The Little Things

Reflections on happiness beautifully designed in a coffee table book.
Click to see who's in the book.

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Just as eating healthy, feeling rested, and taking a daily walk can improve happiness, so do our clothes.

This connection is called enclothed cognition, which boils down to how the symbolic meaning of clothes paired with the physical experience of wearing them impacts how we feel (report).

“physical experience” translates:  
  •  We feel good wearing authentic, great fitting, comfortable clothes.
“symbolic meaning” translates:
  • Nostalgic clothes… bottom drawer filled with old t-shirts.
  • Occupational uniforms… work clothes that showcase position/purpose.
  • Personal uniforms… styles you love because they look and feel good.
The connection between physical experience, symbolic meaning, and feeling good goes beyond clothes.

Similarly to how authentic, great fitting, comfortable clothes help us feel good so does reflecting on little things in life that bring us joy.

In the same way wearing  bright  colors provokes happiness so does hearing a story about happiness. 

In this regard, the psychology of enclothed cognition is similar to the psychology of empathy. Both enclothed cognition and empathy describe our feelings when we identify with something personal such as a story or a style.

The psychology of feeling good is a shared human experience, yet the reasons why we feel good are deeply personal. As a brand building products that not only look good but feel good, we've been exploring what feeling good means to different people.

In an effort to understand, we’ve been asking a large cast of characters questions about physical experience, such as, “when are you happiest” and "what do you miss most about being a kid?".

We’re also asking questions that explore symbolic meaning, such as, “what little things in your life bring you the most joy”.

In the next couple months, we'll take all the interviews and design a coffee table book called The Little Things, a collection of the thoughts, ideas, and memories that make us collectively feel good.

Have someone in mind who we should interview for the book?

We're interviewing everyone from Olympic athletes, best-selling authors, and educators to founders, investors, artists, and chefs. 

If you have someone in mind, we'd love to hear about them. Click on the button below to recommend an interview for the book and we'll reach out. We can also be reached over email at team@oliver-charles.com.

Excerpts from The Little Things

Author...
What do you miss most about being a kid?
"The thing I miss most about being a kid is being in my wonder years, when I was curious about every little thing I saw. Why a puddle rippled the way it did, why the sky was blue, why a lizard changed its colors – and how.

I think it’s important every hour of the day to try to retain that sense of wonder and curiosity. We should pause and ask childlike questions. We should never stop wondering why a lizard changes colors and why the sky is blue. And we should pause now and then to throw a pebble in a puddle."
Investor...
When are you happiest?
"I'm happiest seeing a smile from my son, who's two years old. I cherish seeing him experience or learn something new with a big smile on his face or clapping along. These are the little moments that are really important to me.

I also get a lot of joy from a combination of experiencing someone close to me succeed and seeing them feel proud of themselves. This could be my wife completing a big project at work, my son learning something new, or friends following their passions."
Photographer...
What little thing bring you the most joy?
"When the lighting is just right. I love being in a room consumed by soft natural lighting. There's something energizing and inspiring about its natural and subtle beauty. It's one of those little things that makes me feel good."

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Step 1, Wind The Warp

It all starts with a warping mill. We position pegs in place so our fabrics are 15 feet long. Then we wind by taking our fine 50% khullu, 50% silk yarn and wrap it up and down the mill 600 times.

Step 2, Dress The Loom 

Some are surprised to learn that preparing to weave is nearly 90% of the journey. We were too! But it makes sense when you think about the time and precision needed to sort through, and evenly tension 600 strands of impressively fine yarn.

Step 3, Spread The Warp

At this point, each strand of yarn is organized into groups of 16 per inch. To ensure that the fragile strands don't break when put under high tension, we sort through each group 1 strand at a time and untangle, which tends to be quite a few.

Step 4, Thread The Heddles

Now that all 600 strands are organized, we take a small tool called a heddle hook and thread each strand through a metal opening. This step is like threading a needle. Heddles can be threaded in many different ways depending on the weaving pattern. Because we love the look and feel of twill and balanced weaves, we thread from back to front in a 1, 2, 3, 4 pattern.

Step 5, Thread The Reed 

In this step we take each of the 600 strands and thread them through the reed. The reed sits across the loom on a frame called a beater and is used to push the yarn woven horizontally, AKA weft, into the warp. The reed can be interchanged with a spectrum of gauges, which sets the number of warp stands per inch. We use a 16 gauge reed, which gives us amazingly lightweight, thin summer scarves.

Step 6, Tie-On And Weave 

After the 600 strands of yarn are sorted, organized, threaded, and given equal tension, we finally weave. The weaving motion works like this: with one hand we grip the boat, and in a fluid motion we fling the boat across the warp. Depending which foot peddles we press, we can create many different types of patterns.

Step 7, Cut And Bloom

This final step, which is one of the most important, is to bloom the fabric with a cold water wash. Blooming allows the woven yarn to become fuller looking and softer. We always joke that it's a mystery as to how a fabric will turn out until we go through the blooming process. The means we can work on a fabric for days just to realize it doesn't meet our high standards. But what can we say, we live for the thrill!