Our Countercultural Mission
“Our mission has been to be a countercultural company that reimagines textile manufacturing and design.”
– Catherine Connolly, CEO
What does it mean to be a countercultural company that reimagines textiles? That’s a lofty goal, but it’s a path we’ve been blazing for more than a decade. It means making choices that put people on a par with profit and create value for our employees, our suppliers, our clients—and the planet. Those choices present challenges but the rewards are transformative.
A few weeks ago, The Boston Globe featured Merida’s craftspeople in a story about home goods brands that are revitalizing American manufacturing in Fall River, Massachusetts. The article quoted Merida’s Catherine Connolly explaining our countercultural mission, which is “anchored in the practice of keeping timeless traditions alive and providing opportunities for craftsmen to master techniques, gain confidence to innovate, and develop viable careers.”
The Globe article also highlighted our colorful yarn library and our commitment to natural materials, describing our workshop as “a place of wonder for the senses.” We feel lucky to work in a place that smells more like a barn than a factory.
What are the values that drive us? They come down to four commitments that are woven into everything we do:
1. Make beautiful products that are built on layers of art, culture, technique, and design
2. Use natural materials that are rapidly replenishable, safe for the environment, and healthy for the home
3. Elevate the practice of craftsmanship by providing opportunities for craftspeople to master technique, gain confidence to innovate, and develop viable careers
4. Cultivate a virtuous circle with products that bring as much joy to the maker as to the receiver
That fourth commitment to creating a product that brings joy to the making as well as to you and your clients is our most audacious goal. Joy in the making cannot be faked and it is not a priority for most companies, least of all in manufacturing. But we believe that people are at their most creative and courageous when they are given time and space to practice their craft in an environment of learning, appreciation, and collaboration. This requires investment, but when you see the confidence of our craftsmen and the joy in our workshop you understand how that translates to the beauty of our products.
It’s a virtuous circle that makes the work we do rewarding for us, and hopefully inspiring for our clients. Creativity thrives on collaboration, so we hope you’ll join us on our mission. Let’s see what we can discover together.