It's all in the Details

It's all in the Details
On a recent trip to NZ, my dear brother collected me from Queenstown airport. He was not well but came anyway, bless him. He was frustrated with the January summer tourist traffic and said out loud to himself, “Okay, don’t sweat the small stuff, Steve”.
Amen, I thought, to that. Small stuff is just that, small and not worth your concern.
It was a short 45 min drive to Clyde, the place of our birth where our mother lay in a coma after a massive stroke and in her precious last few days. Yes, I know, our family has had a pretty rough ride in the past few months. For mum, although sad for us, it was her time. She was in her 90th year and ready to go.

Aurelius Leather Bags 

Images from Sharm's journey in New Zealand, with his Aurelius Leather bags & close up shots of Bandhini products.


On that day the Remarkables mountain range and the Shotover River took on a new brilliance. It seemed more magical and alive, the sun bright and light giving, like it was attempting to soothe us and give a far grander, hopeful message. “What are you looking at”, Steve said to me as my head darted from side to side? “Everything”, I said, “It’s all so awesome”! Although I had grown up in this wondrous landscape, I felt I was just then seeing it. “Bloody Lord of the Rings”, I thought! So beautiful in all its simple glory.

In our design company, the smallest of details are often the essence of our product and what we stand for. The right button, the correct shade of piping, how things sit or fold. That all our cushions are French seamed and have a spare button sewn inside. I spend most of my time contemplating the new details and the different ways of doing things. Thoughtful, meaningful design not slapped together with a “that’ll do” attitude.

We also think about how our client's orders come to them. Lauren’s lovely hand calligraphy, a personal note, gifts of handmade cards, a wee bottle of champagne with your new catalog or Christmas gifts.



Images at Bandhini HQ of Lauren writing her calligraphy and a finished order.


As hard as we try even in business, we have clients that we seem never to get it right for. Thank God they are few and far between. We try desperately to double check and take all kinds of precautions. But they are anxious and over predictive and it sometimes turns to custard. I believe over years of observation that people tend to drag that energy to themselves. Sweating that small stuff, of all the things that could go wrong, is genuinely not good for you.

We all know people that are so preoccupied with ‘the injustice of it all’ defence, to the point of being pedantic about people offending them or not getting things right! They’ll spend hours on a simple mistake or oversight of someone who has actually no clue of what they have done. In describing it to you it’s a big catastrophe and reprehensible. The more they seem to anticipate the mistake, others unconsciously create it, leading to another “I told you so” moment. They keep these things close to them, like treasured pets, which underlies a more unsettling problem.


Close ups of cushions 

Images of close up and personal Bandhini products.


Anxiety has no trouble creeping in and stealing your peace of mind. The details of someone’s order or how we might have handled something better is known to wake me many times during the night.

I have long been a sufferer of anxiety. I didn’t even know it was that until I was in my 50s. I was raised by a perfectionist. My mother was a very precise and exacting women and liked things done her way and to her high standards. I developed anxiety around not getting things right or being in trouble for not knowing what to do. It’s learned behaviour. She acknowledged this in her last years and regretted the wasted hours spent on it. It was one of her biggest sadnesses that she spent more time scrubbing the steps than reading to us as children.


Aurelius Leather Bags


Images taken by Sharm while he was away in New Zealand with his best friend Marcus and their Aurelius Leather bags.


Depression and anxiety are a toxin of our modern age and that the way out often is to end our own pain, ourselves. It has been described that feeling is like ‘the choice of dying in a burning building or jumping to your death’. More evident in recent weeks when clever, talented and seemingly successful people have taken that choice. An even more pressing reason to check in with our friends constantly and not just in a social media way.

Life is really in the details of how we observe and speak to each other, the things that should concern us are their well-being and happiness. Being gentle, speaking something kind, saying something funny or silly to lighten their load, when you can clearly see they are carrying a burden, big or small. Giving them a gift to remind them they are special and that you care. That’s the kind of small stuff that matters.

Kindness they say is a killer of all fear.



Footnote: Steve, who was a talented an gifted New Zealand builder and sportsman, died aged 64 April 29 with his children and grandchildren around him in that very same hospital room mum passed in and of the same monster disease our dad died of 29 years earlier at 63. Both, very much before their time.


By Tai Schaffler - founder of Bandhini

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