Saturday 16 May 2009
Working as a web designer, SEO and copywriter over the years, I’ve come to believe firmly in good fits for specific projects. Find a firm that is in alignment with your company values, quickly grasps your company voice and shares your beliefs that the promotion of your business will really be a benefit to some group of people and I think you’re more likely to end up with a presentation of your business that has real heart and soul than if you simply pick any old firm because the price is right, they live near you or some other relatively meaningless quality.
I can usually tell within the first 10 minutes of speaking to a business owner whether my firm is really going to gel with their needs. I find we’ve become quick to turn down projects that we don’t think we’re the best match for, frequently referring those businesses to colleagues who may have special interests or talents that I believe will form a more perfect union between business owner vision and web services company vision.
What is especially interesting to me is that, sometimes, we will decide to take a client on because of an initial sense of our being a strong match for their business, and then, as the relationship grows over time, we come to discern more and more qualities about the business that make us admire what they are doing.
A Valued Client
Such has been the case with our client, Emerson Creek Pottery. We’ve been working with them for about 5 years now. While I initially took a shine to bringing them on board as a client because I thought their pottery was beautiful and liked the fact that it was made in the USA, over the years, I have discovered further gem-like qualities about this company that have made both our relationship with them and our appreciation for what they do unfold and blossom like the petals of a flower. The better we got to know the company, the more we discovered that our own interests and values align with theirs.
This has created a working relationship that is trusting, easy and limitless in creative possibilities. A real dream come true!
Three of the things about this Virgnia-based pottery house that have come to impress me most are:
1. They are one of America’s last commercial pottery companies. Chances are, if you are shopping for new dishes at one of the big box stores or even at specialty shops, they will come primarily from China. There is little or no oversight to protect you from these products being contaminated with lead, and if you’re choosing plastic, science has known for decades that combining plastic with hot food is seriously bad for your health.
America’s Native Peoples used clay to make stunning and useful pottery for many thousands of years. When Colonial immigrants arrived on these shores, they quickly realized they would have to set up potteries if they were to avoid the time and taxation involved in getting housewares shipped over from Europe. A number of great pottery houses emerged out of this need, but as America moved into the age of convenience and global trade, American-made wares were quickly replaced by cheap imports – often with zero regard for safety.
I really love the fact that Emerson Creek Pottery has kept the Colonial tradition alive of creating safe ceramics on American soil. There are very few commercial companies doing this in the 21st century.
2. Emerson Creek Pottery qualifies as a green business in such a meaningful way. Their pottery is made by human hands. When humans do the work, instead of machines, pollution is greatly reduced. And, Americans are being employed with dignity by this activity. When you purchase those box store dishes, you have no way of knowing how the workers who ran the machines are being treated – whether fairly or as sweat shop drudges. I really appreciate the domestic, human-based nature of my client’s business and they have taken a number of steps beyond this to be green.
3. Finally, I find it very exciting to work with a business that regularly creates new products that have the potential to make life a little simpler or saner for people. I love getting to create new pages and new copy for a company that has so much to offer anybody who is looking for safe household items.
On that note, I am feeling really proud today of the potters’ latest offering – sets of safe baby dishes. Like all of their pottery, these are lead-free and are going to be a boon to anyone attempting to raise a plastic-free baby or child. They are such basic, functional pieces…really sane choices for a natural baby. And, they are very charmingly handpainted.
Emerson Creek Pottery owner, Jim Leavitt, sent his children to Montessori schools – an educational system that frowns on giving kids phony substitute objects when they tend to be so much happier with the real thing. This new line of pottery has given me a new reason to be glad I chose to work with this client years ago. I respect any company that thinks children deserve real goods and especially respect the fact that these baby dishes are going to help parents protect their kids from toxic plastics and lead poisoning. Who wouldn’t cheer for that?
To be succinct – this is a company I can really groove with.
What Kind Of Groove Are We In?
Things really hum around the office of Solas Web Design when we are working on a project we have a great feeling for. Picture us in a sunlit space or a moonlit room at the computers, surrounded by our ever-expanding organic farm, nodding our heads in time to the beat of your company’s heart.
If you are doing something green, something organic, something domestic, something local, something family-friendly, something humanitarian, spiritual, handcrafted, creative, mom-business, dad-business, big or small family business…anything that’s really going to benefit the people that we can help you reach, you can expect an exceptional level of comprehension and work from us. Give us the opportunity to get into the groove of your business, and we’ll become a part of your company that you’ll be saying you couldn’t do without. We’d like to hear from you.