When On The Dot featured the amazing Meredith Walker on a panel earlier this year, she talked about the idea of “hygge,” and I’ve been telling everyone I can about it. This Danish word can be translated to “coziness,” but is actually more of a state of mind. It’s an attitude that helps the citizens of Denmark feel happier and warmer during those 17 hours a day of darkness during the winter.
It’s all about getting together with loved ones, eating comfort food, wearing a cozy sweater or lighting a seasonal candle. So, today, pause your work, put on some comfy slippers, drink a hot toddy and get cozy.
WOMEN IN NUMBERS: Second Largest
Part of the hygge concept involves creating a warm home in which you, your family and your visitors feel welcome and relaxed, and we all know that’s pretty difficult to do without some great décor. Filling your home with items crafted with care by expert artisans makes you cherish your space a little more.
Another perk: Buying artisan-made goods helps create better lives for crafters throughout the world. In fact, it turns out the artisan sector is the second-largest employer in the developing world, accounting for $34 billion annually. Women the world over are using their artistic talents to provide for their families and participate in the global economy. And there’s nothing more heartwarming than supporting other women.
WOMEN TO WATCH: Carly Nance and Rachel Bentley, Co-founders of The Citizenry
So, we’ve established that a great way to support women throughout the world is to purchase the amazing products they make. Today’s Women to Watch, Carly Nance and Rachel Bentley, co-founded The Citizenry with that very idea in mind.
An online shop featuring an array of exclusive home-goods collections crafted with soul and a purpose, The Citizenry was born from the concept of a collective of people connecting through their stories and the products they create. How cool is that? Carly and Rachel travel to different countries and partner with local artisans—many of whom practice crafts that have been honed in their families for generations—to provide consumers with handmade home goods made with the highest quality materials and that blend modern style with traditional crafting techniques.
Carly’s background is in brand planning and marketing strategies, and Rachel has experience in consulting and business development. So, why did these enterprising ladies start The Citizenry? It was actually a natural progression, since Carly traveled for work and often found inspiration in the artisan designs she came across, and Rachel developed a career niche in helping companies launch products that would also have a social impact.
When it comes to The Citizenry’s artisans—who hail from nearly every continent in the world—many are part of a community of artists, like the group of 40 Women of Patacancha in Peru. And products available through The Citizenry range from traditional-style Mexican leather chairs and beautiful hand-woven baskets to charming kitchen accessories, rugs and really exquisite light fixtures.
While The Citizenry is currently an online-only shop, Carly and Rachel are dreaming up what comes next: a Dallas-based brick-and-mortar store. And as their business grows, they can track their victories—literally. Carly says when they get a tracking notice that a customer received her product and then orders more of that same product just a mere 30 minutes later, that amounts to some real success!
QUITE THE QUOTE
Carly Nance and Rachel Bentley would no doubt agree with writer Robert A. Heinlein, who said:
“By cultivating the beautiful, we scatter the seeds of heavenly flowers, as by doing good, we cultivate those that belong to humanity.”
This is Melinda Garvey signing off until next time. Remember, ladies, empowered women empower other women. Share On the Dot so more women can have a voice. Thanks for getting ready with us.