As we flow through life, we're reminded of our purpose. A touchstone that guides us and keeps us to course. While the wind shifts and we sway with it, when we find ourselves lost as sea, we can always find comfort, focus and meaning when we come back to our purpose. It is where we rekindle the flame.
We started The Local Branch in 2009. Blaine and I were young 20-somethings, with a suitcase, a small bit of savings, and a wild zest for life - and we left the east coast for California. It was the midst of the recession, we were creative artists with a lot to give - but it was a strange time to find work in our fields.
In hindsight, it was exactly the thing that touched us to start something. I remember our collective passion to build together, to have ownership over our time, to be able to raise a family, to use the creative talents between us to support us... and to do it in a way that felt meaningful, mindful, aligned and conscious.
(Circa 2013, traveling out of our Airstream workshop to do shows all over the country)
While we didn't spell it out in so many words, we lived it and we still do. Our ethos from the very first day over 13 years ago was to make things with our hands, to source everything we possibly can from the USA, to make sure people/planet/profit were all in balance, and to create things that would stand the test of time, that you'd love and cherish - and that could be repaired instead of thrown away. It's a slow fashion, a slow rising.
(Working in our Airstream workshop - circa 2013-2014)
In a world where we were (and honestly, still are) feeling polluted with fads and trends and fast fashions - we wanted to harken back to a slower time. One where we cared about how things were made and who they supported, even if it meant spending a bit more.
In the beginning there was a lot of education around why the revival of this movement was important, and before our very eyes a great shift began to unfold. It was through discourse, open conversations, and education that things like this happen. We aren't always perfect, and that's not the goal, but making a conscious decision about what we put in and on our bodies makes a difference. I've always heard the most sustainable thing you can wear is something already in your closet - so here we are, making things that will hopefully live there forever.
(The Local Branch Team, circa 2022)
It has always been more than a transaction to us. Being mindful of our purpose is how we steer this ship, and success means a lot of different things to us. Thanks for being on board, we appreciate it and you more than you know.
- Mackenzie, Blaine and our mighty little team!