Our story begins with the Chinese character 「累」, pronounced lèi. Its definition: tired, weary, fatigued, exhausted, and so on, and so on.
Its origin is derived from the tiredness experienced after work, which, in ancient China, was typically fieldwork「田」for men and sewing「糸」for women.
I did not participate in any fieldwork, nor did I have any experience sewing. But I was very tired. I was tired so very generally of busy-ness. Of structure, of routine, of linearity. Of people, of expectation, of noise. Of complaining, of complication, of complacency. Of waiting, of wasting time, of withering away.
Tired as ever, I-- also entitled as ever, predictable as ever-- quit my job as the editor of a food magazine and traveled around the world in search of a better way to live. Over time, I discovered how remarkably little we need to be content. How significant a day spent slowly and simply can be. How beautifully our stories can be told through our craft.
One year later, I founded The Lèi in the autumn of 2018, with a vision to create and curate a collection of handmade homeware and accessories from around the world. Each collection of products seeks to tell a story about a time and a place and a people. Our first collection showcases our everyday leather slides, designed and handmade in Morocco. The slide is a contemporary take on the traditional babouche and is a culmination of an autumn spent in Marrakech.
Our philosophy challenges the idea that we must always be doing for the sake of doing. It encourages slowing down, simplifying, stopping even-- and when we are "doing," we do everything deliberately and authentically. Our products reflect what it means to live slowly and simply, but significantly.
This brand is for all the tired souls around the world. Tired, thoughtful, tea-sipping souls. This brand is for the「累」.