Independence Day

Scheurich West German "Wien" Floor Vase (LEO Design)

What does it mean to be "independent"?  Does it mean being self-reliant?  Self-directing?  Free?  Or does it mean being separated from the rest of the world?  

For me, independence means I can be myself—and actualize myself as I wish—provided I do not harm others (or the world they live in).  The flip side of "the independence coin" means accepting the differences of others—provided they do not harm me, mine or the world we live in.

America's good relations with others has been good for my tiny little business.  I have travelled all over the world and built professional relationships with many good people, some of whom have become friends.  I've bought items all over the world, shipped them home, and sold them to my happy customers here in the States.  In a strange way, curating a store is a bit like managing a nation: looking-outward, understanding what others have done well, learning from it and adapting (or emulating) other's successes for one's own good.  For me, Independence runs alongside Interdependence.  And I don't regret that at all.

Shown above, an example of International Interdependence. This West German floor vase, though Modernist, was named "Wien" and inspired by the Vienna Secessionist movement some 50 years earlier.  It was crafted at a time when Germany—devastated by two world wars—was desperate to get their people back to work.  Labor-intensive ceramics manufacturing was one such way Germany re-started its post-war economy.  And much of it was exported to the "victor" countries who liked what Germany was offering and were ready to move forward through trade and interdependence. (Please click on the photo above to learn more about it).

When our nation's forebears declared and fought for American independence, they sought to separate us from the spasmodic and arbitrary whims of an entitled tyrant.  Then they thought hard—and wisely—crafting an enduring political and legal foundation which would ensure that a dictator/emperor/king would never (could never) rise to power.  "Checks and Balances" was a simple and brilliant solution: ensuring that the nation would be controlled by three distinct and equally-powerful branches of government.

I pray that the seams of our well-crafted Union hold together (and I believe they will).  And I wish you a relaxing and happy Independence Day.


LEO Design's Greenwich Village store is now permanently closed.  While we contemplate our next shop location, please visit our on-line store which continues to operate  (

Follow us on Instagram: "leodesignhandsomegifts"

Follow us on Facebook: "LEO Design - Handsome Gifts"