Itâ€™s not that I am a brand snob, per se, but I do love a label.Â Itâ€™s not that generic items are necessarily shoddy, itâ€™s that they are, wellâ€¦generic.Â I donâ€™t know what they are, and thatâ€™s the problem.Â My favorite shoes are my Gucci loafers.Â Theyâ€™re iconic.Â Theyâ€™re all leather and hand stitched by hot Italians.Â I like that they are perfectly designed, artfully crafted and will likely outlast me.Â They donâ€™t come cheap, though.Â Sure, I could go to Payless and get some knock-offs, but I would know that it wasnâ€™t the real thing.Â I canâ€™t wrap my feet in nondescript pleather and cardboard with no arch support assembled by a seven year-old Laotian.Â There are so many things wrong with that idea.Â Iâ€™d save money on the front end, but I know theyâ€™d fall apart and Iâ€™d be buying new loafers quarterly.Â When you think about time spent shopping, gas used and sheer volume of broken shoes clogging the municipal landfill, I am better off with Gucci. The environment is better off, and the hot Italians will have job security.
But whom do I think Iâ€™m kidding here?Â The money thing does play a role in decision making for just about everyone.Â Contrary to what you may have heard, money is not the root of all evil.Â Anyone can twist anything into something bad, just look at Westboro Baptist Church.Â Most of us are just looking to buy our shelter, pay for our health, pick up groceries and afford some luxuries along the way.Â Okay, a lot of luxuries, please.Â Money may not actually buy the happiness, but is sure does open the door for possibilities.
Whatâ€™s a man like me to do when I donâ€™t want to compromise my tastes?Â I always prefer quality to quantity, so I hunt when my bank account tells me â€œNoâ€.Â Thereâ€™s always waiting for sales, but itâ€™s not too imaginative.Â In fact, itâ€™s downright boring.Â Iâ€™m pro-active, I need to be doing and searching.Â Sometimes I donâ€™t know what Iâ€™m looking for, but I know it when I find it.Â There is such a visceral satisfaction from spotting a Madeline Weinrib rug on consignment, a pair of vintage gold and onyx Cartier cuff links at an estate sale or an Eames chair put to a curb.Â I still pat myself on the back from my Alexander McQueen find atâ€¦Marshalls, of all places.Â When your eyes are open and you maintain your focus, you will find that special something that makes your knees weak.
Back in the nineties a book came out called The Millionaire Next Door.Â It was a best seller about everyday, ordinary millionaires.Â The common thread was that most millionaires accumulate and preserve their wealth by living below their means and having a job that they love.Â They avoid buying â€œstatus objectsâ€.Â Like Gucci loafers or a smart Versace jacket.Â The most owned car by them is the Ford F-150, which they keep for years and years.Â They live in modest houses, in modest neighborhoods and have a modest life.Â It sounds fine in theory, but Iâ€™ll bet itâ€™s ho-hum and droll.Â Me?Â I want to enjoy my life.Â I want to be excited by it, not penny pinching in anticipation of what horrors may come.
Donâ€™t get me wrong.Â Iâ€™m not saying that everyone should spend with reckless abandon.Â Well, unless they are buying from my studio.Â Seriously though, itâ€™s finding the balance and making smart decisions.Â Itâ€™s waiting for what you really want and not filling in the spaces with cheap crap just to have something.