Friday, August 21, 2020

Don't Let 'Em Push You Around

The Margo Collection Throw Pillow

The Margo Collecton by Petra Kaksonen

You know what I love? Light pink and bright yellow together. And circles. So how could this pillow not be my very best dream? Well, here's the thing. It is. 

For the last few weeks, I've been shopping for throw pillows.

I know. This almost sounds like a plot line from a Real Housewives episode, except they'd be shopping for Jimmy Choo's and there would be considerably more drunken cat fights and gossipy backstabbing lunch conversations than I'm good for.

Nostalgia in the garden Throw Pillow

Nostalgia in the garden by Alja Horvat

I'm crazy for a little vintage floral action that takes me right back to my flower child roots. When I look at this, I feel like the best five-year-old version of myself, and that feels pretty darn good. 

Mundane and superfluous as throw pillows can be, they also provide an easy and affordable way to inject pattern and pizzazz into my home. And since I've been putting some effort into zhuzhing the place up lately, throw pillows are a good place for me to start. 

Happy California Poppies / hand drawn flowers Throw Pillow

Happy California Poppies by modern tropical

A little more edited, a bit more refined, this print makes me imagine myself running down a wide hillside of actual California poppies under a summer sun. What's not to love?

At first, my quest led me far and wide across the internet, combing my favorite trend-makers to see what's all the rage in throw pillows these days. But after my mind had been severely boggled by incredibly boughie specimens priced out well north of a hundred dollars, which is a lot of money to spend on a pillow that my dog will undoubtedly use for her naps, I narrowed my field down to  Society6.

If you haven't wandered through this website before, allow me to explain. Society6 engages artists to design custom work which can then be applied to a variety of products: art to hang on the walls, for sure, but also a seemingly endless consortium of tech covers, apparel, and housewares come decked out in these original designs. Which means that every reasonably-priced purchase from Society6 puts money into the pockets of an artist, and I think that's incredibly cool.

Orange Grove Throw Pillow

Orange Grove by Lizzy Powers

Once upon a time, I bought my daughters a picture book version of Beauty and the Beast (not the Disney bastardization but the actual fairy tale) that features a grove of orange trees around the mysterious castle, and ever since I've had a particular obsession for oranges with leaves and stems. This print captures that magic for me and I love it. 

So deep into the rabbit hole of Society6 throw pillows I have fallen, first filling my cart with a fantastical array of any design that struck me, and then each successive night, reviewing my collection, looking for commonalities and overlaps, imagining how they would work together on my couches. I spend some time tinkering and fussing with my wish lists and 'saved for later' inventories, moving items in and out of my cart, as I slowly move toward making my purchase. 

Shop slow and don't settle, right?

Those are my mantras, pearls of familiar wisdom that came to me during my year-long shopping ban, and I'm keeping them close to my heart as I ponder my throw pillow options. 

Swiss Cross Black Throw Pillow

Swiss Cross by Modern Home

Well, I already have a lot of black and white pillows - this new selection is supposed to be all about color and whimsy, right? Sorry, I am still in love with a big, bold graphic mama like this one. 

But here's the thing. 

By and large, corporate retailers are a pushy breed.

And it seems that each and every morning after a good throw pillow workout shesh, Society6 is hammering on my digital door with 

a friendly reminder that there are items in my cart, 

a tempting discount,

 a deal on delivery, 

all messages that are designed to get me to pull the trigger and complete my purchase. 

Oranges Foliage Throw Pillow

Oranges Foliage by Lisa Monttinen

More oranges on the stem, and these with tiny pink blossoms. My aforementioned Beauty and the Beast illustration dances before my eyes. Utterly adorable. 

And you know, sorry to pick on you, Society6 people. It's not just your company engaging in high pressure sales techniques. Every postmodern retailer worth their loyalty program has an incredible array of subtly manipulative ways to hook their customers and reel them in for a sale. I realize that this is just the way the game is played, and I don't take it personally, but when I'm shopping, I need to repeatedly remind myself that, nine times out of ten, retailers are the hunters and my wallet is the prey. 

Flower power orange Throw Pillow

Flower power orange by Yesterday People

Back in the sixties, my grandmother might have had sheets just like this on the bed in the back bedroom, where I often slept. And even if she didn't, that's what they remind me of, so win-win. 

So go ahead, Society6. Keep flooding my inbox with your 15% off limited-time promo codes and the one-day-only free delivery deals. I appreciate your enthusiasm. 

And I love your pillows too. I'll definitely be buying some. 

But only when I'm good and ready. 

orange and hot pink classic Throw Pillow

Orange and hot pink classic by her art

There's something about that rigid stripe that makes me feel vaguely uncomfortable, but I could stare at the orange and hot pink all day. So do I want it or don't I? Still mulling it over.

So let's add a third bit to my shopping mantras - a second corollary to my original reminder to shop slow, if you will - and it's aimed right at those retailing masterminds who try to get us to buy before we're ready:

Don't let 'em push you around. 

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Did you notice that [almost] all of these pillows are orange? Read about my newly rekindled desire for this boldest of colors here:

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Read more about my journey to mindful consumption:

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