Welcome to StrangeBlog by Wood If She Could.
Here you'll find all you need to know about our favourite new Strangers and their latest products. Let's learn a little bit about Strangers Collective, yep, that means it's story-time!
Strangers Collective began with two Nelson women who had a passion for homewares and beautifying spaces. After some years, they decided to take different paths, so they moved their brick and mortar store online and then sold it. That's where Wood If She Could (that's me) came on the scene.
I come from a natural science background and I was looking for a mission outside of doing Eco-stuff. As they say, you do the 9-5 for the bills, and the 6-12 for the skills, well…something along those lines.
Fortunately for me my 9-5 not only pays the bills but it happens to be a passion that enhances the earth for future generations - that's Ikigai baby! I complete my life mission during my 6-12 by running a socially and environmentally responsible business, which I'm able to design according to my own values.
The Strange Way
Strangers is founded on and managed using the underlying principles of "The Strange Way" - it's really not so strange, but more a mindset everybody should be striving for in life and business.
When I bought Strangers in 2020, the philosophy didn't include stocking only ethical and sustainable homewares, so you may find some items are hangovers from the old philosophy of purely beauty and empowerment. This philosophy is still deeply rooted in Strangers Collective, I've simply added some additional values to fit with the updated direction.
The Strange Way encompasses 5 principles that underpin all decisions for Strangers Collective.
Ethical - The first question asked of all new Strangers looking to join the collective is "Who made this?" Ensuring items are made with joy and not under duress or causing harm to other humans is #1 for Strangers Collective.
Environmentally Responsible - All our manufacturers are striving to do the best they can for the environment and the way we do things at Strangers follows suit. We re-use all packaging for shipping and we use R3pack courier bags.
Beautiful - We sell beautiful things for your space and for your lifestyle, be it for children, pets or your space - its beauty will shine through.
Empowered - Strangers support empowerment however that may look, we may promote a young entrepreneur's creations (My Secret Message), or partner with Strangers who give back (Lagom).
- Neighbourly - We focus on partnering largely with other small businesses from Aotearoa, but acknowledge that as humans we belong to the world. If they fit our values, we embrace brands from outside of Aotearoa and always give them the neighbourly treatment.
What's the Story?
I did promise a story, I wanted to convey the mission first - ok peeps, settle in!
Many years ago (let's not think about how many), I was flatting in a crappy old 'gottage' (that's a pretty word for garage/room) in South Auckland, and waitressing for a rather unfulfilling organisation. Needless to say, my mind wasn't in a great space, I was depressed and just barely making it through the day.
For some reason, I had a couch that ended up being placed in a weird position partially blocking the doorway that separated the rooms. The door stayed permanently open and no one gave it a second thought.
One day, bored and doing nothing important, I moved that couch to the wall beside it, did a little spring clean and rearranged the room. All of a sudden, the door was able to fulfil its purpose (of opening and closing) and something strange happened in my mind.
It was like a veil was lifted from my mind, I could walk around the room, close the door and the space around me was organised, nothing was blocking me.
Suddenly I felt like nothing was blocking my mind either, I felt that day that my depression lifted slightly. I had a long way to go, but something about changing the space around me impacted my mind in a profound way.
Ever since that day, I have been an advocate and promoter of the idea that the space you live in deeply affects your mind. This is what I saw in Strangers Collective, the potential of a business that can change or add to a space and make an impact on people's lives to change their world for the better.
Enjoy your online browse or shopping session, knowing that what you are buying has been chosen with thought and purpose.
Our curated collection is guilt-free and beautiful, there's no compromise needed. The only hard part is deciding - ‘how much is too much?’ (pro tip - you can never have too many!)