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Smiling With Your Eyes Seems to Be a Talent We Are All Born With

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Like most people, we hadn’t imagined the odd reality that would see face masks as daily necessities right up there with socks, underwear and toothbrushes, but change happens, and here we are. Like most people, somewhere in the space between urgency and longevity, we are adapting.

As the initial shock fades and the logic builds, it’s fairly obvious that protecting ourselves actually means protecting complete strangers, even the ones who don’t quite get it yet. It’s not exactly some high minded principle. The golden rule is usually pretty simple. For example, I’ve come to think of masks like stoplights. My sentiments toward most red lights are seldom warm, especially when I’ve been on a smooth roll down Sunset Blvd at a sweet 45. But, I get why they exist. We all do. It’s not a question. They make logical sense. They let everyone know what’s going on in the intersection. They keep us safe. They give us peace of mind. Simple.

As we debated our approach to mask production, we figured we could handle the “how” part. Our factory was designed to make us independent and nimble and it has always carried us. We were more interested in the “what” and “why”. In the end, we decided we wanted to produce more than masks, we wanted to create peace of mind, and our new Anshin line was born.

Anshin is one of those words in Japanese I’ve just always liked. It is pronounced (awn-sheen). It means peace of mind, but the characters, 安心, actually read as peace in the heart. It conveys stability, dependability, predictability and a sense of the comfort and ease of normalcy.

We figure everyone could use a little Anshin right about now. Adapting to new environments requires everything learned in the old one. As we got things up and running we realized the changes we thought we would have to make were not as big and scary as they seemed at first. We think everything we make should have a purpose for life and lifestyle. All we had to do is what we always do, use quality materials to create beauty that is useful and lasting. It’s the same with the changes we all have to make.

Immediacy and comfort may not be the guarantee we once thought. And yeah, there will be inconvenience to some extent, but we are convinced the best way out of this is directly and forcefully through it, with everyone working together. Things like realizing the coffee breath in your mask is actually yours is never pleasant. Struggling to remember patience while waiting in line on X marks can be tedious. Greeting people with a bottle of hand sanitizer instead of a handshake is just plain weird. There are many. But I’m betting most are things we can all live with, and for good reason: many people can’t live without it and we may be one of them. That’s good enough for us, so we’re sticking to it. We hope you will, too.

Beginning with masks, the Anshin line is a set of tools we are designing to make the transition to all these new routines smooth. In the next few weeks, we will begin to release more of them as we ramp up safe production. Stay tuned. And in the meantime remember that smiling with your eyes seems to be a talent we are all born with. It costs nothing and it takes no effort. It has more value and gives more peace of mind than anything we could ever make. Use it.

Thank You for reading this far.

– Daniel Lantz and Holger Graf

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