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FIELDTESTED | Erin Loechner, Design For Mankind

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Previously an art director and stylist in Los Angeles, Erin is now nestled in a Midwestern town she has been blogging and speaking for more than a decade and has garnered a loyal, design-loving following. 

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Tell us your journey of discovering slow living and why you are passionate about it?

I love that you call it a journey, because it absolutely is! It has been such a meaningful path for me. It has taken me many years to understand just how much ownership I have over my life, and that while I cannot control my circumstances on the daily, I can certainly change my reactions to such circumstances. And for me, personally, this takes a lot of thought, a lot of mindfulness, a lot of pause to retrain my brain to think in a way that is more suitable to my values rather than the go-to default I’d learned as a child. To me, that’s the biggest gift of slow living — sacrificing other things (better jobs, bigger opportunities, bigger homes, bigger cars, more money) to be able to strip away the excess and allow myself margin to choose something out of the ordinary, and to learn to do things a bit differently.

If we could only remember 3 things about your book Chasing Slow, what would it be?

  1. I used to think the opposite of control is chaos. But it’s not. The opposite of control is surrender. (On embracing the messy seasons of our lives…)
  2. We do ourselves no favors when we look to the crowd to tell us where we are. (On tuning out the noise...)
  3. Minimalism, slow living, sustainability — these are worthy pursuits. But when they become the ends and not the means, we risk the glorification of them. Without grace, minimalism is another metric for perfection. (On accepting the journey of slow living and understanding there is no tidy arrival point!)
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Kids, Life, Blogging, how do you achieve work-life balance and what wise words would you give new mummies?

I suppose my only advice, and what has worked for me, is to trust you’ll find a rhythm where pockets of your day naturally appear. And if they don’t, carve them out! My current rhythm is to rise at 4:30am, sneak out to a local coffee shop and finish my work by 9am so I can be a mom the rest of the day! My husband has a flexible work schedule, so we’re lucky, but there are so many ways to rejigger the system. It’s amazing what you can get accomplished in a half hour, so for me, using time wisely is a must.

What is one quote you would want your kids to live by?

Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle. - Plato

Tell us what do you think about MATTER so far?

Well, I’ve been living in the Jump-In Romper if that tells you anything about how much I love the product itself! But more importantly, the mission is so so true to my heart. It’s a lovely thing to meet likeminded friends doing good in this big, wide world.

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Erin Loechner’s book Chasing Slow: Courage to Journey off the Beaten Path is available on Amazon.com now

We are inspired by Erin’s love for sustainability and slow living, and are proud to have her as Fieldtesters, a group of inspiring friends that regularly test MATTER products in their workplace and trails to help us improve durability and design. Erin is wearing The Jump-In Romper + Daka, Size 1.