid a visit. Here are a few observations that I feel inclined to point out, and, needless to say, I’ve felt that every art show is a copy/paste.

The same kitschy, repetitive subjects. You know, Mickey Mouse, Campbell Soup cans, popular icons du jour. I do adore Marilyn, but if I see one more pixelated image of her sultry face, I’m going to get more then a seven-year itch. Aren’t there other buxom beauties that you can immortalize using discarded eyeglasses and kids sippie cups? 

The least expensive art is also the most buyable. You snoozed your way through modern contemporary, but now that you’re in the venue that actually lists the price next to the art, you wonder if someone got the lists mixed up, as you actually might buy the bronze poop emoji sculpture, unlike that bare taupe square. You know, something tasteful, trendy….

A million selfies with sculptures. Sure, no worries that the giant blue (Blue? Is it rotten? Do I want to know) strawberry is listed at a price more then your years rent, and it would take longer for you to repay the damage then your student loans? Let’s all form a ring around it like we’re strawberry shortcake. Say selfie!

You want to quit your dayjob. If that guy spends his times to make machines that light up like a plastic garbage bag jellyfish, well, I want some of that. Everyone sat around mesmerized like they got the kool-aid, and I’ve always wanted to inspire beyond my jokes at the bottom of the purchase orders I do.

You’ll be tempted by the chocolate babkha. I thought this was about the art ? Not my growling stomach- or more like it, making my stomach growl, as that falafel lunch I scarfed down earlier is still making me look three months along.

Busiest places are ones with free alcohol. You nodded politely at your date’s analysis of WHY he’d buy the “gray sweatpants/ aquarium on a fur rug” piece, but now that you reached the alcohol sponsored venue, you’ve dropped all patience and elbow your way for a free Bombay Sapphire and champagne (gin and champagne? Sure why not). You’re gonna need it.

People are there to be seen, what art? It’s a fabulous place to people watch- where else would you see people who look like they should be installations of art themselves? Not to mention the obligatory hot/not hot couples making the most of his bonus from Morgan Stanley.

The people you are with look at their phones, not the art. “Sorry, I need to get this girl I met the other night at the Gilded Lily in, I told her about my VIP card you know?” “look at this photo my friend posted of her here yesterday” “Martina said she was coming, god that girl is such a bore. Can we go meet her at the entrance?” While you try to point out that we already passed these pieces.

Imagine where you are putting this things in your apartment. I swear, the people who buy this things must live in some sprawling South Dakotan mansion, because where would I fit some sculpture of a dead cowboy with balloons tied to him in my third floor walkup? Meh, maybe I’ll nix the bed. Why sleep when I can enjoy such wonderful art?

The pieces you love are beyond price upon request. Figures that the antique Persian rug with the mushrooms sprouting from it would garner you a smirk and a raised eyebrow when you inquired (damn, maybe my Hello Kitty tee shirt was a bad idea after all).

Quantity, even of quality, can dull even the most brilliant work.. Yes, the ornate frame with the ditsy floral pattern and man riding bareback is amazing, but after you’ve seen 398420 different works, it barely generates a flicker of your eyes. 

There is some lovely, thought provoking pieces amidst it all. Really, after fighting your way through the crowds, you actually can discover why you came here in the first place. Stand, search, sigh, and remember why you love art and buying things in the first place. Visit Japonicanyc.com to purchase vintage tableware and other atsy items!

 

Pickin’ My Brain About American Pickers

(Now, if Mike Wolfe and Frank Fritz found something like this, I’d totally go for it…) Hamptons Art Fair, Bridgehampton, New York

Why do we pick to watch what we watch? (All in good humor)

As we all know, when you turn on a TV, practically every channel boasts some reality TV. It’s not just MTV and the Real World, with college kids chugging beers (I don’t know actually, never watched it).  Now, there is a show for everyone- Real Deal for the Wall Street wonders, Iron Chef for those of us who don’t actually set the kitchen on fire, Catfish for those of us who can emote with relatable online dating horror stories, and American Pickers for those who like old stuff. Two friends who travel far and wide, taking that old bowl you were using as an ashtray and declaring it belonged to Napoleon (you know, Bonaparte). The show gets quite the views, but why? Why do we set out (with our ultra American array of snacks) to watch two dudes sift through old tires and trash? Hey, didn’t I just do that the other day at my grandmas? People get paid to do this- and we watch? Here’s why.

It Appeal to our American Columbus-like motives of exploring,but from the comfort of your LaZ-Boy. Go on any dating site, and everyone says “they love to travel/ want to travel/live in a suitcase” etc. The reality is, most people don’t travel further then the McDonalds 15 minutes away (which, in suburbia, is supposedly a bit far to travel for one?) Like (some) of our ancestors, who may have braved the scary dark bowls of a boat across the Atlantic to settle in unknown wilderness, the show appeals to the inner explorer in all of us. Discovering new things, setting out into the unknown…it’s like being a kid with a treasure map.

