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Beer & Barnwood

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Much has been made this year about putting an end to the “glorification of busy.” It's a notion the Huffington Post has been not-so-subtly championing in support of Arianna Huffington's book, Thrive. Clever marketing, for sure, but also a concept with merit.

The basic idea is that by taking time for yourself – being unbusy – you can accomplish more of what matters. Happiness matters. Serenity matters. Spending time with people matters.

At JM&Sons, we've literally built what we love into our lifestyles. The brand started after we made furniture for ourselves and realized our friends and family wanted it too. Over time we found ways to get our recreational road trips to pay us back, “Bring The Journey Home” -- crafting reclaimed wood into practical pieces for city living.

Over time JM&Sons has only become busier. Frank & Oak – one of the great success stories in Canadian fashion – recently contracted us to furnish its five new stores opening across Canada (the Toronto flagship opens Friday on Queen Street W.). Add to that the many individual orders that keep pinging the website and shops now asking to carry our products. We're grateful, of course, but we're still not killing ourselves trying to get rich.

If you poke around the web you'll see we're boosting our social media presence. But before we started wandering off in new and interactive directions, we stepped back and thought about how much more responsibility we, personally, want to take on. If I have a fishing pole in one hand do I really want a smart phone in the other?

We decided to hire a social media guy. Dan's a beer writer who's more likely to find peace sitting in a pub than joining us on a fishing trip, but his approach to life is much like our own. He cooks with beer, writes about beer for local publications, started a running club that ends each session at a bar or microbrewery and teaches beer appreciation at pubs and private events.

Fortunately he also loves the interaction. He wrote a whole section of his blog about social media for breweries, built on the premise that beer is the most social beverage. We've already seen a draft of his first JM&Sons contribution. You guessed it, he tied it in to beer.

We're happiest when we're doing what we love. In some ways we are glorifying busy, but by sharing the load with like-minded people it doesn't really feel like work. It's just a good way to live.



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