The Benefits of Slow Living
SHARP & Range Rover
Slow living. It’s about cultivating a mindset whereby you curate a more meaningful, more conscious lifestyle — one in line with what you value most in life. It’s a movement towards a more intentional, more mindful way of living that encourages you to prioritize quality of life over material possessions. It suggests you just slow down.
“The idea of slower living is about how you can take information overload and reduce the number of choices to fewer, better things,” explains Sundays co-founder Barbora Samieian. “I think that’s something a lot of people yearn for. The age of social media and access to information can just be really overwhelming. I know it is for me personally.”
Minimalist designs and exceptional craftsmanship have made Sundays’ handmade, eco-friendly furniture synonymous with quality and environmental responsibility. Samieian says one of the ideas behind the Vancouver-based DTC home brand was to “reduce that overwhelm” that so many people feel, and make the slower living choice easier for its customers by curating high-quality pieces — “rather than being everything to everybody,” she adds.
An upbringing in Slovakia required Samieian to develop resilience and adaptability early on, traits that have proven to be essential in her entrepreneurial success. Moving to Canada at age 12 presented a new challenge, but ultimately her background has helped her navigate new environments with confidence.
Following a stint working with the United Nations, Samieian cultivated consecutive companies that focused on culture and community, including west coast salad shop Field & Social. The prize of the portfolio, Sundays, has grown from an e-commerce platform to a brick-and-mortar store, reaching $12 million in revenue in 2021 and projected to hit $30 million by the end of 2022.
Samieian’s own belief in slow living is reflected in her company’s commitment to making furniture that’s timeless and built to last; that uses natural materials that are gentle on the environment. It started with just living room furniture, with the idea that they would eventually get into the dining room and bedroom. And Samieian says the brand has done that over the last three years or so, but she’s quick to add that the company remains committed to sticking to a tight number of SKUs.
“We’re always iterating on our selection,” she explains. “Our pieces aren’t exactly the same sofas that we started with. Over time, if there is something that isn’t performing, we’ll pull it. Or if we think we can do it in a better fabric and a better design, we’ll do that.”
Making bold business decisions that often prioritize passion over profit requires a rare kind of leader who is unafraid to take risks and trusts their instincts — one who is motivated by a sense of purpose and deep belief in their vision. Samieian semi-resists the ‘leader’ label, but doesn’t totally decline it. But she is certain that a critical aspect of leadership comes down to being able to sense opportunities and potential in people, then be able to tap into those people’s strengths in order to be able to go after opportunities.
“It means always thinking around the bend, seeing where that next opportunity might lie, then just kind of going for it with the team,” she says. “I think that’s how I’ve been approaching it. I think my colleagues would say that I’m probably quite collaborative, but decisive when the time calls for it.”
The Sunday leadership team includes Noah Morse, who leads product development and design, alongside Moe Samieian Jr. and Sara Samieian. The quartet of co-founders are veterans in the design and retail industries. They also happen to be long-time friends and family, who lead the Sundays business together and work very collaboratively.
“We’re just ourselves. We’re all minimalist in some way. Our houses aren’t full with a ton of stuff. We have fewer pieces that are multifunctional,” Samieian says. “It’s about really getting more out of our pieces. We think that’s resonating with customers.”