Good things take time. This is the principle of the slow movement, initiated with the coinage of “slow food” in the 1980s.
Now, “slow” is finding a natural home in the artisan trades. Slow food, meet slow goods.
Slow goods are handmade, homegrown, and often one-of-a-kind. (In other words, bespoke!). When things are “slow,” quality is more important than quantity. Slow consumers care about how the good is made, and how that process affects its immediate surroundings.
Truckee’s own Restaurant Trokay— reopened February 11 in its new, larger location— prides itself as much on its seasonal, handcrafted fare as on its investment in the community. Monthly benefit dinners raise funds for local humanitarian organizations, and the owners are active members of the Chamber of Commerce.
The impact of slow things—goods that last— tends to trickle outward, effecting change on a bigger scale. It makes sense: small companies directly in touch with their communities tend to want to give back to those communities, and the larger world.
Here are just a few of the many slow goods you can find at Bespoke, made in small batches by people who work from the heart.
Sydney Hale Co donates 10% of the profits from their hand-poured candles to a local animal rescue organization. A family-owned business based in Virginia, they make their candles in small batches using wax made from American-grown soybeans.
MCMC fragrances founder Anne McClain has a unique way to link her humanitarian work to her perfumes. After volunteering with a non-profit, she designs a fragrance inspired by the experience, donating a portion of the proceeds to the organization. Being small can also mean minimal waste: her 100% recyclable packaging recently earned her company an industry sustainability award.
Attention to environmental impact is another mark of slow goods. The stay-at-home dad behind Portland’s Wood Toy Shop makes his popular wooden catapults from local lumber mill scrap. What little waste the process generates becomes kindling or compost—and his shop runs on power from his family home’s solar panels.
Talk about homemade. The owners of Herbivore Botanicals concoct their natural body care products in small batches—in their kitchen. And being slow and small can also make for goods with more personality. Yes & Yes Designs’ earrings and necklaces—made from vintage books—are necessarily one-of-a-kind. Each book responds to the laser cutter differently, revealing distinctive layers in the paper.
The long and the short of it? The slow movement reflects a community’s values. Food and goods should be thoughtful and inclusive, bringing people together in a way that honors their unique gifts.