On Being A Business AND A Human.

A topic of discussion was brought up yesterday within the comments section of my post and it’s something I have long wanted to write about, so I wanted to take some time today to address it and open a dialog about it as it weighs heavily on me and is an important topic to confront not only as a business person but also as a woman.

One of the most disheartening things to come out of my infrequent but passionate posts about human rights issues or topics that could be considered “politically charged” is the call from fellow women to “stay in my lane” and not post about anything political  and stick to only sharing “beautiful things”.  They tell me they only follow me to provide them with pretty images and advice on how to make their homes attractive and not to hear my opinion on anything outside of that.  Perhaps old business advice was to not partake in political discussion, and it may stand true for some more corporate entities, but I feel in this day and age, that advice is dusty and dated.  Some of the largest companies in the world have leaders that are sharing opinions and taking a stand on political issues, so I’m not sure why my tiny brand causes women (and it’s 99% of the time women who make these comments) to feel such vitriol that I do the same.

Women have long been told to “look pretty and be quiet” and these kinds of comments and requests not only are a call for censorship but thinly veiled sexism.  Yes, I am a business and now a brand name. And yes, what I do day in and day out IS create beautiful homes, products and share images that reflect that.  But I am also a person. A mother. A woman.  I am a human being who cares deeply and feels intensely.  While I make money from the decorative arts and my blog about those interests, my number one job is to be Henry’s mother and fight for what I believe in to create a safer, smarter, better world for him. If taking a stand against something I feel is morally hideous (our obsession with guns and the separation of families at our border, for example)upsets some people so much that they no longer want to follow me, fine.  Staying silent and ignoring the issue is just not an option for me, I’d rather lose a few followers and make a few less dollars than not be able to tell my child that I tried to contribute in some small way (using my platform) to help make his world better.  I also do not want to raise a son who thinks that women should just shut up and be pretty or be an example to young girls that we are only good for one thing. Quite the opposite.

When I come across a blog post or article I don’t agree with, I simply don’t read it or I read it in an attempt to understand their opinion, but I would never tell them they “couldn’t or shouldn’t” write about something that they feel strongly about. That is everyone’s right as a free American.  But that doesn’t necessarily mean I’m NEVER going to read something by them ever again or support their business if they are producing things I like.  I know and am friends with people who voted for Trump, I have friends who own and like guns– that doesn’t mean I draw a hard and fast line and say “that’s it, you’re dead to me”.  People are such complicated and multi-layered creatures- to reduce someone to their opinion on one topic, or their job, is short-sighted and naive and in doing that we lose out on so much we all have to offer the world.

It’s hard to put yourself out in the public eye. It’s hard to be a business and a woman. It’s hard to consume the divisive messages and news constantly streaming before our eyes and ears every day and stay sane. Bottom line, this time in history is freaking HARD.  Let’s not make it harder. Let’s try to find a middle ground, that is where we are all most successful. Lets share information. Let’s execute our right to have an opinion AND also our right to disagree without hurting each other. Let’s let people run businesses but also be human. Let’s have a little more empathy for the world, for others and for ourselves.

Love & Respect,

Erin

P.S. Tomorrow I’m back to fashion, so if you have any requests let me know! :)

 

 

 



283 comments

  1. I support your business even more because you speak out. Thank you for making the world a more beautiful place because of your blog, your design company and by sharing your opinion. We all should be engaged and responsible!

  2. Kudos for choosing to share your passionate feelings about the state of things here in the US. I wholeheartedly agree that we cannot and should not stay silent about the atrocities we see playing out daily. Our children are watching. Complacency shows them that we are either complicit or afraid to speak up. I am glad you are NEITHER of those. Thank you for sharing!

  3. I enjoy reading many bloggers and so far I have not had to be subjected to this political conversation ( please don’t tell me otherwise) on their sites. Very disappointing.

    1. Sounds like this blogger no longer meets your needs. I’ve lost interest in bloggers in the past whose posts no longer interested me, or tastes changed, or whatever reason. You know what I did? I simply stopped reading them. You know what I didn’t do? Comment about how much they disappointed me for not catering their content to ME in an attempt to shame them and make them feel bad about themselves.

      1. Oh, I am not shamed or feel bad about myself. When words like racist are thrown about and you have no idea who you are talking to, that is disappointing.

    2. Because many bloggers do not have the guts and balls to attack issues because they want things to remain “pretty”. Well, this is life and it is not pretty. Kudos to Erin for speaking out. You should be disappointed your government. I am a Bahamian looking on I am wondering what is US coming to. I am disappointed because more people need to speak out against this tyrant. Children are separated from mothers and God knows when they will be reunited.