Speaking of being a kid with a treasure map, it’s not just the act of exploration and setting off on an adventure, but about finding something magnificent. Like Indiana Jones, the idea of pulling some ancient rare artifact from the fiery pit of doom definitely appeals to the greed in us. Even if you aren’t a fan of antiques and old stuff, there is a thrill of finding some beautiful (and expensive) item amidst all of that garbage. And Mike and Fritz are childhood friends, adding to the sweet little scenario of you and your best friend/ next door neighbor digging for gold in his mother’s prize winning petunias until she screamed like Carmela Soprano.

Sense of nostalgia. There are many explanations why we enjoy seeing them unearth tin cafeteria trays that look like our old high schools, even if those trays carried the most questionable lunch meat ever. We like to think of the “good ol’ days”, even if the good ol’ days involved having to run away from Buster Harrison every time you saw him in the hallway.  The American Pickers reality tv show provides 30 minutes of a visual trip down memory lane, just without the hours spent waiting by the phone (landline) and 24 hour Duane Reades.

Instant gratification, without having to do the work, just view it on a screen. Perhaps due to technology, (or where you are raised; I know for a fact that people from Michigan are a lot less impatient waiting those two long minutes for their bacon egg and cheese then I am) we have become increasingly impatient, wanting everything as fast as a Tinder swipe (left, duh). The American Pickers provide this.

The reality is, for every platinum ballerina they find, they find a million pieces of brass and spend days trekking across the country, living off gas station donuts and sifting through some practically blind woman’s claim that she had George Washington’s wig, whereas in reality it was just her husband’s toupee (he pulled it off pretty well, sorry for the pun). But we don’t have to witness that headache, just see them move a few items, and presto! Antique hairdryer.

We all love a bargain. For as much as we want to post “popping bottles” on Instagram, we cringe the next day when we wake up and log onto our bank accounts. As much as people like to pretend money is not option, the inner pushcart haggler in al of us love a good bargain. A penny saved is a penny served you know. So when we see the guys score a vintage scuba outfit for 5$, our inner mother in us (remember when she wouldn’t spend the extra $10 for the light up sneakers? We’re still mad) cheers.

So inspiring is the show, that we feel the urge to actually get up and go see if any old folk nearby need some help cleaning….oh wait, cleaning? Maybe….Shop www.etsy.com/shops/japonicanyc for porcelain tableware and trinkets just like the pickers might find!

HoliDAZE (The Relay Race Of Gift Giving)

(No rushing the holidays in Czech Republic- this photo shows Christmas stands bustling with business a week after the big day) Prague, Czech Republic

 

(Am I getting the lineup of the holidays confused? Always with a touch of humor)

I’m cutting straight to the point. Mothers day blog posts. In February. February (in New York at least) is known for being the most miserable, darkest, coldest months of the year (usually). Blizzards that bring snow that doesn’t melt and sits in heaps taller then an NBA player. Wait, isn’t the next commercial holiday up Easter? I am so confused.

No where wading through this mess of snow, sappy V-Day cards and shoe-destroying salt am I thinking of warm weather, flowers (well, in my commuting fantasies, but not concrete) and …mother’s day. Worse, my heartbeat starts racing (and not from the two coffees I already consumed), but from the prices…are people really falling for it, and buying mom a $200 candle? That;s my health insurance for a month- and I don’t know if I want to tempt fate just so mom can smell gardenias for the 50 hour “burn time”.

Doesn’t mothers day fall somewhere (I just had to look this up, proving I’m a dreadful daughter) around May 8th? Yes, May. You know the ditty “April showers bring May flowers”? I’m still bundled up in my long super warm shearling coat here. And I’m already fielding my way through posts about personalised gift bags and handmade cards made by nuns and other things about what to get the woman who always says she wants nothing, raises her voice like an opera singer the thought of having to give a gift?

The word holiday is used in Britain the same way we use the word vacation. A vacation implies(ha ha ha) a time of peace, relaxation, celebration, enjoyment, happiness. So why does the word holiday in America bring so much stress? Impatience.

As Americans, we are an impatient people. We get our coffee on the go, eat lunch standing in the pizza shop, buy have drive through weddings with an Elvis priest. Why does our impatience have to spill over to holidays?  Whatever happened to the E.B White quote “never hurry, never worry?” As soon as one holiday is over, stores rip down the displays as if some secret holiday police were going around handing out fines for keeping the marshmallow peeps out an extra day (I personally would eat them all year). As a child I used to get melancholy in mid January, begging one more week for our Tannenbaum to stay put (foot was put down on that dream, with the threat that my toys go up in flames, dry needles and all).

