We have recently been thinking about the idea of “the pursuit of perfection”. We commissioned a blog article about it, and we talk about it all the time… “Why is this customer complaining about a brown spot on a leaf, don’t they realise it’s normal? It's nature, plants aren’t perfect! Nothing is perfect!”
Well, maybe it’s time we start holding ourselves to the same standards. Or, would that be a lack of standards?
Let’s start with a little introduction. Hi! I’m Andrea. I’m one half of Studio Foliage. My better half, Amber, she says hello too but she added a British accent so it's more like helloOOoo. We’ve been friends for fifteen years, and family for almost as long. Feel free to call us Ambrea.
We’ve been at the wheel of Studio Foliage for about two crazy years now. Actually, we’ve only been at the wheel of Studio Foliage for three months, before then it was Fleurifik Foliage, and originally it was just Fleurifik. But we’ll go down that road another day if you’re interested, but for now, back to perfection, the pursuit of it, and why that might not be the best thing.
Running a business has fully brought to light the fact that I am a perfectionist. Although this can be a good thing -- Strive for excellence! Share only the cream of the crop! BE THE BEST! -- It can also be very limiting. I am often bombarded with thoughts of inadequacy, self-criticism, and comparison. It’s incredibly difficult to be vulnerable online. We are surrounded by illusions of perfection, of boss-bitches, of success, of productivity, and of happiness. Although vulnerable and real content definitely does exist, it usually sits in the shadows of perfection (plus, let’s be real, slime squooshing videos and pictures of aglaonema pictum tricolours), waiting patiently to be scrolled upon and double tapped, maybe commented on too.
Not only does this pursuit and this mindset of wanting to present “perfect” to the world skew our perception of what is normal or expected of us, it also limits us from sharing things period. Well, at least for me it does.
So let's roll back a bit. I am a newly self-acknowledged perfectionist and I am also a very skilled and adept procrastinator, a skill I have been honing for many, many years. These are super fantastic qualities to possess if your goals are to never complete anything in your life ever. I’m sure you can already imagine... I start something, get distracted, go back to it, decide it’s not good enough to share, go do something else, but oh no! I need that thing I started, but oh yeah, it’s not good enough yet, I need to work on it more. I go to work on it more, but oh yes, there is another thing that is very very important and I must do immediately.
All my ramblings to say it’s been two years and I still haven’t published an “About Us” page because I didn’t think it was good enough. ‘Cause it wasn’t perfect.
So, here you are. You have clicked on “About Us”, and now you are confused and thinking “Is this an about us page or simply the ramblings of a crazy lady?” As you think these thoughts, know that I am probably sitting somewhere, maybe listening to birdsong from my open window, procrastinating, and also thinking “I should probably update our crazy rambling “About Us” page... But right now I’m writing, typing, writing typing and thinking, thinking about how important “About Us” pages are, about our own brand values, and the desire to connect with you, our dear audience, in a deeper way.
When I stumble upon a company that makes a good first impression on me, one thing I immediately do is look for their bio / values / raison d’etre. I want to know what drives that company to create or sell what they do beyond the promise of profit. I want to see if they align with my own beliefs. Amber does the same thing, and I’m willing to bet you do too. Isn’t that why you’re here?
You would think that since philosophy and transparency are so important to us as consumers, we would have had our own ideals up at the forefront lickity split. But dudes, it’s not as easy as it looks. I could blah blah on and on about why it’s difficult, the fear of judgement and being held accountable, following through, doing the endless hours of research involved in sourcing the right materials for everything, (see all this blah blah, how it’s going on and on?). But I think everyone’s time would be much better spent if I just cut to the chase and told you what our values are, what we’re aiming towards, and why those things are important to us.
We believe that education and the pursuit of knowledge should be part of life. Expanding our minds keeps us sharp, makes us more curious, and allows us to make the best decisions we possibly can. Learning new skills is incredibly rewarding, boosts our confidence, and makes us better at the things we do, or want to do. We want to use our website and blog to keep learning and to share the knowledge! Personally, we’re curious about pretty much everything, but here you’ll find anything under the umbrella of our values, everything from detailed plant care, to floral arranging, to artist/farmer profiles, to mental health, how to make a mean curry, and everything in between.
This one is surely no surprise. Everyone and everyone is hopping on the Sustainability Train these days - and that’s a very good thing. We only have one planet, and we believe that companies must be held accountable for their waste, environmental and social impact, packaging, carbon footprint, and most importantly, for educating their customers. Our goal here is to be completely open and transparent about where we source things and why. We want you to know the who what where when why and how behind our thought process so you can feel good about buying from us. We also want to give you the tools to properly dispose of any waste that might come along with shipping your order to you safe and sound. Does this go in the recycling? Can I compost this? Is that garbage? These will be questions no more! Among other things, our future perfect is to have an index of all of our packaging materials so things are easy peasy lemon squeezy for you to dispose of them accordingly.
There are a thousand other goals that we want to achieve in the context of sustainability, but in the meantime, we’ll start with simple and attainable. Baby steps.
It’s tough to be a human. For some, it’s tougher. Mental well-being is an often overlooked or written-off aspect of overall health, but it is so incredibly important. Our mental state plays an enormous role in how we treat ourselves (physically and emotionally) and how we treat other people. In all transparency, I suffer from depression and Amber suffers from depression and anxiety. It’s not pretty, but it’s very real, and I know there are many of you out there who can relate. Treatment is expensive and may not be available or accessible for everyone, and so you adapt and learn to live and cope with things on your own. We know how this feels. From coping with our own issues, we know that enriching your environment with living botanicals (like plants and flowers), and beautiful, quality items that inspire you can help you think more positive thoughts and help you feel better, if even for a moment.
- Craftsmanship & Luxury
We live in a fast, disposable world. Things are made for maximum profit, convenience, speed, and accessibility. We don’t believe that’s the right way to do things. We want to provide you with goods that are crafted with integrity, that provide nourishment for your senses, and make you feel good about what you spend your hard earned money on, and feel good about the space you spend the majority of your time in. By working with Canadian craftspeople, we support our own economy and help talented artists make a living by doing what they love. We’re about finding luxury and joy in everyday gestures and about quality over quantity. We believe quality is synonymous with sustainability, we like to think of them as modern heirlooms. Well-made, beautiful pieces designed to last lifetimes and be passed down generations.
So there we have it, a very “not perfect” About Us. And full disclaimer, we, this company, our vision, our goals, it’s all a work in progress. We are not perfect, and we never will be. But I (and maybe you too?) need to stop blaming ourselves for it. It’s an unattainable goal I would never hold anyone else to, so why hold ourselves to unreasonable standards that are destined for failure? Instead, we will choose to be kind to ourselves, work on bits and bobs at a time, open ourselves to critiques, to be vulnerable and carefree, to strive to be better, and to let the pursuit of perfection pass us by.
H9R 2V8, Canada
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