Nomad_ist is in Brussels today on business & I have Nomado HQ to myself, something that has only occurred a couple of times in the past six months because of the pandemic. I have pulled out my Nanala x Nomado Store Yubokumin Planner, Ystudio fountain pen, Japanese buddhist prayer beads (for meditation) and a pile of business cards collected during a trade show in Milan before the pandemic broke out in Italy.
The day is still young and the cool summer morning air is loaded with the scent of herbs (mint, rosemary, thyme and sage) growing on the terrace two metres away. Possibly because of the scalding double ristretto I savoured 5 minutes ago, my imagination seems to be on overdrive and I have a sudden urge to dive back into projects and discussions initiated 5 months ago in Italy.
The past four years have been a kind of mental detox process, slowly eliminating years of corporate conditioning and progressively reawakening faculties kept dormant during years of business meetings, negotiations and planning sessions.
Undoubtedly, I continue to use the knowledge and skills I acquired during 20 years in the IT sector, but more recently I have been travelling back 40 years to when my mind was still unbound by convention and creative, I drew and painted on a regular basis and was more intuition-driven than analytical.
Two years ago, we started to co-design new products with some of our suppliers, a first step in this new/old creative process and this year was meant to see the launch of our most ambitious project yet. The pandemic has forced us to slow down, but has also made us or at least given us the opportunity to spend more time reflecting on these new approaches and designs, which will definitely be beneficial in the long run. I spend more time in creative discussions with Nomad_ist, write more and put time aside for artistic pursuits and product design.
I am sure that many of our customers have also been benefiting in this way from confinement or at least the need to stay home more. We have definitely been selling more stationery and related accessories than usual and less bags, which would indicate that many customers are spending more time in their personal environment.
Research has shown that there are emotional and health benefits to expressive writing, drawing can lift your mood, improve concentration and more. We also believe that using items made from natural materials such as vegetable-tanned leather rather than synthetics helps us connect better to our emotions.
Mindsets are adjusting to new norms, values are evolving and we have more opportunities for reflection without interference. We will make it through this pandemic and come out of it enriched.
If you are in the mood for that kind of thing, I highly recommend reading extracts from the Diary of Samuel Pepys (google), written during the 9 years of the plague epidemic in 17th century London. There are surprising parallels to our current situation and many aspects which seem weird or even amusing today (medical science was pretty haphazard).
Time to get back to that "Italian project"! Thank you for reading these morning musings. Please feel free to comment if you'd like to share your experience.
Our first 5 years have been a crazy journey, read all about it here!