All in good time: Getting to know JORD Wood Watches

I've been slowly trying to create a more thoughtful closet over the last two and a half years that is full of more ethically made pieces that are also closet staples and will stand the test of time. Recently, I've begun the same process for my accessories and wanted to share a great company that I've recently learned about and couldn't love more. JORD Wood Watches is a local St. Louis company that makes beautiful watches almost completely out of wood! How fun is that?! 

I've worn the same watch for the last six years that has different materials and textiles so the simplicity of the Fieldcrest watch was quite a departure for me but I absolutely love it! This watch doesn't have any bells or whistles but instead is just a well-crafted, gorgeous, timeless (pun-intended) piece. I am not the only one who loves this watch; quite a few of my friends not only noticed I switched watches but complimented this watch. This Fieldcrest watch is a real head-turner!

I took some time asking JORD some questions about the watches and I'm excited to share what I learned with you!

Could you tell me more about the artisans who make the watches?

"Though the watches are all hand finished, we do a great deal of the manufacturing with specialty tooled machines.  Wood is a fluid substance, and it will contract and expand to a certain degree based on its environment.  We can’t change that property of the wood so we’ve found that machine tooling allows us to create pieces to exacting standards so that even when slight expansion and contraction occur the fully assembled watch retains its structural integrity. If we were to do those processes by hand there would be the opportunity for variation that creates a negative effect further down in the assembly process and possibly in the future during wear.

"Part of the craft, we feel, lies with our team who choose the wood to go through the manufacturing process.  That cannot be accomplished by a machine! The grain of the wood, the coloring, the density – that all has to be evaluated prior to the process.  Even more challenging, almost like putting a puzzle together, is when the watches are being assembled.  A single piece of wood can produce a wide variety of grain and coloring, so our team sorts through the individual pieces, matching them for shading and the strike of the grain, and making sure that the finished piece has a natural uniformity."

Where are the watches made?

"Our watches are manufactured in China in a facility that we manage.  We have a team on site, who follow production and are in charge of quality control, as well as a team who works specifically on prototyping.  Our designers are here in St. Louis and after the initial drawings, specs, and materials are chosen our team in China evaluates the design, considering production and long term wearability, makes whatever changes are necessary, and builds out samples. Prior to putting a new design in full production, several of the JORD partners will fly to China to oversee the final design and approve the materials. 

"We wanted to ensure the people working on our watches were trained adequately, treated fairly, and paid appropriately for their positions which is why we choose the facility that we did that allowed us to manage it. And to top it off, all of our watches are treated with natural substances, no hazardous chemicals. Not only for the sake of the environment, but for those who work on the watches."  

Noonday Collection bracelets and JORD W

Lastly, I'm so excited to be partnering with JORD to offer See Things Closer readers a special $25 e-gift code! Once you fill out the form, you will instantly be emailed your $25 e-gift code. You will have until 12/18/16 to redeem the code. I can't wait to hear what watch catches your eye below and if you have a favorite! Here's to shopping locally and supporting small businesses this holiday - cheers! 

Why Dressember has become one of my favorite winter tradition

The first year I learned about Dressember also happened to be my first winter in the Midwest—a coincidence I now find pretty comical. I moved from the mild winters of Virginia to Missouri, where December is more of a “real” winter, in the truest sense of the word: cold, windy, and oftentimes snowy. I’m now used to bundling up in the winter, running from my car into work, and spending as little time as possible in the freezing temperatures.

Of course Dressember has their own dresses!  C  heck it out!

Of course Dressember has their own dresses! Check it out!

The idea behind Dressember is simple: Wear a dress every day of the month, while raising money for women’s injustice through the International Justice Mission (IJM) through having your own fundraising page or by joining a team and raising money as a team of women. 

Even though the founder of Dressember, Blythe Hill, says it “started as a silly idea, born out of boredom,” I also don’t think it’s a mistake that it takes place in winter—during a month when women might normally prefer to wear pants, for the sheer sake of staying warm. Dressember thus happens at the most inconvenient time to make the biggest impact for women. 

