I was greatly entertained by the feature on charm in the latest issue of Monocle magazine. In Stephen Bayley’s essay he notes that the mysterious definition of charm has its roots somewhere amidst “the curious relationship between accident and design.” Think: gray stone inns or pubs with ancient wooden beams and exteriors covered in ivy. Independent shops with carefully curated window displays. Tiny, hidden cheese shops with remarkably friendly and helpful staff. My grandmother’s collection of elephant figurines, collected over her decades of foreign travel. Charming!
Charming bric-a-brac makes us want to buy it. Charming places make us want to go there, and go back again. We adore charming people, whose manners seem to delight everyone. It’s a powerful thing, this charm.
Monocle’s feature suggests that businesses would do well to cease catering to the bland median of public opinion and start bravely embracing the delightfully quirky, the rare, the charming and in doing so, a good of sale will make itself endlessly enduring to patrons and customers. “Charm is about conviction,” the article says, [it’s about] “following an instinct, feeding a passion — not asking a thousand people what they think and meeting everyone somewhere in the middle.”
I agree. Bring on the charm, and lay it on thick.