Why Objects with Meaning
Maxine Bédat, Co-Founder of Zady
It’s only a wooden block, a wooden block with a stained newspaper quote glued onto it. If put on Ebay, I doubt it would have a single bid, yet, if I had to grab one thing from my apartment if for whatever reason I had to flee, it’s the one thing I would take.
My father made that block when he was kid. The quote from Calvin Coolidge reads:
Nothing in the world can take the place of persistence (and enthusiasm! - my father’s addition). Talent will not; nothing is more common than unsuccessful men with talent. Genius will not; the world is full of educated derelicts. Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent. The slogan ‘press on’ has solved and always will solve the problems of the human race.
Since moving to America, my dad had always had it on his desk in Minnesota. My father gave the piece to me when I left my secure law job to start what began as a passion project with my dear friend Soraya and what has since turned into a tight knit team of exceptionally talented and special people called Zady.
The block sits on my desk and I re-read it whenever I seem to be faced with a challenge. It has become not just a quote from a former President, but a motto I live by. It’s become so intertwined with my own personal narrative that it’s no longer a wooden block but a cherished, objects with meaning.
We all have objects with stories. And it’s not about the objects’ monetary value, although they may be cherished because they are real investment pieces, it’s really about the narratives that the objects represent. Whether it’s a nice wallet earned from a first paycheck; an old plane ticket from a first trip abroad; or a handwritten recipe passed through generations for the perfect chocolate brownie, they’re funny, interesting and deeply personal, and they’re ours.
At Zady we are inspired by the unique stories behind the products we carry. The fantastically chatty mother-daughter duo from Milan behind our Alice D bags who are paving their own future in this murky Italian economy by creating the perfect bag that will last for decades. The husband and wife team at imogene + willie who are working tirelessly everyday in Nashville, Tennessee to revive american denim manufacturing. We believe, as was the case with my wooden block, it’s the stories that makes an object special. By sharing these stories, we’re building a community together of thoughtful consumption, consumption that reflects our values of quality over quantity, of wellness, sustainability, and style.
We are proud and excited to launch Objects with Meaning which we hope will become a global conversation about the things that matter. Together we’re separating the objects from the mere “stuff”
The conversation cannot happen without your participation. Please join us by sharing your own Objects with Meaning. Just take a picture and post it to Facebook or Instagram or Tumblr using #OWM. We’ll repost yours and highlight them in our Sunday newsletter. We can’t wait to see and learn about the Objects with Meaning that matter to you.