    1. Okay. But we know for a fact that roughly 2,000 children have recently been separated from their relatives and sent to internment camps. Your point about that particular child (and I’m not sure the Daily Mail UK is the most reliable source, either) doesn’t negate that ugly facts.

      1. Daily Mail and other publications have quoted the father of that child saying his wife took their kid and paid someone 6k to get them here to look for a job. Nobody is negating the ugly facts. It’s interesting ya’ll were silent when this was happening under the obama admin. Pres. Trump is at least doing something about it.

    2. That this is the only thing that you have to say about what is happening to our ‘Democracy’ speaks volumes about your character. Shame on you.

      1. What kind of response is this to Lorrie’s comment? She is lacking in character and should be ashamed for pointing out Time magazine is using fake optics to push an agenda? If anyone’s comment is shameful , it is yours. Time magazine exploited this child.

      2. We live in a Republic dear, not a democracy. And is that erroneous comment all you have to offer? That’s probably a good thing.

      3. Thanks Diane, they don’t like facts, gets in the way of their hatred a la Peter Fonda. Shame on them.

    3. As a British citizen, I promise you that you ought to never, ever believe anything written in the Daily Mail. It is Britain’s fake news and a real blight on us as a nation.

  4. I like reading about any subject on your blog, but after writing about families in need, how do you return to highlighting clothes and household items? How do you find balance and perspective? Would you consider creating a charitable line of products to support refugee families?

  5. Get it, girl. Keep doing what you’re doing. I, for one, enjoy reading your more personal posts. You’ve got an audience and you use it wisely. Your post about an important issue might be the thing that pushes one more person to donate to a worthy cause or volunteer for those in need. If someone isn’t interested in a certain post they can simply click away. It is my feeling that those who complain about reading these types of posts have yet to realize exactly how priveleged they are. It can be painful to acknowledge just how much others are suffering, hopefully they will come around. Thank you for the work you put into your blog and especially for the thought you put into posts like these.

  6. I have been meaning to write on your Instagram feed ever since you posted the sad news about Kate Spade. I was going to tell you HOW MUCH I appreciate your candor and openness on mental health issues. I feel like if everyone was as up front and honest about mental health as you are it would be a huge first step in addressing this problem. Our silence and shame only makes a heartbreaking problem even worse. I am old enough to be your mom, and yes, I enjoy your style posts both on home and fashion, but I also really admire your courage in standing up for some of these important issues that are important to you. So from one soapbox to another, thank you!

  7. Bravo Erin! I admire you even more because you are willing to share this. Thank you for having the courage to do so!

  8. Thank you for this thoughtful, intelligent, and articulately written post. Thank you also for your bravery in using your platform to occasionally address vital issues that, inevitably, will generate unkind (or worse) comments. I am not as brave in my social media presence for fear that it will damage my social relations and business prospects. And then, of course, I beat myself up for making that (less brave, more selfish) choice.

  9. Thank you for speaking your mind and refusing to sit quietly by because someone else might disagree with you. This is too important for that nonsense.

  10. Bravo to you.
    There was a time when I worried Putin would invade Europe, and I thought about where I would flee with my kids–U.S.? Africa (figuring it would be left alone)? Now I think about getting my family out of the U.S. if things go south. We would all do anything to save our loved ones.

  11. I hope you’ll continue to speak out, Erin. The world won’t change if people remain silent, in fact that’s how some of the worse atrocities have happened – the majority allowed it and stayed silent. ALL of us should be speaking up, now and in the future. XO

  12. I don’t always agree with your viewpoints but I respect your right to speak out on them. And may I say, women who are NOT moms have just as much right to do so! As you said, we can not read or read to understand. The only time I get annoyed is when someone speaks their mind and then gets upset if people don’t want to read anymore. You realize that may translate into losing some readership and accept that. Please continue to speak your mind, and respecting those who may feel differently. That’s what this country is supposed to be about.

  13. Just another comment to tell you how absolutely wonderful I think it is that you speak your opinion. I can find beautiful, make me happy pictures anywhere. The internet is rife with them. What I love most about your blog and your work is the strong, creative woman behind it. It wasn’t long ago that women were not allowed to have an opinion and were raised to only please others. Continue being the brave, beautiful, imaginative, loving and INTELLIGENT person that you are. We will back you all the way!!! xo

  14. Thank you Erin. So many people are feeling the pain of theses children and their parents. It’s hard otomake it through the day without thinking about what we can each contribute. Your speaking out is so important!

  15. To me, it’s simple: It’s your blog and you can write about whatever you want. You cannot please all the people all the time.

    I love your blog and your book! To me, it’s nuts to suggest you should ONLY write about design. To NOT comment on some of the atrocities and sad things that happen – and to pretend that things are pretty all the time – is not real. And you are real.

    keep it up!

