Springtime brings a wonderful combination of new growth and old traditions. At Darling Way, we are working hard to update a beautiful old cottage and make her our home soon. In the meanwhile, as the ancient holiday of Passover approaches, young children everywhere are preparing to ask the four questions. Because we love the tradition of inviting questions, thoughtful answers and subsequent discussion, we prepared our own Darling Way version of the four questions. (Which is really five questions including the introduction, but who are we to challenge tradition?)
Darling Way is unique because our primary mission is service. Our mission is to help people love, accept, and nurture themselves and others by fueling their life with grace, elegance, confidence and joy. As a retail boutique, we are able to literally open our doors to the public and invite strangers to become friends and community. We allow people the opportunity to find respite from a demanding world in a comfortable, elegant, hospitable environment. What sets Darling Way apart from other stores, however, is that we focus on helping our guests get what they need or want rather than simply selling them what we have. When I was a practicing attorney, clients asked me to represent them in all sorts of legal cases, despite the fact that I specialized in family law. I would gladly help them find someone who could provide the expertise that was needed for the particular case,
even though it didn’t profit me directly to do so. But wouldn’t it have been ludicrous, not to mention unethical and greedy to ignore what they needed and try to sell them what I had to offer? Can you imagine the conversation? “Hey, I am sorry. I can’t help you resolve your problems with the IRS, but I can give you a great price on a quickie divorce. Oh don’t worry if you don’t need or want a divorce today, I am sure it will come in handy sooner or later!” That approach didn’t make sense then and it still doesn’t today. Darling Way will always respect our clients above all else.
- Other stores sell lingerie, what’s different about Darling Way’s lingerie? Our collection is as unique as we are. We carry lines from brilliant designers that are not generally available locally and styles that are uniquely eye catching as well as flattering. Have you ever seen denim bras with brown leather straps? Cowgirls have never looked so good! Our silks and lace come from all across the world and are some of the finest quality available to ensure that you will feel like royalty when so finely adorned. On the other hand, we also carry flirty fun lines which are meant to be enjoyed more casually, yet still provide the innate excitement that comes from feeling and looking good in pretty things. There is nothing in our store that is not meant to be worn spectacularly well by naturally gorgeous real people, not just photoshopped models. You deserve lingerie that makes you feel like your most beautiful, romantic self. If it will look great in the closet but makes you unhappy if you put it on, we will encourage you to wait until you find something that you can’t wait to put on. We know how beautiful you are and we know that there is something for everyone that helps their own beauty shine brighter. We will help everyone find something perfect for them.
- Other stores sell loungewear for men, how is Darling Way different? Because we love the men in our lives and want to make them a priority, not an afterthought! We understand that most people think of a well dressed man as one in a suit, but we recognize that what the men look like at home matters just as much. Old t-shirts and baggy shorts may be socially acceptable for men, but they don’t generally inspire self confidence or romantic thoughts in the wearer or those around him. To us, this is counter intuitive. Men tell us all the time that they want to feel and look good for their partner or to find a partner; we remind them to pay attention to what they look like when they aren’t going out in public. To be fair, it’s been hard for men to find attractive, classy and comfortable personal wear that doesn’t invoke a Hugh Hefner feeling, but Darling Way is changing that with an expansive collection of men’s personal wear. Traditionally, men get shorted when it comes to options for their under layers. But, we believe men deserve much more than just three types of fit and six color choices. Some stores ask boxer or brief like it’s the only issue, but for us it’s only the starting point. We care about how long a leg length you want, whether a fly is preferable or not, what fabric suits you the best. (If you haven’t felt our incredibly soft, moisture wicking, bamboo fabrics, you should soon. You won’t believe the difference bamboo can make during the sweltering months of summer!) We want to know how much coverage is most relaxing and how much support you like. (And no, it’s not just athletic styles that come with support!) Perhaps you want a convenient pocket, or a matching shirt? All these choices, and we haven’t even gotten to the area of robes, shirts and lounge pants/shorts! There is no more excuse for any man to look sloppy after he changes into something “more comfortable”. Frankly, we we think every man should look better after he takes off his suit! Everyone enjoys a little eye candy around the house and it’s calorie free so indulge!
- Other stores have events, why are your events different? Darling Way’s mission is to expand the ways in which people find more confidence, joy, intimacy and beauty in their lives and our events will also share that focus. Our salons will vary in format and topic, but will all encourage fun, open, thoughtful exploration about matters concerning relationships, love, communication, current events, and intimacy along with other relevant topics of the day. Darling Way is a safe harbor for people to participate in heated dialogues, share conflicting opinions, ask any questions and share doubts or dreams. All will be met with the same honesty, sincerity, integrity, warmth and respect that we wish to receive from others. No Darling Way event will ever be the same because each will reflect the personalities of those involved, however, each should be similar in that everyone should leave with a little more energy, information, optimism, excitement or confidence than they started with. We want to connect and share with our guests, just as we empower them to do with others. Thus our events are to be a place of respite, a haven where each of us can be our true self with our own set of particular values, yet breathing is easy and relaxing is natural. We value and treasure each of our guests; our events are in their honor and about them, not about Darling Way.
- Other stores only have chairs in the dressing rooms, why do you have seating throughout your cottage? This is our whole point...We don’t want you to leave. We don’t want to be just your favorite store, we want to be one of your favorite places to be! You should come visit us whether you are in the mood to shop or just for a friendly chat. Let’s face it, if we weren’t excited about working face to face with people, we could have created an online only business but that sounds like no fun at all to us! Instead, we are working hard to design our home to entertain all of our wonderful friends. We want you to make yourself comfortable and stay for a while; after all, talking is one of the things we do best! Seriously, we love getting to know new friends and it’s always a treat to see long-time ones, so please stop by anytime. Please don’t misunderstand, though, we know sometimes you will need make a quick stop without time for a long conversation and we promise not to hold it against you :)
After all of above, it may be disingenuous to now try to summarize, lol. But, I don’t think I can help myself, so please indulge me a moment longer. The questions invited at Passover are to stimulate thoughtful analysis of topics otherwise often taken for granted. Similarly, the writing of this article has caused me to think more concretely about what I think differentiates Darling Way from other stores. The paragraphs above describe the symptoms of our uniqueness, but I think that the actual defining reason for distinction is thus:
Darling Way will never measure its success simply on the basis of profit, instead we will gauge our success by our impact on our clients, guests and community.
Like any good Seder, these answers have gone on too long and it’s time to move on! May this spring bless you and yours with good health and happiness.