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Embracing Elegance: Find Beauty in the Everyday

What is Elegance?

el·e·gance /ˈeləɡəns/ -

  • the quality of being pleasingly ingenious and simple

  • dignified and graceful in appearance, behavior, etc.

  • refined grace or dignified propriety : urbanity

Shaftini Cocktail bar

You're a cheese company, why are you talking about elegance?

Elegance is more than a description for a graceful person or a nicely decorated house. Elegance is a quality that we strive for in our work, our presentation, and our products. That might seem like a weird way to describe cheese - elegant. But when you look at the definitions above, maybe you can see why we want to be seen as elegant, even if cheese isn't typically associated with that adjective.

"pleasingly ingenious and simple"

It's more than being well put-together or expensive or high class. Embracing elegance is satisfying. It's making intentional decisions to create something beautiful. It might sound silly, but that's what Shaft's has been doing for 25 years with each and every one of our products. That's why, for over a quarter of a century, we have been offering predominately 3 products - our 1-year blue, 2-year blue, and Serendipity. It's not because we don't have any other ideas - trust us, we do (have you seen our Blue Cheese Olives?)! But, we have a high standard for ourselves and our products. We want them to be pleasingly ingenious and simple. We want them to embody elegance.

So, what does elegance mean to you?

That's enough about us and our cheese though (well, for now). Here in this blog, we want to talk more about how to bring elegance into your life - everyday, for special occasions, or however you want to!

To start, we need to ask you - what does elegance mean to you? Keeping those definitions above in mind, think about what elegance looks like to you before moving on to our suggestions. True elegance is authentic and personal to you, so make these your own! Pick and choose. Use this as a starting point to find what embracing elegance means to you.

Bringing Elegance into the Everyday

Intentionality - elegance and intentionality go hand in hand. One of the definitions of elegance says, "refined grace". Refining your taste and style means intentionally choosing what stays and what goes! So, once you've narrowed down what elegance looks like to you, you can be intentional with the choices you make. What are your go-to dishes and how can they be elevated just a touch? What are your home decor essentials and why? Is there a certain set of glassware that makes you feel a little more sophisticated? What candle (if any) do you light to create a relaxing and inviting environment? When embracing elegance, every choice is intentional.

Quality Over Quantity - later on, we'll touch on a few very practical examples of how to bring elegance into your everyday life. This isn't meant to be a checklist of elegance that needs to be completed, but rather examples to spark ideas for your own implementation. Remember that the definition of elegance includes "simplicity" and "refinement". So, that brings us to this - quality over quantity. In a world of materialism, instant gratification, and (for better or for worse) Amazon Prime, we are inundated with products that we think will add elegance to our life. In reality, all these things just add to the clutter. Hand-in-hand with intentionality, thinking of quality instead of quantity forces us to cut out those items that don't serve the greater intention. We might see an adorable serving bowl or throw pillow or outfit on Instagram, but when we order it (for less than $20 too!), it doesn't last more than a few uses. Quality items might be more expensive, we might need to save up. But in the long run they provide longer use, greater value, and less waste.

Creativity - it can be tempting to think we need to throw out what we have and start over if we don't feel like we have cultivated elegance in our lives. Before you bring out the trash or donation bins, take a moment to think of creative and innovative ways to use what you have. Don't get it wrong, some of those low-quality items only add to clutter and should be... refined (read: thrown out). But, oftentimes older/vintage pieces (clothing, jewelry, furniture, etc) are higher quality than what is being made today in our fast-fashion world. So, before you get rid of you grandmothers old china, think about if and how you could bring that into your collection - keeping intentional elegance in mind and being willing to part with those things that don't fit in.

For Example...

roses in a vase

Florals - what exudes grace and elegance more than a beautiful arrangement or even a few selectively placed stems of greenery? We love creating elegance with florals because they can be so personal to the situation, the season, and the person! Hosting a bridal shower? Adding real, food-safe florals can easily elevate a plain cake. Looking to bring a pop of color to your kitchen? Grab a bunch of seasonal florals to dawn the countertop. Think about what you can find and forge locally, even in your own backyard!

Dishes/Glassware - we know that, especially when hosting, disposable plates, cups, and cutlery are an easy way to go. And there are certainly times and occasions where the ease wins out. But, instead of making paper plates the go-to, think about times when simply using real dishes or glassware can completely change the feel of the day or event. Even when cooking just for yourself or your family, there is something sweet and intentional about serving (should we even say, "plating") your meal, pouring a glass of wine, and enjoying the time rather than rushing through the time. Think about setting a day of the week (even if it's just one day!) to intentionally prepare a meal and enjoy!

vintage glassware

Statement Pieces - a fun serving dish, a hand-carved salad bowl, a unique decanter... having a few statement pieces for entertaining can help elevate the experience and fun! Think back to our bit about creativity above. Just because you bought something as a salad serving bowl, doesn't mean it always has to be used for salad! That sounds obvious, but sometimes it needs to be said out loud. A beautiful cake stand can be used to add height to a buffet spread. This adorable, ceramic cupcake pan could be used for dips or salad toppings.


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