The Beauty of a Catalog and a Fresh Start

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There's something magical about a printed catalog.

It had been over a year since we'd ordered them last, and I'd just about talked myself out of ordering new ones. Our industry has been moving more toward the digital in the last few years, and I'm feeling that as much as anyone else. When this new catalog arrived in my hands, it brought me back to the feeling of receiving my very first catalog.

The first C&Co wholesale catalog was a true labor of love. It had letterpress printed covers, hand-bound with black & white twine to a few digitally printed pages. I was so proud of it, despite the small quantity of cards contained within. It was the culmination of what I’d accomplished to that point.

For our first “real” catalog, the one I’d take to our first trade show, I had high expectations. My vision was to create a wholesale catalog that felt more like an issue of Kinfolk than a sales piece. We did product photo shoots all over town in the homes of our friends. To go along with the photos, I wrote small pieces about each person and their home. I wanted to bring pieces of our life in Seattle along with us on that trip to New York. I wanted our catalog to reflect all the things we loved about that season of our life. Looking back at that catalog, I see many things I’d change, but following that impulse for storytelling isn’t one of them.

Holding this 2019 catalog in my hands feels like a new kind of victory. As you may know, we lost our wholesale manager, Chelsa, to cancer last May. In the months following, it was incredibly painful for me to pick up where she left off. Chelsa loved her job and was passionate about serving our wholesale customers. In the height of my grief, searching my inbox for something and finding her name and her words was way too hard. I let the wholesale portion of C&Co sit dormant for a bit while I found my bearings.

It took me nearly a year to find the strength to focus myself on wholesale again. With the help of my husband, Brad, and the many hours he spent shooting new photos of our products, I slowly worked on a new catalog. I’m extremely proud of the cards I’ve written & designed in the last year, especially the cards about grief that were directly inspired by this experience of losing my dear friend and team member. I know she’d be proud of this catalog, and proud of the ways I’ve used my grief to make other people feel loved and less alone.

So for me, this new catalog is more than just a sales tool. It’s the final page in this chapter of loss. I’ll never forget my friend, and the ways she helped form Constellation & Co. with her kindness, compassion, hope, and joy. She’ll always be a part of who we are, what we do, and what we stand for. What she wanted for this company is for it to continue, to keep speaking words of truth and keep reaching more people. Today, sending this catalog into the world, I step forward and turn the page to greet the next chapter.

If you’re a wholesale buyer and would like more info about working with us, head to our wholesale page.

Sara McNallyComment