PLUS: Skincare by Birkenstock, plant-based scoops, and summer fruit grails
|Aug 6||Public post|| 4|
👋 Hi. Did you see the news that Verishop launched a private-label skincare line called Ghost Democracy? Were you as confused by it — the name, the products, how uninspired it all is — as I was? Is it possible that it’s a machine learning experiment? Probably not, but maybe. Join me in perpetuating this theory on Twitter, and as always, reply with questions, comments, or thoughts about anything you read here.
The Chips 🙆
Water bottle brand S’well is getting into the food storage game.
Re:store, a curated multi-brand experience, is opening in San Francisco on Thursday.
Direct-to-consumer furniture brand The Inside now makes couches.
Tapping into renewed interest for dinner parties and at-home entertaining, Social Studies provides rentable, photo-ready table settings.
Glossier is really leaning into flavored Balm Dotcoms.
A shortage of coveted Tristar strawberries is imminent. Grubstreet has the scoop, and if you’re in NYC, I urge you to hit up the Union Square Greenmarket for a Tristar popsicle.
Baking kit company Foodstirs launched ready-to-eat doughnuts and mini muffins.
The Dip 💭
Pattern Brands is live. It’s not just an offshoot of Gin Lane, but rather the agency’s future and an entirely new business model. Gin Lane will no longer be working with outside clients; going forward, everything it does will be of its own making — and operating. And it’s all backed by RRE, Primary Ventures, and Kleiner Perkins.
Cut From The Same Cloth
Pattern isn’t just looking to sell you stuff. It’s looking to create brands that add value and enrich your daily life — specifically the most mundane, quiet, personal parts of your everyday.
On the company’s “Our Story” page, the Gin Lane team explains that an obsessively digital, always-on culture left them feeling hollow, and that small daily routines offered a sense of fulfillment. Homebound activities like cooking and organizing triggered flow states and feelings of connectedness.
With Pattern, the team is looking to create brands that facilitate this slowness and encourage doing — something, anything, nothing — with intention and solely for personal enjoyment.
As noted in DIP 008, its first brand, Equal Parts, will be built around cooking. On Pattern’s website, it’s described as “a new approach to making food at home, [combining] inviting cookware with personal guidance.” New brands will launch quarterly, and each will augment hardware with expert-led software.
The team is referring to this model as “direct with consumer” — something that emphasizes personal connection and close conversation.
Live It, Breathe It
Pattern is building brands around intentionality, and its internal culture is following suit. Outlined on the company’s “About” page is a set of core values that all brands will be built around: responsibility, equity, acceptance, curiosity, and hospitality.
Elsewhere on its website is a 10-step guide to a more intentional life, outlining habits like making your bed, getting fresh air, and allowing your mind to wander. Pattern’s Instagram bio encourages disconnecting and suggests that the brand will only monitor the account from 3–5pm on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays. It’s digitally native, yet made for life offline.
With all of this, it seems like Pattern is putting forth a new way of running a business and building a brand. Its press kit states:
We’ve been at the forefront of the direct-to-consumer brand boom and deeply understand what it takes to build great brands that resonate with our generation of consumers’ values and needs.
We created Pattern to architect brands intentionally designed to help you reclaim enjoyment in the process of making, shaping and doing.
It’s more about encouraging a lifestyle than encouraging purchases, and fostering connection rather than consumerism. I fully support that, but I also can’t help but wonder what role Gin Lane played in fueling the fire that Pattern is looking to fight…
Here are some things that I’ll be keeping an eye on as Pattern grows: how data will be used to optimize brands, allowing each to learn from others; how consumption will be encouraged yet tempered with mindfulness; what brands’ Instagram accounts will look like (Equal Parts is here); how community will be fostered; whether other brands outside of Pattern’s umbrella begin to take a similarly intention-driven approach; how Arfa will differ (see: DIP 007).
Real Dip 🙃
Start with two medium eggplants. They should feel heavy for their size. Score them, drizzle some olive oil, then roast at 350ish degrees for at least 45 minutes, until they’re soft and a little wrinkly.
Let the eggplants cool, then slice them down the middle and scrape the insides into a bowl. Add juice from two lemons, a quarter cup of tahini, and a couple of large pinches of salt. Drizzle in some Brightland Ardor and sprinkle in Daphnis + Chloe Smoked Chili Flakes, or a smattering of herbs and good za’atar. Mash everything together.
Pair with heirloom tomatoes, grilled zucchini, and good toast.
Thanks for snacking,
— Emily 🏓