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.
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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