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Folios, Friedlander’s and Familial Connection

I’ve been working a lot this year on improving my workflow process. As part of my overall effort I recently bought a folio to help me stay organized. I didn’t want just another P.O.S. made in China though. I wanted something that fit my style yet was practical. That meant that everything for sale at Office Max was out of the question.

My new folio, isn’t she great!

Actually, there were no options I could find locally that fit my needs or style. So I took to the web, and I finally found exactly what I was looking for on Etsy. It was my first Etsy purchase ever (thank you Watermelon Wishes for making the perfect folio to order for me, how awesome).

It’s such a personal experience buying something on Etsy. You talk with the crafter, get to ask for special touches to make it just right. I even got to pick out whatever fabric my heart desired. That turned out to be a rather stressful endeavor. I swear there were literally thousands of options to choose among.

I tried being rational about my decision in the beginning. I looked through the new releases (which was miles long) and marked patterns I liked to review later. I spent over a half hour doing that and got about 8-10 patterns in the cue. Unfortunately, none of them really spoke to me. They were too feminine or too plain or too light. In short, they just weren’t me.

But searching for the perfect fabric felt daunting. I’d already invested 30 minutes in this endeavor, the pressure was on, this effort better pay off in improved workflow productivity!! Clearly my strategy for searching wasn’t working. I had to try something new. But how do you narrow down thousands of fabric choices?

Impulsively I clicked on the link that listed the fabric in alphabetical order by name of the designer…The page loaded with a list. I laughed thinking to myself, “like this is going to help, I don’t know any fabric designers by name.” As I scrolled down the screen, there was something I rarely see. Someone with my last name (that I don’t already know) was listed! Carolyn Friedlander’s a textile designer. Intrigued, I clicked on her name to find her designs.

Amazingly, she had the most perfect fabric for my folio, called scribbles. That’s when my prolonged search suddenly ended, all efforts to make a rational decision null and void. I placed my order, ecstatic that I’d found exactly what I was looking for (even though I didn’t know what I wanted going into the search), and giggled that I got to support a fellow Friedlander in such a round about kinda way.

Here’s a pic of the inside of my new folio!

Anyway, the entire experience got me thinking about how powerful a thing familial connection is. I was swimming in a sea of fabric choices, too overwhelmed to confidently make a decision. And then, wham I’m looking at Carolyn Friedlander’s designs and my decision is made without another thought.

It’s safe to say I was pre-disposed to like her fabric, which begs the question would, I have chosen that design without the familial connection?  To be fair, there was nothing else like Carolyn Friedlander’s designs on the site, her stuff was original and fit my style (it must be a Friedlander thing)!  But my decision to look at her designs rather than any of the other names listed was definitely influenced by the familial connection.

Have you made a decision recently that was influenced by a familial-likeness? How’d that work out for you? For marketers, leveraging such a pre-disposition for the familial can be a mighty fine advantage. But for the smart decision maker it can be problematic if all rational criteria is overshadowed by familial-likeness!

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