  16. Just another voice in the crowd to say thank you for speaking out! I respect you more for taking a stand (and I completely agree with you)! Thank you!

  17. Right here with you Erin. You have every right to write about how you feel and you do so eloquently and responsibly.

  18. Thank you, Thank you, Thank you!!! What a terrific well written post! I echo what so many of the comment’s have mentioned. I enjoy your blog not only for the pretties but, for your personal views as well. I too, feel we can not stay silent and I will not! I just learned this evening (per Time.com) that the Navy is considering a proposal for constructing an “Austere” immigration/detention camp” for up to 47,000 people in (Concord CA) a neighboring city of mine. Our congressman Mark Desaulnier called it “Madness”. I’m in total agreement and at age 61, I have full recollection of the many Viet-nam, anti-war demonstrations/protests that occurred for years at this same Navy Base. If history shows anything…the S.F bay area citizens will stand up and protest against this too!! Scary times we’re living in!!

  19. I’ve read your blog for years Erin and I have no problem with you expressing your opinions. I feel like you do about these topics, and I also support your right to express yourself. It is YOUR blog. I think readers would do well to remember that. Don’t agree with Erin? Forgot that she wasn’t just an interior designer but also a mother and a citizen with her own opinions? The. You really should go read something else if it bothers you so much. If you aren’t capable of respect and civil discourse there are lots of other blogs out there to serve your need for “pretty things” and no opinions. At the end of the day it’s her blog and her life.

  20. Dear Erin,
    I encourage you and your readers to read about the work being done by people in this country helping children. Please consider volunteering or contributing to a local home for children. Take a few minutes of your time and read this article for example: https://www.theatlantic.com/national/archive/2014/06/modern-orphans-of-mississippi/371906/. Or go to the Palmer Home website and watch the video about the good being done for children in need here in the US. My husband will be volunteering his time and talents for DIY next week, along with many other volunteers, at the Palmer Home in Columbus Mississippi. He also does the same for a local home in Anderson, SC. See if there is a place like this near you, and offer your services. Erin, you are such a talented and energetic young woman with such a concern for children, I can just imagine what you and others like you could do for homes such as these, rooms for children, raising funds, etc. Use your voice for tangible good. Channel your desire for a better world into doing good. Maybe this is something you may already do, I’m not sure. I believe there are lots of people in this country who would be shocked at the lives some people live in the US. May God bless your precious, caring heart.

  21. “For evil to triumph good men need to do nothing”
    It is our duty as individuals, organizations, and companies to speak out when we witness a violation of human rights. Which is why the American Pediatrics Association, the American Psychological Association, the Pope, American /United /Southwest Airlines, the Red Cross , CEOs of Apple, Cisco, Google, Facebook and countless others have spoken out. We only need to study history to understand what happens when a society does NOT speak out.
    I applaud you Erin for having a moral compass and using your voice.

  22. your profile rised with me Erin. It is a brave woman/business that speaks up because there are so many ignorant people who get their information from fox “news”. it is appalling when other women defend this deviant behavior and bash you.
    I do not recognize my countrymen/women any longer. for the first time in my life I am embarrassed to be American

    1. Debra…Name calling is unattractive. This post shows how close minded you are. How ironic that you decry women bashing women while you, in the same breath, bash women. For the first time in my life, I’m embarrassed to be a woman.

  23. Thanks for standing up, even though it might mean that you might lose a very tiny number of not very great customers anyway. Thanks, too for being such a powerhouse, the way that you forge ahead and still speak your heart is such a great example and template for those of us who maybe aren’t so strong and brave to learn to stand up a little taller too.

  24. I started to read for the pretty pictures and stayed because I love what YOU do. Thank you for putting into words the sexism implicit within this pressure to stay quiet, and for taking a stance even when it can be uncomfortable. I’m disappointed to read the anger and cruelty in some of the other commenters’ posts, so I wanted (for the first time!) to reach out and say I am applauding you. Thank you, really truly.

  25. I agree with everything you have said. There comes a time where those of us who play by the rules of decent decorum must speak out against such brutality. Nazi Germany was, in part strengthened by folks keeping silent, being polite and following the rules of normal society. Your post was truthful, respectful and heartfelt about a cruel and heartless policy of our government. Thank you for posting it.

  26. I am so glad you take a stand on things that matter to you! I cannot believe what is going on in this country right now it is a sad time to be American. I couldn’t believe that Melania Trump wore that jacket with the statement on it, I don’t really care do you, to visit children taken from their parents what in the world was she thinking.
    Thank you for expressing your opinion, we need more people to speak up to bring attention to these sad issues.

  27. Sending support and respect. I will come here because you let your voice be heard. Thanks for using your platform in this way, Erin.

  28. I love your blog and enjoy all of your content –personal, editorial, decor and fashion posts. The multi facets keeps it real and engaging. Don’t stop! You’re the best!

