A guy came into the store yesterday. Glanced around and asked me:
‘What’s this place all about? I’m trying to figure it out.’
I get this question a fair bit. Too much. All our different departments can confuse first-time visitors. (It’s something we’re working on. But more on that later…)
I gave him the quick history. About how we opened with the purpose of being the World’s Healthiest Store. About how that led us on the search for the best and most important things to create an ideal home environment. And about how that search led us towards finding things that were made of the finest natural materials, often using old-school, traditional, handcrafted process.
It started to clear things up for him. So he started grilling me on certain things we had, and how they fit.
‘So how is this tile ‘healthier’ than other tile I might find?’ he asks.
I get into a bit about how tile is generally a pretty inert, safe thing. Not a major risk for offgassing. The major concerns to be aware of in tile is mostly in the glazes. In some glazes you can still find lead, and trace measurements of radioactivity. Especially in tiles coming from overseas. Our handmade, hand-glazed tile from Fireclay doesn’t have any of those issues, I explain to him. And it’s got a distinct character and style that can’t be copied using more modern industrial methods.
He’s ok with that answer, but presses on.
‘So what about these textiles?’
I tell him about how we sell Organic cotton, non-GMO cotton, and pure, natural linen. (and hemp and wool…) I tell him about how textiles farmed without pesticides and processed using harsh chemical means won’t bring any of these chemicals into your home/bedroom.
‘So they find chemicals still on the fabrics that come into your home?’ he asks.
‘We can debate whether the tiny residual amounts that you find on the end product are enough to have a health impact on us. But for us it’s also about the bigger picture. Farmers aren’t exposed to harmful stuff. Better farming results in less soil erosion, less junk ends up in waterways. And so on…’ I answer.
‘I guess that was a pretty selfish question I asked,’ he says, after my rant.
And that’s where things start to get interesting.
Because making the best choice for yourself, for ourselves, for our families, is the same as making the best choice for people up and down the supply chain. And for the greater environment.
Pretty cool, right?
I’m not sure whether it’s exactly what Ayn Rand was talking about.
But it might be exactly what Ayn Rand was talking about…
It gets me jazzed up, anyway. Semi-deep philosophy or not.