Hi, I’m Megan, and I’m on a mission to change the way we think about the stuff around us.
Stuff Does Matter is a movement to help us understand that things play a crucial role in the way we experience life.
Stuff has gotten a bum rap lately, and not for undue reason. The current system of production, consumption, and waste from which we get most of our stuff is deeply flawed. Countless TV shows highlight the unhealthy addiction known as hoarding. And our desire for more and more stuff has, in many ways, led to stress, anxiety, and financial trouble.
The solution, it seems, is to stop imbuing stuff with meaning and cut ties cold turkey.
But I believe that stuff does matter. I believe that caring for things is not wrong. In fact, I believe that our current problems of excess and waste result not because we place too much value on stuff, but too little.
Stuff plays a critical role in our lives, and when we pretend it doesn’t have meaning or value, that it’s just “stuff,” we end up disconnected and alienated from the very things that can actually enrich our lives.
Stuff helps us make sense of the world.
Stuff connects us to people – to our past, present, and future.
Stuff provides beauty, meaning, and experience.
Stuff helps us remember and share.
Of course, not all stuff does this. But we all have things in our lives that will play this role if we let them. Like a wedding ring that might have belonged to your grandmother. Or the handmade mug that transforms your morning tea into a ritual and a sensual experience. Or a closet full of clothes that really do make you feel fantastic.
Caring about things does not make us shallow or wasteful, it makes us human. When we realize just how much stuff really can impact our lives, really can nourish us, we start to seek out better and better stuff.
Stuff does matter. And it’s only when we understand this that we can fill our lives with stuff that is good for us, that nourishes our body, mind, and soul.
This website is a celebration of our relationship with the good stuff.
Who am I?
I’m Megan Auman, designer, metalsmith, speaker, and writer. Stuff has always played an important role in my life.
I grew up in a small town in Pennsylvania in a home filled with books and crafts and music and toys and art. My strongest memories from my childhood involve reading books again and again and again, a few favorite toys (that I still have) and making things. My mother was a painter and crafter, and my father owned a machine shop, so I grew up in a world where making things (and things themselves) were celebrated. I also remember going often to my grandmother’s house as a kid and exploring it’s many rooms (my mom was one of ten kids) with my cousins and siblings. Sifting through the items in that house was how I learned about, and connected with, my family history.
It’s no surprise that I decided to go to school for metalsmithing, and since then, I’ve explored the ways that stuff nourishes us. From jewelry that provides sensory experience to furniture that provides comfort and beauty, I’m interested in the ways that we relate to things on a visceral, emotional, and social level.
And I’m also incredibly passionate that things really do matter. I believe that loving things isn’t wrong, because stuff really can enrich our lives. I want us to celebrate those things, and I’m on a mission to help people understand that there’s a difference between mindless consumption and the way we feel.
I currently live in the same small town I grew up in, with my husband and our dog Grizzly. My eponymous jewelry line is sold online in stores across the US, and is built around my belief that the right piece of jewelry can make you feel more confident. I also write about running a business at Designing an MBA. I’m currently working on a proposal to turn Stuff Does Matter into a book.
Who are you?
Maybe, like me, you’re a designer or maker. Or perhaps you’re someone who appreciates a beautifully designed home or who loves to play with their personal style or just appreciates the virtue or an object made by (or that once belonged to) someone special.
You understand that most of our current systems of production are flawed, and that there is a lot of stuff in the world. But like me, you probably have certain things in your life that you feel connected to, that have meaning or value to you that you can’t quite explain. The things you surround yourself with have always held a special place for you.
And you’re here because you want to reconcile this conflict. You’re tired of feeling guilty about the way you feel. You’re not a mindless consumer. Stuff matters to you.