As we've been swimming in all things love this month, there's no better time to share how we incorporate love as a value in our work and our lives. For Kelly and I, love is the undercurrent for everything we do.
Tender Beginnings and Following your Heart
When we started love, Pittsburgh over 5 years ago, we had no experience opening a retail store from scratch. So many of our decisions were simply following the guiding intuition from our hearts.
If something made us croon, it had to be part of the store. Kelly's keen eye naturally draws several products together that evoke stories that spark joy. By listening to our hearts, we were able to fill a store full of products that we truly love. It's no joke when we say that we, ourselves and our team, are our best customers! -Monica
Connections at the counter
Chatting with customers is a huge part of what we love about our shops.
"Human connections are deeply nurtured in the field of shared story." - Jean Houston
Finding out which Pittsburgh neighborhood you live in, or where you grew up, sparks nostalgia and kinship. Since Monica and I both grew up in the South Hills (Bethel Park and Pleasant Hills), we especially love talking about our shared experiences with other South Hills visitors.
Telling the stories of the artists is another favorite way to connect. Often an out-of-town visitor will ask in disbelief, "Everything in here is from a Pittsburgh artist?" It makes us most proud to represent so much local talent. The greatest trifecta is when we are talking with a customer about a specific artist, and that artist walks in to drop off a delivery. Then we can make introductions, and watch the magical sparks of connection fly. -Kelly
Self-Expression is self love
One of my favorite ideas is that we are meant to share our creativity, as powerfully described by author of the War of Art, Steven Pressfield:
"Creative work is... a gift to the world and every being in it. Don't cheat us of your contribution. Give us what you've got." - Steven Pressfield
Sometimes your creativity may seem silly, trivial, or is batted down by self-doubt and criticism. I often question "will anyone want this?" when making a new product.
But, there is an audience out there for what you have to create. In our case, some items reach more hands than others, but each is a chance to strengthen our creative practice, learn, and grow. No matter what your creative expression is, as long as it is true to yourself, it is worth putting out into the world. -Monica