It’s the day after Thanksgiving, and Tim Leroy has sent me down a rabbit hole by posting, “thought for the day,” and linking to Hiut Denim’s site. It worked; now this is all I’m thinking about.

Because Hiut is closed. Their 24-7 virtual storefront in the always-on digital world is… off.

Instead, we’re greeted with:

Common sense.jpeg

Today, on a down day for lots of us — and when too many of us are busy rushing to “buy things we really don’t need with money we don’t really have” — this seems like the perfect reminder to think about work.

The work we have to do, to get by.

The work we’d want to do, if we had our own way.

And the work that we might get to do, someday, if we’re really lucky.

But how do we get from the first to the last?

Tomorrow, when they’re back up and running again, read the story of how Clare and David Hieatt built their company and you’ll find out. (If you’re intrigued now, watch this BBC film.) You’ll see that chasing your dreams, passions, and hopes takes hard work more than anything. But it also demands incredible drive, determination, and a crystal-clear vision of the goal and how to move toward it, little by little, day by day… at least 364 days a year.

It’s the story of reviving the industry of a small town. Of putting artists, like Jean, who (ironically) made the jeans I’m wearing right now, back in their jobs.

Sign your work.

Sign your work.

Of inventing a place where a maker like Huw can create amazing projects. Of cleaning out a cowshed where, once a year, there are talks better than Ted. Of connecting someone in New York, looking for some denim that better fits his too-long legs, to the heart-breaking, beautiful music of Luke Sital-Sing and the heart-inspiring, stunning photography of Andrew Paynter. It’s the story of building a brand that stands for something incredibly simple (doing one thing well) that is so damn hard to pull off (actually doing it as well as anyone in the world.)

It’s the perfect story for me today, Black Friday; the exact message I need for what’s next.

So, on this day after Thanksgiving, I’m sending a huge thank you to Tim. For the reminder that small can be strong. That we don’t have to make the most if we show up to do our best. That, in a throwaway world, we should spend time on things that have a lasting impact on our lives, no matter how tiny. That we need to think about what we need more than what we want; or, better yet, think about what someone else needs more than what we want. And, above all, — a mantra I’ve been trying to live by and likely stole from this tiny factory far away, across an ocean — that it’s time to make less and make better.

Nick ChildsComment