TFW every month feels like a year.
WHAT a time to be alive. And… to run a small business.
This has been the global moment of taking a breath and taking stock.
Professionally it meant we had to work with clients to make sure we could still support their work without the trade shows they normally participate in. It meant rethinking how assets are made. It meant getting really good at working away from each other, still a team, just with many states between us. It means thinking about how a very small business like ours can continue to be committed to justice. It means taking stock of our impact, our industry’s impact, and where we want to go. If you know me, you know these questions are not new things that I’ve just started pondering- but I’m glad to reexamine, refine, get better. Do the work.
I do want to take some time to talk about the company news, and I will. But first I wanted to unequivocally say that Black Lives Matter. That personally and professionally we will always strive to create equality and representation throughout our overwhelmingly white, male industry. One of the things we’re doing as a company in solidarity is taking this Friday off to observe Juneteenth, and we hope that you do as well. If you want to learn more about what Juneteenth is all about, and why it should be recognized as a national holiday you can click here. We’re developing other ways this small shop can make a bigger impact, so stay tuned for further commitments from me and my team.
This year we started working with Sabai, a new direct to consumer sustainable sofa brand, founded by two young women who in their own words “aim to be the Impossible Burger of furniture!” By that they mean that the sofa looks great and is super comfortable (much like an impossible burger tastes great) without sacrificing sustainability.
The BIPOC founders, Caitlin Ellen and Phantila Phataraprasit consider environmental sustainability in all aspects of their designs, from the frame to the fabric to the packaging. The two became experts on sustainable material manufacturers both domestically and abroad for each of the components needed, including wood, fabrics, fibers, and packaging.
In response to current events surrounding black lives in America, Sabai, hosted a fundraiser for Reclaim the Block, an organization which is pushing Minneapolis to move money out of policing and into community-led safety. They were able to raise nearly $3000. Their efforts were covered by AD Pro:
|“Elsewhere, direct-to-consumer sofa company Sabai, which was founded by Phantila Phataraprasit and Caitlin Ellen, focused on their own fundraiser. Ellen stated to AD PRO: “At Sabai, we really identify with the notion that there can be a radical re-envisioning of our future….So we decided to raise funds for Reclaim the Block via a raffle for a brand-new sofa. Ultimately, we were able to donate around $3,000 to fund community health and safety. We’re a small business, but we’re hoping we can continue to help out how we can—including donating furniture to housing for the formerly incarcerated.”|
Sabai’s photoshoots have always included a diversity of models, families, and relationships.
Sabai’s founders are not just incredibly smart and have values that need to be in the design world. Because of their leadership, Sabai is working with local, family run manufacturers right here in the US. Sabai is regularly reiterating on their design to make it better and better for the environment. They are constantly listening to customers and making changes to the company and the product to make it better. We need more Sabai’s in the design industry
Working with an office furniture client during a time while there is no office has been truly interesting. Brian Wilson, Pair‘s co-founder, believes the office is here to stay– and said as much to Workplaces magazine:
“How we use the office may change, but we believe the workplace is here to stay. The office has always been a place for contemplation, collaboration and even water cooler chat. To get back to this place that effectively supports life and culture, the space needs to feel safe as much as it needs to be safe.”
You can read his whole essay here.
Pair has also done very well during the award season, grabbing accolades from both Azure and Interior Design Magazine. Azure recognized Toast as a finalist for the Design: Interior Products category for their AZ Awards. It’s also part of the People’s Choice Voting, which is open through June 19th.
We especially like Toast because of its very topical use for creating space division, while remaining quite beautiful.
Like everyone else, my mind has been pulled in a hundred different directions. I’m scared about the months and years ahead of us. I’m so curious if any of us will even have a business in the future. So, of course, I doubled down. And did one of the boldest, exciting, invigorating (did I mention stressful and time consuming?) things in years.
I launched a second business.
It’s called Wolf Craft and I’m really excited and proud of it. It’s a PR strategy firm designed to work with clients who don’t need ongoing PR retainers but do need PR support. It’s a way for me to work with companies I’ve never been able to work with in the past. I’m happy to say that this company is my first partnership with frequent Wolf PR collaborator (and best friend) Kirsten Larson.
I’ve moved some of the services living on Wolf PR’s website over to Wolf Craft. We’re offering things like:
- 1-1 coaching, because sometimes you need guidance, a sounding board, an editor, or a little extra push. This is the service I wish had existed when I was starting out.
- Audits and Reporting to better understand peer companies, similar products, and industry thought leaders, as well as the media landscape (ever changing always, but especially right now!). We give clear action items and recommendations at the end of these so our clients have clear next steps.
- One Time Analysis to answer to the important questions like where can my website improve? What about my instagram bio? Where do I need to improve my photography? What about my Press materials?
- Courses, and we just launched our first one, How to Pitch Holiday Gift Guides! I won’t go into too much detail here because there is so much on the website, but we’re really proud of it and we think it will be endlessly useful to businesses who want to be in gift guides.
Please check out our website and insta. I’m always endlessly thankful for your ongoing support, it means the world to me.
A New Wolf PR Service- Gift Guides
Not only did I launch a new business, but we launched a new service as well. Something we’re really, really good at is placing our clients in gift guides. So we thought we’d make it a capsule service. We’re looking for clients who ONLY want gift guide support. It will be more affordable in price (just a one time fee) and it will last through the rest of the year while we support those clients until Dec 24 with the main focus of placing products into gift guides. If you or a company you know would be interested in this service, please get in touch!
Gift guides make a big impact for our clients. We’d love to help make a big impact for you too!