We just got back from market this past weekend and had a blast hanging out with designers we already have relationships with and meeting new designers who's work we admire. Luckily, we had a little extra time for some late-night dancing and hanging out with old friends as well.
The experience of heading to New York for trade shows and designer meetings these past two buying seasons has been so incredibly inspiring and important to our mission at Velouria. We get to talk to customers everyday in the shop, but our designers show up in our lives more often through typed words in emails in our inboxes. And while that is fast, effective, efficient, etc, it lacks the personality of real human contact. For us to be able to talk to you about goods that have a story, it means we lose a part of the story. I read once that an astonishing amount of what we communicate as humans is nonverbal--that our tone, body language, facial expressions, inflections are all pulling their weight as well--perhaps they're doing even more work than the words themselves. Emoticons can certainly try to make up for this distance, but we think there is no substitute for being present.
When I was looking for a poem to share this week, this idea of presence was foremost in my mind. I turned to a poetry collection that I read in college by Claudia Rankin entitled, "Don't Let Me Be Lonely." (Incidentally, I can't seem to travel to another major city without running into someone I know. This time it was a woman from a poetry class in college who walked into the falafel restaurant where I was eating in Soho the monday after the tradeshows. So this poem is even more appropriate, I suppose.) We have such an appreciation for our brick-and-mortar-ness, for being able to be "here" and for handing you a story, or a dress, or a smile. And when we can't be here, or you can't be here, then we have these other modes as well, which we are incredibly thankful for. Let's just not depend on them to sustain us ;) <---see what we mean?