Oh, ABC Home & Carpet on 19th Street in NYC. I love you so.
I love your market bizarre flair, your raffish wares, your vendors who create handmade clothes, wellness products, jewelry and furniture. You live inside me. I want take up residence in your store as if it’s my own. You make me want to be a wealthy urbanite with an amazing open kitchen that flows into a mid-century modern living room that leads to a spa like bathroom fitted out with perfect beauty products made of salt rendered down from the soup of the Dead Sea.
I want to wear gauzy white linen dresses, smell like Myer lemon and scent my two bedroom apartment in Chelsea with incense made to perfection by a scent stylist from Nepal.
I want to pack a picnic with your fine silverware and head to the 79th Street Boat Basin, or escape for the summer weekend to my place in the Hamptons where your blond wood tables and your fresh linen sheets adorn my built out sunlit dining room.
Furthermore, I love your spiritual side. Each item you sell is soaked in the good intention – spiritual ethereal-ism – beautiful modes of making me feel like the customer I am – or at least want to be. Affluent. Modern. Self aware. Charitable. A leader. Creative. Educated. Meditative. Sleek. Soft. Urban.
This is not sarcasm. I truly love ABC Carpet & Home, much like I adore Anthropologie or Apple or JetBlue. These brands not only speak my language, they provide a vision of a lifestyle I strive for.
That’s the beauty of a brand that creates a feeling. For instance, the sleek, white and silver design of Apple products, cutting edge and technologically advanced, makes you want to be a part of the Apple world. Just walking into one of their stores, with their glass stairs, white walls, non-fussy displays and clean organization, encourages you to be part of the Apple experience in addition to being a consumer of the brand. You feel modern, of the times – compatible with software and the world around you.
JetBlue also falls into line with a feeling with it’s blue model and easy reservation. The look of their newly designed cabins are dreamy – like the sky – where I’ll be soaring above the United States on my way back to New York.
Another example lies in the sweet candle aroma and Provence-like bohemia of Anthropologie. It’s the girly girl’s mecca, adorned with an eclectic flowy style, bringing out the customer’s own personal Stevie Nicks, allowing her to be “back to the velvet underground…in a room with lace and paper flowers.” Anthropologie allows a customer to inhabit the mindspace where she can be the “gypsy that I was” with a twinkly blue eyed Buckingham pining for her in song.
Jet Blue, Apple, Anthropologie – they all create a feeling that fits into the image of our lifestyle. But sometimes brands go beyond consumerism to create that feeling – and that’s a sense of purpose – a connection to charitable foundations.
Warby Parker, the eye wear website where you can buy frames for less, donates one pair of glasses to people in need. In addition to multiple charities Virgin has participate in, the one that stands out is their Health and Wellness initiative for corporations and Virgin Money Giving – a crowd sourcing platform allowing the charity minded to raise money for the cause of their choice.
Spirituality and global awareness in connection to the home is what lends itself to companies like ABC or any brand that sells nature based products.
When I was back home in NYC, I went to the second floor furniture department of ABC and noticed the usual mid-century modern displays were missing. Yes, there was furniture, but the showroom was transformed into an exhibit featuring the calligraphy works of the Buddhist monk Thich Nhat Hanh . There were silk tie-dyed scarves hanging from the ceiling. Yogi and Buddha items were on clean wooden credenzas. It was a happy collection of texture and color.
The message of this amazing amalgam of Hanh and his life’s work melded with the concept of home. The sanctity of our sanctum. We bring in comfort, color and texture thoughtfully. Wood and clay grounds us. The lighting and aroma completes the picture.
That’s what I saw in ABC’s exhibit. The connect of spirituality and how it’s infused into the nature of home. It made me want to buy everything to recreate an ashram in my living room. The one in the Hamptons. Near the pool.
Branding is deep. Branding can stir feelings of who we are and who we want to become. I’m learning this as I build something of my own.
Now excuse me while I go daydreaming about my future a little more.