This year marks my third year taking part in Dressember, and it is now as important a Christmas tradition for me as decorating the tree is. In the hopes of encouraging you to take part in the movement as well, here are three tips (and myth-busters!) for participating in your first Dressember:

1. Have an “you can do it” friend. 

I have been lucky enough to take part in Dressember the last two years with my best friend. I realize not everyone might be able to do this, but I highly encourage you to have a friend alongside you to do Dressember with—especially for those colder days or on mornings when you wake up late. The encouragement it provides is so beneficial. 

My best friend and I don’t live in the same state, but for the last three years we have celebrated New Year’s Eve together, meaning we also celebrate the end of Dressember together. Traditions are big to me and I love that we can now also include Dressember in our holiday traditions.

Courtney & I got creative with celebrating the end to Dressember & New Years Eve together and wore sequins skirts under our black dresses!

Courtney & I got creative with celebrating the end to Dressember & New Years Eve together and wore sequins skirts under our black dresses!

2. The “I have only have 2 dresses” myth

This comment comes up every time I talk about Dressember—and it was my first thought, too. I didn’t really want to spend lots of money on new dresses just so I could participate in a fundraising event. 

Slowly, I developed my own approach to Dressember. I now get one to two new dresses on ThredUp to accent what I already have in my closet. I also use cardigans, scarfs and tights to make my summer dresses winter-appropriate, and to help me not freeze :) Also, If this is the only thing keeping you from participating in Dressember, be encouraged by its founder, Blythe, who wears the same dress every day with different accessories and clothing. 

The motto I repeat over and over again is, “I can do anything for 31 days.”

Keeps your perspective outside of yourself

I don’t think it’s an accident that Dressember also happens during the same month as Christmas. The month of Christmas lists and presents and focusing on ourselves, no matter how hard we try not to. I’m so guilty of it—making Christmas lists of what I’ve wanted during the year, even while telling myself “this is the season of celebrating our Lord and Savior was born.”

I’ll never forget visiting Guatemala in July of 2015 with Noonday Collection, and visiting IJM’s headquarters there. When their leader asked our group of 15 women if we had participated in Dressember the previous December, over half of us raised our hands. Without hesitation he said “thank you” for participating in one of their most effective fundraising incentives to date. 

A fundraiser that entails wearing a dress for 31 days. That’s it. It's a powerful thing when women come together for good, and Dressember is one heck of an example.

It’s so easy to feel overwhelmed with the injustive and poverty in our world, but together, we can see things closer and take small steps towards creating a better world—steps as small as wearing a dress for 31 days. 

Are you in? Let's be on the same team and let’s change the world together through fashion! And, if you've participated in Dressember before, what tips or myth-busters do you have for us going into another Dressember? Let's encourage one another as we create a better world together!

Hello! I'm Back!

Hello! It’s been a little while, but I’m excited to be back in this space with you guys again. I’m glad you’re here!

Over the last year, while I’ve been quiet on the blog front, I’ve been learning how to see things closer and what that means for me. I’ve learned how to feel more deeply and authentically through a mixture of things, from my counselor (more on that later) to the new Pixar movie Inside Out.

I recently watched The Secret Life of Walter Mitty on a plane ride and was taken aback by how perfectly Mitty put this:

“To see the world, things dangerous to come to, to see behind walls, draw closer, to find each other and to feel. That is the purpose of life.”

It encompasses the new theme and look for my blog so well. As a Noonday Collection ambassador over the last two years, my eyes have been opened to a different way of living. Living with purpose and intention and seeing people for who they are, not who you want them to be.

During this last year especially, I began to feel a stirring in my heart to start sharing again. To bring these experiences and lessons I’ve been learning back to my blog and start fresh, which brings us to my re-branding.

  Logo design by Nathan Holthus of ATELIER DESIGN & PRINT

  Logo design by Nathan Holthus of ATELIER DESIGN & PRINT

I chose the phrase, “See Things Closer,” from my favorite movie. In Moonrise Kingdom by Wes Anderson, the film’s two main characters have the following conversation:

Sam: Why do you always use binoculars?

Suzy: It helps me see things closer. Even if they're not very far away. I pretend it's my magic power.

Thanks to my sister and fellow Wes Anderson fanatic, Candace, we’ve come up with my favorite blog name ever. It encompasses these last two years of learning to see beyond the surface of life and relationships, and I can’t wait to start sharing the journey I’ve been on with you guys.

Thanks for joining me on this new adventure!