Brad and Jenna Holdgrafer's Yes Shop
The e-commerce site that encourages shoppers to buy less, but buy better
by Kohl Crecelius
“Yes" has been a mantra for Brad and Jenna Holdgrafer—the husband and wife duo who have founded an online shop bearing the affirmative phrase. They adhere to a lifestyle that says “yes” to what life throws at them, and have carefully considered their possessions in a manner that supports what “yes” brings: the unknown. From living on a boat to moving up and down the west coast of the United States, the Holdgrafers realized the importance of owning fewer items. The nature of their nomadic lives led them to value great design and function above all else. If you don’t have the space to fit every item you want in your home, you need to be more selective about what you do choose to take up shelf space.
Within Yes, the duo invites people into an experience that encompasses the visceral aspects of products for home and daily life by connecting shoppers with the stories of the designers behind them. When asked how they select the designers to feature in their store (where products by designers like Dieter Rams sit next to planters by Tina Frey Designs), Brad tells CH, “We really like to choose people who we look up too, not only for their design, but on their outlook on why they do what they do. People who look at good design holistically, not just designing good products and rad-looking things, but how they apply these things to live life well. Just because someone can design a pretty toaster doesn’t mean they designed it well.”
Their online store is a reflection of the “less, but better” mentality they imbue and it's an intentional approach to make online experience be as similar to a brick-and-mortar shopping trip as possible. They encourage people to get to know the product, to spend time with it, free from incessant distractions to follow all of their social media channels.
“Everyone is either on their phone out in the public or sitting in front of their computer with maybe 25% of their attention toward what they are looking at. So how we wanted to really stand out was to almost just, not stand out at all. Make a shopping experience online that lets people do what Yes is intended to do,” Jenna explains.
Images courtesy of Yes