Our Favorite Things: The Eddy Efaw Shop + Minimalism Story
The story we are sharing today gives us all the feels. Today were are sharing the story and shop of Eddy Efaw. Eddy was actually one of our teachers in high school, so it's a little weird to even refer to him as "Eddy" instead of Mr. Efaw. A teacher at Harding Academy of Memphis, a potter, maker, father, husband and friend, Eddy is kind of a man of many hats and many talents. A big chunk of our audience are millennials, so having a younger baby boomer/older gen-exer come connect with us it exciting and intriguing. We hope this isn't the last time we get to share Eddy's work and story with you, but for today, here is a bit of he and his family's story. We hope you enjoy!
Our minimalist journey began with our first apartment after we got married in 1996. We were both single until our early-to-mid twenties, and we had accumulated lots of stuff over the years. Bringing all of that stuff together under one roof gave us a reason to make choices about what would make the cut. We were both sure that we didn’t want to get a storage unit like many of our friends would have done. We decided to make choices.
After moving from that apartment and into our first house the square footage (although smaller than our current house) seemed huge. We filled this house to the rim with stuff. I think we thought that since we had the space we had to fill it. At some point along the way, our bulging attic and closets became overwhelming especially to my wife. I had lived in the context of “collecting” stuff in case you ever needed it I think, in part, because I grew up pretty poor with my dad working in the coal mines in West Virginia.
We moved again to a slightly larger house just before our second child was born (because that’s what you do, have another kid = get a bigger house). We filled this one quite well too. At some point along the way, it became a burden and we took every single thing out of our attic and said, “If we forgot it was there, then we can do without it.” Our attic stash went down by a full 2/3 after this purge. We’ve moved to yet another slightly bigger house (to have room for our kids’ friends and small gatherings) but we’ve kept (for the most part) our goal of being leaner with the amount of things we possess. It feels good to have less because when we have less we feel like we can breath and end up having a more full life in the end.
The last house move we made is part of our minimalist journey as well. Shana has always believed that it’s important to live near where your kids go to school and where you work (if at all possible). The time saved driving back and forth gives you more time with your family and just minimizes the “rush” of life. It’s been a blessing to be in walking distances of our schools, work, and church.
Shana’s minimalist montras:
I’d rather spend money on experiences over possessions.
Keep one think the kids things made at school per month. So in each kid’s box in the attic there would be 9 things kept per school year.
To keep toys to a minimum have time choose toys to give to Good Will in order to get new toys.
Clean the house once a week (with your kid’s help) and have everyone pick things up every night before they go to bed. This keeps the stuff that’s just sitting around under control. I keep the clean up from getting overwhelming.
My shop journey:
In 1992 I learned to make pottery in college.
It wasn’t until 2000 or so that I had access to a studio again and I got back into making a bit. Then having kids totally derailed the making for me. It was a season in my life that required all of my extra energy and I didn’t have a dedicated space in my house for making. As the kids got older I was able to recover my creative time and now it’s a blessing to be making both pottery and wood items on a daily basis. I get filled from it. I’m a better Dad and husband when I get time to do what I love and to look back and see an immediate result from my work. Being a teacher, you rarely get instant positive feedback from the work your doing to teach kids. As I made more and more and interacted with other makers I became more and more convinced of the need for there to be beautiful, handmade things in the world. I have said for a while now that the world is craving the handmade. I see things like Etsy as evidence of this fact. People what to know who made something that they buy. They want to know the story behind it. They want something unique and made with excellence. They long for the human touch rather than the machine made, mass produced item. We are oversaturated with technology, screens, virtual reality . . . humans can only survive like this for so long. All of us will eventually gravitate toward the more personally made things sooner or later. The “buy once buy well” idea has much more going on under it than economics in my opinion.
You can shop find Eddy's shop HERE
Follow Eddy on Instagram HERE.