Like most Americans, the economy has been foremost on my mind. The downturn in the stock market, rising prices and the threat of a recession or worse is a cause for concern, but it also a good opportunity for reflection and evaluation.

Growing up, I would listen to stories told to me by my grandmother, who had lived through the Great Depression. Things were difficult for her as they were for nearly all Americans, but her struggle was compounded with the fact that she was single parent and also the caretaker of her mother. Mostly, she worked multiple shifts as a waitress at various restaurants here in Norfolk and with her meager income and frugal lifestyle, she and her small family managed to get by. From her struggles and experiences came some of life’s greatest wisdom, which she passed on to whoever would listen – I was a captive audience.

“Always buy quality,” she would tell me. “If you buy poor quality then you will only have to keep replacing the same items over and over. Buy it once, take care of it and it will last!”

My grandmother was a beautiful woman who was always dressed in classic style. She avoided trendy fashion in clothing and home decore. Her choice of fabrics was cotton, wool and silk. She could best be described as warm, loving and elegant. She took loving care of her things and they lasted. Most of her furnishings are in my house today and remain in pristine shape.

As we all come face to face with tightening our belts, my grandmother’s lessons become more important – conserve, reuse and only buy quality.

As I look around the shop and warehouse here at Organic Comfort Zone, one thing rings clearly – quality. I know that we will never make large volumes of money by reselling the same products over and over to the same people – I know that when they purchase our products that they will last if cared for properly. Our merchandise is not meant to be disposable, but is intended to last.

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My grandmother would have liked it here, and furthermore, she would have liked my association with Organic Comfort Zone. Our products are much like she was, strong, wise and something you like to be around.

- REX