No one loves vanilla ice cream. There, I said it.
Everyone likes vanilla ice cream, it’s safe. It’s dependable, it goes with everything and no one turns it down if it’s offered to them.
Pistachio ice cream though? You love it or loathe it, but if you love it, you’ll drive across town to get your hands on it.
I was driving out of a car park this week when I heard Sara Tasker use this analogy on her podcast ‘Letters from a Hopeful Creative’ and I knew instantly I wanted to write about it. It’s something I know in my bones to be true and simultaneously, it’s an inconvenient truth I’ve been hiding from.
You see, I love pistachio ice cream. I always look out for it if I’m within scooping distance of an ice cream shop. In particular, I remember the best pistachio ice cream I’ve ever tasted under a starry sky in Mexico twenty years ago.
Pistachio ice cream aside, what’s this about an inconvenient truth I’ve been hiding from, I hear you say?
Well, instead of presenting myself in all my pistachio glory, I’ve either been hiding away or sheepishly showing up as vanilla ice cream. Doing this takes me right back to my 90s school days, being awkwardly apologetic for my existence. Trying to fit in with my Kickers shoes and River Island carrier bag.
Why? Well the plot line of my past is that being more pistachio leads to painful rejection.
As someone who reads a lot of Brene Brown, I also know that by closing myself off to rejection, by making myself more palatable and vanilla, I’m also closing myself off to acceptance, belonging and joy.
*They* say that launching and running a business is the most intense form of self-development you can do (I say *they* as I don’t remember where I read this to credit it) and I’m finding it to be true.
Trying to work out what draws people to Bramble & Fox, what they would like more of, less of and where that intersects with what I would like to offer is tricky.
When people think of a hygge home, they generally think of pared-back interiors, blonde wood, soft neutrals, sheepskin and Scandi flourishes.
They may not be thinking of my distinctive Miss Marple flavour of hygge, featuring faded patchwork, nostalgic kitchenware, traditional crafts, tactile pottery, rustic wood, Cotswolds cottages, chunky knits, tweeds, crochet, quirky prints, florals and woodland kitsch.
I know that if I offered a ‘vanilla’ version of hygge, Bramble & Fox would be way more popular, but it wouldn’t be the genuine, pistachio-ish expression of what I want it to be.
For some time, I’ve struggled with self-doubt when it comes to stock, outsourcing decisions I should have really made myself, being led by instagram polls for things when really, what I needed to do was just be more pistachio.
You see, I’ve realised that if you make yourself more bland and palatable, you dilute your magic.
I’ve realised that the things you’re worried people will reject about you are the very things that will draw your special people to you.
Your magic lies in the parts of yourself you’re trying to hide away.