Zady’s #OWM Campaign Gives Brand Storytelling True Meaning
Like an expert craftsperson, Zady, the 8-month-old site that sells “clothes with a conscience,” has storytelling woven into everything they do—literally every item on the site includes the in-depth story behind it. Founders Soraya Darabi and Maxine Bédat are firm believers in the power of those stories. “We just found that the more we know about every product in our lives, the more connected we feel to it, and the more care we give to it,” Bédat explains. But what, they began to wonder, about all the stories of the objects we hold most dear?
On Sunday morning, Zady launched the Objects With Meaning (#omw) campaign, which encourages the Zady community to share the “few pieces so intertwined with our personal narratives that they are truly cherished,” via Instagram, Tumblr, Facebook, Tumblr, Twitter, or Pinterest, using the #OWM hashtag. The best submissions are being curated on Zady’s Tumblr.
“We had this conversation around the office of, ‘If the proverbial fire was burning, what would you take with you?'” explains Bédat. “And we came up with these really great stories amongst ourselves, and we thought, isn’t that a great social experiment? To get those stories from everyone?”
The submissions are “streaming in” already, Darabi says. “Anecdotally, we’re hearing that [#OWM posts] have gotten the most comments and the most shares of all the posts that people have done. That’s really interesting to us because you’re really opening up by telling these stories, and that seems to really inspire comments and inspire likes and sharing.”
Darabi hopes #OWM will catch on like “the early days of #ThrowbackThursday and #TBT, when people started understanding the movement and it started growing.” Though the subject area seems ripe for long-form storytelling, Darabi wants to keep it organic and community-driven for now. “Before we get ahead of ourselves, we want to make sure that the quality of content remains really high,” she said. “[But] we could envision this becoming, quite definitely, a feature story on Zady.”
“Today, we’re separating the objects from the mere ‘stuff,'” Bédat wrote on Zady’s blog. So far, that movement has caught on, with writers like Sam Apple and Erica Swallow getting in on the fun. Elizabeth Cline, renowned authored of Overdressed, even emailed Zady to let them know she’d be contributing her own post on Wednesday. It’s definitely an exercise that conjures valuable contemplation and true meaning, which I experienced while trying it out myself. Let’s see if it catches on.
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