Snow is falling and holiday lights are up on Main Streets across the country. Christmas is approaching and, despite Americans’ heightened consciousness regarding the economy, spending will still go on. But as I’ve seen with my own family’s spending, Americans are changing their attitude toward consumption.
With a national debt in the trillions, freezes on pay increases becoming increasingly common, graduates of elite universities facing no guarrantees of jobs upon graduation and employed Americans feeling grateful just to have a job, everyone is feeling the uncertainty of today’s economic climate. While some may see media reports as hyping the financial catastrophe to unrealistic levels, it is clear that average Americans are reassessing their spending habits. Gone are the 0% credit card offers flooding our mail boxes; gone are the days of spending like there is no tomorrow.
Prior to the current recession, American’s saved virtually nothing. In 2005, American savings was at a low of just over 1%. Today, despite skyrocketing college tuitions and rock bottom interest rates, Americans are saving at a rate of more than 5%.
Economists posit that this newly rediscovered habit of saving money, albeit good for the American citizen, is not good for the U.S. economy. Americans won’t save the economy by getting themselves further into debt. Somehow, this actually sounds like a good thing. Americans are relearning the value of their dollar. That how we spend our money and where we spend our money can be as meaningful as what we spend our money on.
Despite the rise of big box stores, the internet and discounted convenience, we are returning to our traditional American values: hard work, family, frugality and craftsmanship.
“I think everything right now is about value and values,”said John Gerzema, president of Young & Rubicam’s Brand Asset Consulting unit and author of “Spend Shift.”
Just look at the success of burgeoning farmers markets across the country and of the e-commerce site Etsy, built on handmade crafts. People want to reconnect not just with their bank accounts but with the growers and artisans responsible for getting food on their table and beautiful things in their homes. By personalizing the buying process, consumers add layers of meaning to the objects in their lives.
I propose that we are moving away from a disposable culture and choosing to buy things that matter–items of quality, longevity and durability. Authenticity, craftsmanship and enduring style. The utter opposite of this:
That is why at Horton Brasses we are committed to crafting our hardware from solid brass–never second rate materials like zinc. We manufacture period hardware. Our hardware style embodies the a classic, uniquely American aesthetic with enduring appeal. We leave the trendy pieces for the throwaway companies. Hardware this well made is going to last forever without looking dated. Longevity. Quality. Craftsmanship. Authenticity. This is what you are buying when you buy Horton Brasses hardware.
Our focus as a business is extremely specialized. We are not trying to sell you cabinets, flooring, wall tile or lighting. We are simply hardware. Hinges, knobs, pulls, latches, locks–we know our product with the intensity of an artisan because we are that artisan. As a small, family owned business, we at Horton Brasses have the luxury of taking the time to personally interact with our customers, answer all your questions and provide you with honest answers–because we are not removed from the manufacturing process.
We work closely with cabinet builders and carpenters on projects big and small. Providing quality brass and iron hardware for furniture, cabinetry, post and beam structures, kitchens, bathrooms and restoration projects is the passion that drives us at Horton Brasses. Based in New England, where we do a lot of business, we understand the importance of serving our customers with the best product we can offer.
I feel pride working for the company that has been in my family for generations. I know that the small details of our hardware–the simple pleasures in life–improves the experience of their day to day living by adding not only functionality but quiet beauty. What we offer at Horton Brasses transcends monetary value. By adding our hardware to your home, you reconnect with our American culture by contributing to the continuity of a small family business tradition, keeping authentic craftsmanship alive, revisiting a time when things lasted and by showing your own home the respect it deserves by outfitting it with timeless, durable hardware.