Over the past couple of months, I’ve been refining the Standard Wax brand. Not the logo and colors and photos, but the little nuggets that are buried at the very center of everything we do.
This process stemmed from a lot of different things, but the one that was constantly nagging at me was the feeling that our brand lacked authenticity. I loved our products. I was proud of everything we were putting out. What I wasn’t proud of? The way I was selling them. I felt like there was no connection between Standard Wax and the people buying it. I felt like the brand wasn’t conveying the things I was passionate about anymore. I was worried that I wasn’t attracting customers that cared about the same things I did.
After some serious soul searching, the following five values were the ones that stuck. My goal is to make sure every single thing we do ties back to these values. Whether its an internal process and employee culture, how we choose the vendors we use, or customer-facing photos and messaging: if it doesn’t fit, it doesn’t fly.
1. The door is always open
Our brand should always be approachable. You should never be afraid to come in with ideas, criticism and compliments. You should feel safe sharing your goals and dreams, your struggles and best days. In fact, I want you to share these things, and I want to share mine. Let’s create a space together where we can be real. The door is always open.
2. Never be afraid to explore and grow
Growing is scary, but it’s the only way we move forward. Exploration is at the root of everything we create. As we see new things, we’re inspired to create. And the more we create, the more we grow. Exploring new things is brave. Opening up your world to new ideas is brave, just like acting on those new ideas is brave. Never be afraid to explore and grow.
3. Be aspirational but authentic
We should always aspire to be more, do more and learn more. But with aspiration comes the idea of “never enough”, and that’s not the best place to be. Standard Wax will always try to be aspirational and inspirational, but not at the expense of connection and transparency. Photos of a perfect living room are great, as long as they’re met with the transparency that you don’t need that living room to be happy. Instead, we’ll talk about the things we love and what make us happy, the things that inspire us and why, and the struggles that go along with getting to where we aspire to be.
4. Make pretty things
When you spend time in a space you’re happy in, you’re more productive, more positive and more relaxed. I want everything we create to add to the beauty of your environment. From the very beginning, the mission of Standard Wax was to bring art into your everyday. But what does that mean? It’s simple: I want to make sure that everything we make is art, and that the art we were creating isn’t just made to be stuck in a museum. I want it in your everyday: on your coffee table, in your kitchen, at your dinner parties and weddings, hell, making your bathroom smell better. I want to make sure you know that art isn’t pretentious. I want to take something that’s functional and give it form. I want to make pretty things.
5. Take care of yourself.
Life can’t all be fun, but it can’t be all about work, either. If you’re not taking time for rest, if you’re not making an effort to create balance in your life, then what’s the point? Rest and balance can take on many forms. Light a candle and spend five minutes doing something you’re really excited about. Shut down the office and spend a day finding balance and inspiration. Take a long bath. Take a long trip. Take care of yourself.
What are your thoughts? Do you think our brand is oozing these five values? I don’t think we’re quite there, but moving forward, I hope you’ll call me out when something doesn’t feel right.
Consider these values an unspoken contract between Standard Wax and the world.