  29. Be you– your style is beautiful because you are passionate about what you care about. Thank you for being strong enough to be vulnerable. Keep sharing!

  30. Erin,

    I appreciate this non-emotional “letter” to us. Like you, I read your political posts and I don’t dare comment b/c I would be eaten alive. You and I differ drastically on probably many issues. My dream job was to be ” that we are only good for one thing”…Not really, but you get the idea. All I ever wanted was to be a homemaker – a wife and mother to a large brood. Luckily, I married a man who respects and appreciates me for that and helps me fulfill these dreams of mine. But I believe in The Feminine Genius (as I have read Pope John Paul II refer to it) and that women bring a wholly unique perspective to whichever vocation and job they were created for. I am so stinking glad my sister is a charge nurse at a huge hospital. I am so proud of my dear college friend for being the CEO of a HUGE publication. I, like you, am a mother. Like you, I am emotionally charged. Like you, I think there are abuses and problems with what is happening, but I do recognize that with policies, there will always be concessions, and that good people can disagree. You don’t know me, so you do not realize that I never accept crimes against humanity as an acceptable concession. But you and I would differ on what that all means, I am guessing. I love what you bring to the design world. I disagree with many of your other posts, but in reading them, I am reminded of my own emotions and I am convinced that most people, on both sides of the issue, want what is best for our country and individual humans. We may disagree on what that is, but letters like this help in the conversation of understanding where others are coming from. I cannot stand the conservative talk radio crud that is out there – (Yeah, yeah, yeah, every now and again something legit is said, and I am as conservative as any of your readers who wants to hurt me right now! :-)) I also cannot stand the mainstream media. They drank the kool-aid and it blows my mind. And then it dawned on me…they ALL get paid to stir the pot, cause problems, find strife. There are so many lies put out there and they are all very obvious to me when it is coming from the “liberal” slant, but I can honestly say that I am sure I am ignorant to many of the conservative lies. I just learned what “Bleeding Hearts” meant. I have been called a Nazi online. How is the name calling and emotional, reactionary responses helpful to solving the problems? While I did marry a 100% German, I deny that 40%-ish german ancestry I have in favor of the 15% Irish. We have one son who is 1/2 Chinese and 1/3 Ecuadorian. We have two sons from Ethiopia…”brown” – they say. Apparently, Somalians and Nigerians are black to them. I really do not consider myself a racist or ignorant, and I don’t think the media on either side is helping. Thank you for this calm response. No, despite disagreeing with you, I don’t think you should shut up… But I do appreciate this reasonable approach. And I am pretty sure you and I could enjoy some great wine and/or coffee together despite our differences. I am sorry for the negative comments by my fellow “Conservatives” (ugh…I’m trying to use fewer names b/c it puts us all in boxes.). I do know how they feel and where they are coming from. It feels as though we are being very attacked and it is uncool to not hate Trump despite the fact that Obama, Clinton and the Bushes all said the same thing he is saying right now re: illegal immigration. Thanks for taking the first step in an honest dialogue. I just wish we could all drink that wine in the same room and see faces…it makes it harder to call names and be reactionary.

  31. I have read your blog for years but rarely comment. For me, honestly, I felt like you were way out of reach/out of my league until you started writing an occasional real life/speaking out post. Those posts have made me feel so much mite connected to you, and that your design and style posts may be attainable also! I hope this makes a little sense :)

  32. Maybe going back to magazines isnt such a bad idea for those that want to look at pretty photos. Bloggers bring in personal opinions AND they are entitled to do so.

  33. Bravo for speaking. I don’t always agree with your views but I can respect you and your passion. I grew up in a different part of the US that shaped and molded my opinions and views. However, I can agree that you have excellent taste and I love reading your blog. Much love. Keep on keeping on.

  34. Amen. Good post. I’m sorry you have to read peoples negative and one sided thoughts. Most people don’t take other peoples points of view well.

  35. I applaud your speaking out and appreciate your ability to articulate your thoughts so clearly. I happen to agree with you and I’m glad you present a holistic view. It makes me feel like we “know” you and what you care about – and respect you as a business woman and a mother.

  36. Late reply, but here goes — Erin, I’m so glad you posted this. The blog world (and the real world, at that) needs more people like you, who use their considerable platforms for good. I love that you are speaking out about issues close to your heart (and to those of many, many Americans), and in my opinion, it will deepen the bond you have with your true supporters. Anyone who is ignorant and small-minded enough to unsubscribe, well, that says MUCH more about them than it does about you.

    Keep on fighting the good fight. I’ll keep reading as long as you are writing!

    P.S. I gave my sister-in-law your first book for Christmas back in 2014 and she LOVES it … we can’t wait for your second!

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