As soon as one is over, we have to be assaulted- visually (tacky bright displays) , aurally (Christmas songs by some horrible pop singer instead of Sinatra), even orally ( I can even taste the Halloween candy when I walk near it, the mass of sugary treats wafting through the plastic like some radioactive toxin). Can’t we have a few moments rest to see what we really need in Duane Reade like breath mints and Tide (who goes in there to buy heart chocolates and stuffed bears anyways?)?

We need to learn to relax. Life is too short for this constant rushing. Take each holiday as they come- maybe a month before the actual date. Search for a gift, but not with the rabid aggression of a childs maiden version to DisneyWorld. Buy what you can afford, not something you’ll spend three months paying off, for the friend you see only once a year (begrudgingly).  Enjoy what we are celebrating, as it comes, not raise our blood pressure levels fretting over the Frette bathrobe or the discount one at Bed Bath & Beyond months before it will be given.

Being in the marketing/selling world, I am not advocating to stop gift giving. I have a degree in merchandising; I hope I understand the monetary value that holidays bring. What I am advocating is, enjoy the day. Get mom that gift, but enjoy the day with her. Lavishing her with some “curated all natural local farm produced handpicked hand mashed gluten free face wash” bag is nice and all, but it doesn’t make up for being a terrible daughter who doesn’t see her 8 months out of the year and groans and at the thought of listening to her anecdotes about her dogs.

When the end of April rolls around, maybe I’ll take a journey out east and see my mom that weekend, IF the weather is warm and sunny. Or, I’l just send her flowers. Or buy her some porcelain at http://www.etsy.com/shops/japonicanyc.  Either way, at the end of the day, she knows I love her.

Fifteen Reasons To Buy Vintage (Humor)

(Do you think these cups found in Germany from centuries ago would be termed as vintage?) Berlin, Museuminsel

Vintage VS (todays mass) Volume

Open up any Anthropologie magazine, even go to the home décor section in Target. Practically everything you see is vintage inspired. Not just a classic, standard look, like a grandfather clock, but actively attempting to look like it was on your great great great grandmothers first Thanksgiving Day. Vintage is popular- but why not make it authentic? 15 reasons to purchase vintage wares listed below. Disclaimer: our post is all in good fun.

  1. Save money. Vintage formal silverware set from Etsy for $20, plus dinner and a movie, or similar set from (insert home décor store here) for $180? Take the popcorn.
  2. Love Leo. Make Leonardo DiCaprio happier then he was after receiving his Oscar by aiding to making the world a better place and re-using old items. Environmentally friendly!
  3. Receive a quality product. Somehow, despite not having the technologies we do today, older products often are more sturdy and long lasting. I think this is one of the 8th world wonders, forget those hanging gardens of Babylon.
  4. Sense of history, a story comes with each product. Even if you don’t know who owned that vintage silver comb, you can just pretend John Wentworth the Fourth was your wealthy cousin who you inherited your aristocratic nose from.
  5. A truly unique look. No one is going to give you home of the year or include you on the annual house tour if you look like a Pottery Barn magazine (no matter how white your towels are.) People want imagination!
  6. Eliminate massive landfills. We can see amber waves of grain, not big dirt mounds with a forgotten dolly’s arm poking through like a scary movie
  7. Combat pollution and labor issues. Lower the toxic levels of pollution by having less factories churn out endless supplies of generic glass tumblers. We love our world.
  8. Limit family feuds. Take the relief off someone having to have a fight with their mother before she goes to the nursing home and buy those porcelain plates.
  9. Create your own heirlooms. Possibly could create your own heirloom- even if it only cost $5, nostalgia is everything these days.
  10. Support small business. Does the Walton family need to move from 10 to 1 on the billionaires list? (not that we don’t love buying cases of Charmin for $15, but it’s nice to help out and thrift shops that donate to stopping breast cancer and such)
  11. Support worthy causes. Buying vintage from Thrift stores can help noble causes like breast cancer and animal shelters, not just the CEOS Hamptons vacation house he uses twice a summer.
  12. Stand out! Not have your house look like every other suburban 3.5BDR on the block (isn’t the identical façade confusing enough? You don’t want to confuse your teenage kids as they sneak in late one night).
  13. Feel the praise. Guests will heap praise and wonder abut your mysterious ways to procure such interesting products (yard sale last Sunday on Utica and Bainbridge, $3 bucks, but no one need know) Restoration Hardware, right? 😉
  14. De-stress. Mismatched plates are so stress free- no more arguing at the dinner table. If little Johnny go so enthused at re-enacting his all star home run, it doesn’t matter if he swept last nights’ chicken dinner to the floor. Just go and scoop up more plates- matching is so 1950’s housewife.
  15. Play the part. Forget just impersonating the persona of Greta Garbo- I think that mink stole you just picked up looks old enough to have belonged to her. Really look the part

 

See? Don’t you feel better already? Shop Japonicanyc on Etsy for vintage porcelain treasures and dinnerware.