About five years ago Christopher and I renovated our home on Noble Street. Actually, at the time it was his home, not yet mine. We had decided we wanted to live together, and since Christopher owned his place, that’s where we would do it. And we would do it full-on, transform the place. With our bare hands we pulled down sheetrock, revealing layers of vintage wallpapers. We smashed solid plaster walls, and peeled up old linoleum floors. We added new electrical circuits and rewired the entire first floor. We did almost all of it ourselves, and in the end we had a home we could call our own.
For a little while, we rested. We nested. And we spent a lot of time thinking about how lucky we were. A brownstone duplex in Brooklyn, with a basement studio and a back yard flowering with roses, peonies and a dogwood tree. It was a whole lot of luck for just us. We wanted to find a way to share our good fortune, and got the idea to volunteer with Habitat to Humanity. We thought: We’re good at this home-making thing. This is something we can share. Among other works, Habitat for Humanity builds houses for people in need, relying on a corps of volunteers, in underdeveloped communities around the world. We were nearly settled on a trip to rural Tajikistan, when I discovered I was pregnant.
We did not go. Instead, we went headlong into another adventure: our son Arlo. Then, about a year into that, we started Noble Goods. The impetus was essentially to create the perfect jobs for ourselves, so we could spend our days doing what we love. And the urge to give back was powerful as ever. From the beginning, we knew that supporting charities that address the problems of basic shelter for people in need would be built in to our financial plan.
This year Noble Goods wrote a check to Habitat for Humanity that we’re proud of. It’s not huge, but it’s a very promising beginning… Here’s to another great year to come!