Saturday, September 12, 2009

A Few of my Favourite Things (or Making Peace with an Impossible Situation)

I recently complained about all the maternity clothes I couldn't get here in Turkey, and unfortunately, that's just one small part of the bigger crisis I call ''my frustrated inner consumer.''

I love cool design and innovation, and often suspect I'm in the wrong line of work. When Oprah and her various gurus talk about finding and then doing what you were meant to do, I feel this passion of mine is a clue towards figuring out the magic answer. (I especially love life coach Martha Beck. If you haven't already, you must read Finding Your Own North Star.) But I know I'm not a designer; and I doubt buying-all-the-cool-stuff-I-love is a viable key to happiness. So perhaps the consumer wasteland in which I currently find myself is a blessing in disguise? An obstacle that will only serve to push me towards finding a more creative way to incorporate my passion into my life?

I do know that I'm bored of my own grumbling about my lack of access to the stuff I want, and so will complain no further. Instead, I thought I'd simply sing the praises of two of the new, amazing cool companies out there. At least I'll get some joy out of writing about them! (Warning to fellow expats: the first is available only in Istanbul -- at Nest by Mozaik -- the second doesn't ship outside of the USA -- I contacted Oeuf and was snootily told to contact the stores that carry their products; I did, but regretfully none ship to Turkey ''at this time.'')

Everything Stokke designs is unlike anything I've ever seen before, but extremely appealing to my taste, as well as functional and of seemingly excellent quality. I first stumbled across their Tripp Trapp highchair on the Gap website. The unique design, huge selection of colours and the versatility of the product alone got me all excited! I read on and learned that it was made of wood, just like the highchairs my mother used with us,
and my nostalgia kicked in -- I was in love!

Browsing the Stokke website, I was further struck by the changing table, which not only allows you to change your baby's diaper while facing your little one, but can later be used as a child's desk or a shelf in another part of your home! The crib likewise converts from a bassinet to a crib to a bed to an interesting sofa-esque piece of play furniture for older children. All of which look slightly pod-like and outer-spacey. In a good way, of course.

I actually bought the Oeuf baby lounger while back in Toronto this summer. Intrigued, I later learned more about the company from their website and found many more cool things. Although I found the products generally overpriced, and not all of them pleasing to my aesthetic (the furniture!), I was taken by their mission, dedication to the environment, and the fact that it's a family business. In other words, they had me by their company profile. Brilliant marketing.

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