There is a joy in small things, which partly explains why some of our most popular products are also some of our smallest. But I think it’s also because many of our smallest products pack the biggest punch.
Take, for example, our Page Nibs. These tiny slips of phosphorus bronze mark your passages in a book forever or for a day—as you wish. Literally paper-thin, they can be priceless for what they point you to.
Or consider our Wallet Cards. They were born from a common observation: people are always writing on business cards. Ironically, business cards aren’t designed to be written on—it’s just that people have business cards when they don’t have anything else.
Tom Kelley, the general manager of the legendary design firm IDEO, advises us to observe what we observe when people work around designs. That’s what we did when we designed our Wallet Cards, cards the same size as business cards but optimized for notetaking. You can fit them anywhere you fit business cards and our customers do, which explains why they are so popular, both personalized and not.
There’s an equally tiny leather holder for these cards, our Slim Wallet Writer. And a pen so teeny, we named it Walletini. Munchkin-sized but mega-powered, the Walletini pen is a mere 3 and a quarter inches and weighs less than one ounce. You can clip it in whatever wallet you’re using and you won’t know it’s there, except when you want it to be.
My other tiny favorites include our Circa Micro PDAs, which we sell as a four-pack. They’re incredibly handy and fun—I carry a few in my bag to hand out to kids and grownups, and it’s a toss-up as to who has the broader grin. These little notepads are the size Thomas Jefferson used in his carriage rides (although his were erasable ivory) and pocket-perfect even when you’re not in a carriage.
Perhaps never has so much untangling been accomplished by so little leather as with our Pocquettes Earbud Holder.
Small footprints, big impressions
Some of our best small products are, surprisingly, furniture. Leading the charge is our No-Room-for-a-Table Table, which comes out of the box fully assembled and ready to delight just where you thought you couldn’t fit any useful furniture. It holds more than you’d ever think a table this size could, and looks like something an interior designer might custom-order for you from a cabinetmaker.
Our ever-favorite Skyline Bookcase can hold 100 books in one square foot, for those books you’d rather store in your home than in memory.
Sometimes it isn’t a thing at all, but an idea, as you’ll read in J. B. Priestley’s scrumptious Delight. Its subtitle is Taking pleasure in the small things in life. And he has found many, from meeting a friend to shopping in small places.
Priestley understood the power that lies in the small but thoughtful gesture. One such small thing I’m doing more of this holiday season is making my gifts personal—adding their monogram or name to the gift when I can. Then it’s not just joy: it’s their joy. And for gift-givers, that’s big.
How about you, dear reader—do you think it’s possible to give great joy with small things? Let me hear your ideas, won’t you? Just click on the Comments link below with your submission. (If you’re reading this as an email, click here and you'll connect to Comments).