This is the tagline that kept popping up in my mind when I first started Just Beyond the Cottonwoods at the end of 2017. At the time, I couldn’t even completely define what I meant by the phrase, and even now my ideas about what being “simply intentional” means are evolving. I do know that it is a desire I have to focus on simplicity and to be intentional. Each year I believe I get a little closer to understanding it more and more. I know I’m tired of mass produced inauthentic products and experiences. I’m tired of being a number in a line at a restaurant, shop, or even in every day relationships. I’m tired of fluff. I know I like authentic products, experiences, and relationships that intentionally are meaningful. How to translate that into a brand consisting of an encouraging message and products that are unique and meaningful has been the challenge.
At our last show in northern Ohio, I had a customer come in to our booth to browse with a friend. I try not to “spy” on my booth customers, but I do appreciate their feedback, and her feedback brought a giant smile to my heart. She was drawn to something hanging on our booth walls. She leaned into her friend as she picked up the product, and let out a sigh as she said, “This is so beautiful, yet so simple.” I pondered what she had just said. Her statement is exactly what I have been going for. She understood our tagline, and that fluff is a distraction from the authentic and intentional. I appreciated her comment so very much.
I’m always in awe of customers who take the time to email, text, and message me after they receive an order to thank me. The fact that they would take the time to thank me for their purchase warms my heart so much. I am so grateful to them for taking a risk and shopping with Just Beyond the Cottonwoods. My desire is for my customer’s experience to not end with selecting a product to purchase, but I desire to extend an intentionally pleasant and memorable experience in the way I package their products, and communicate afterwards. When a package is shipped, I want the customer to have the experience of receiving a gift, even though more often than not the customer has purchased a gift for someone else. I also love to add small simple details in intentional ways to help my customer see the value I place in my work and in their special order.
We all probably appreciate the efficiency of receiving our Amazon packages, but they arrive cold and surrounded by massive fluffy plastics. There is no experience in opening a package from a big box store, and that’s ok most of the time. Do I really need an experience when I open my box of oatmeal or toilet paper? I don’t always need to feel a part of the process. But it sure is nice when I do. To see beauty in simplicity, to see functionality and form combined in an intentional way is very meaningful.
This year I hope to explore more of what it means to be simply intentional, on this blog, through customer experience, through product creation, and in my personal life as well. There is something here. There is something special about being simply intentional, and perhaps I’m just scraping the surface. I think many others desire what being simply intentional can do for their lives as well. So as we begin this new year, after such a difficult 2020, I hope you will join me in the journey of discovering what being simply intentional can do for our own general wellbeing and for the wellbeing of others in this new year.