The Secret Ingredient to Enjoying Work
Benjamin Antoni Andersen
Red Hat Culture
| June 21, 2022
Quality. We strive to create it, and we are drawn to consume it. How to work in such a way as to create quality is a topic of eternal discussion. Skill, talent, inspiration, work ethic — though every one of them are probably true in some measure, here at Red Hat Factory, we’ve chosen an often neglected virtue to highlight — and that’s not without reason.
It makes a blatant show in our hand knit wares, and that is where it first made it’s way into our language. After the skill of knitting has been learned, and the talent honed, all it takes to craft a great beanie is two knitting needles, yarn, and patience. And the moment you let that patience drop, quality begins dipping.
My entire childhood I saw my mom knitting while hanging out with her friends. I’ve seen her knit on an airplane (why is that legal btw — those needles?), or while she watches TV with my dad. And it is that restful state that makes each stitch even.
I consider myself first and foremost a writer, then a designer. My driving force behind running Red Hat Factory is to craft stories about our heritage and share it with the world. And the beanies, they are a mere token of the lifestyle we like. One of valuing your family and friends, the sharing of tales and time, and products that are made in such an environment.
Here’s what I find again and again. No matter what craft you’re pursuing, patience is mixed into the essence of everything. The moment I see the finished product in my mind’s eye — the complete article, the perfect imagery, the perfect presentation — that is when I have to take a deep breath, and realize that it will take a long time to get there.
“Patience gave value to the journey as well as the finished product.”
Then when I focus on the restful discipline of the work, enjoy my breaks with friends without thinking about work — the work just happens, and the craziest thing of all, I actually enjoy it. And there we are, the finished article I envisioned (yes, this one). I could have got here in many ways, but patience gave value to the journey as well as the finished product.
I made patience a core Red Hat Factory value for more reasons that one. It is in our products, yes, but it is also my biggest crux in life. I am so easily drawn into the vortex of hurry, as I am sure many of you can relate to. I am ambitious to a fault, and living in Stockholm City, where everyone is constantly on their way somewhere, does not contribute to healing my dysfunction.
So my journey as this brand grows, is to learn to do life in bite size chunks, and savor each bite. To learn to value the journey over the destination (Sanderson shoutout for my fellow nerds).
Every step matters. Every job, every experience, every text written, all amounts towards a larger ability and future opportunity. Every line written needs its proper attention before it can contribute as it ought to the whole.
“Every line written needs its proper attention before it can contribute as it ought to the whole.”
I am always reading up on the big brands that I love. Ones that I perceive as committed to quality before speed of production. In a satisfying paradox, it seems the virtue of patience, which should slow you down, actually speeds you up in the long run. The snowball of patience is increased trust, and over time, that tends to pay off.
And who knows, if we do a proper, whole hearted job with what’s in front of us, we might last beyond our own spans and into generations to come.
And if not, at least we slowed down enough to enjoy what we’re doing.