We've had dreams forever about expanding theYCW's shop, but it never felt quite right. There were so many questions before we could even begin. What direction to take it? Do we have the time to delve into learning about wholesale, research what products to carry, and build partnerships outside of our advertising services? Well, no, at least not yet. But we have to start somewhere! And we believe that there's never necessarily a perfect moment for beginnings.
So while we continue to grow in our global readership, expand partnerships, provide original content, release monthly newsletters, and write new booklets for you, we wanted to introduce what we like to imagine a branch of this site. But as we know only too well here at theYCW, as well as in our faith lives, growth takes time.
We talked about this in our June newsletter, but it's the perfect time of year to reflect on John 15, the parable of the vine and the branches. We've seen this site bear much fruit, and we recognize that it's time to branch out. With theStewardess, we want to elaborate on the home, especially as our readership matures and (sniffles!) grows up. It's a place to find mainly lovingly used items for your home, all hand selected and carefully curated, as well as exclusive items such as prayer cards, spiritual gifts, and booklets (which, if you received our May newsletter, you'll learn about the latest one we are writing! And if you got the June newsletter, you would know all about theStewardess already! Sign up at the bottom of this page).
The philosophy is one that hopes to invite women into a deeper understanding of what it means to be a good steward (or, you know, stewardess), to care for what we've been entrusted with. In fact, we've started noticing the stars aligning and wanted to map this out for you.
The Throwaway Culture
For starters, we hear so often about the throwaway culture from Pope Francis, who notably said, "We live in a disposable society. It's easier to throw things out than to fix it." We love our heirlooms, but sometimes we need to adopt another's story. What you will find at theStewardess are timeless pieces that won't have any need to be thrown out seeing as they are classic and ageless, and many can fit more than just one purpose.
Minimalism And Our Common Home
The second star that's aligned is ironically the minimalism trend. It's not just about less stuff though, it's about not putting so much value in things over wellbeing. Which is why we think it's beautiful that the meaning behind something has way more weight than the thing itself. When perusing theStewardess, know that if you purchase a hand knitted bonnet because it's the perfect color for your best friend's red headed baby, that's gonna say way more than picking up something off the shelves of Target. And Pope Francis kind of has a word for this too. He calls it common home. Everyone wants to be mindful of where we live, of taking care of our global home. There's a theology called Reconciliation, where we understand that there's four levels of relationships that sin ruptured, the first being creation, followed by relationships with others, yourself, and God. Jesus reconciled these relationships, but if we begin at creation, we can experience a broader depth of encounter with people who want to repair our damaged earth. Sometimes that's the first step before they look at the other relationships around them, ultimately leading to Christ. Who knew a freaking used wooden ladle could tell such a story?!
Your Domestic Church
Third, home is important. Plain and simple. We have a theory that we're developing about why it's essential to have a space that is inviting, that's comfortable, that's yours. Its squeaky floors should say "Come rest a while," and it's chipped windowsills should offer repose from the world on the other side of that threshold. And we think we can help with that. Whether our little domestic churches are just little studios with popcorn ceiling or a white brick farm house or some suburban 1970s cape cod, it's important that it speaks to the values that you hold dear, whether that's simplicity, timelessness, naturalism, or whatever.
Cutting to the Chase*
And look, at the end of the day, what's driving this is my love for thrifting. Plain and simple. But I recognize the opportunity to connect the dots back to the faith, because let's admit it: rarely does our faith and trends in culture seem to align. What I pray happens is that through this, we begin cultivating these ideas mentioned above and really start to talk about what our homes should speak and how, what it means to be a good steward, recognize where the culture and the Church are actually seeing eye to eye, and how our faith can be mirrored in our lifestyle.
So, welcome to theStewardess! A place for theYoungCatholicWoman's home.
*what a weird little expression