The Need to Need Less
How Simpler Ways Came to Be
by Ben, founder
At the end of 2018, I packed all I needed — not much — in the back of an old Volkswagen bus I had just spent two years restoring, and left San Francisco for my first long trip to Baja California in Mexico. A few days before, I had put an end to almost ten years of corporate life, and upon coming back one and a half month later, I sold everything I owned and ended my lease. I’ve been living on the road ever since, traveling from Alaska to Mexico and everywhere in between.
Chances are, if you’re reading this, my story isn’t novel to you. More and more people choose to downsize their lives and embrace new habits and lifestyles that allow them to focus on what truly makes them happy. Whether nomadic or not, a skoolie, a treehouse or a tiny cabin up a mountain - the idea of living better in a tinier yet more deliberate space resonates with more people than ever before.
With downsizing comes the necessity to redesign your everyday life, adapt your habits and routine to new gestures. Space requires optimization, and so do the things around you. At Simpler Ways, we call this "space-optimized design": when everything you own has a purpose, and is designed to take up as little space as possible.
So in 2020 — the year that helped us realize that the things we wanted weren't necessarily the things we needed — I started working on a project dear to my heart: a well-curated platform to help people take the leap and outfit their beloved homes-on-wheels.
This marketplace was to inspire escapism and minimalism, and shed light on the amazing creativity found in companies big and small, addressing the design challenges of a life spent on the go.
We lead by experience, focusing on the functional and making sure it’s beautiful by design. But we also strive to lead by example, by running a business and working with partners that are sustainable for our Planet. This is why we carefully curate every single product sold on Simpler Ways.
While we're very curious and open to all projects, we choose to only work with brands and makers who meet our three criteria:
All items listed on Simpler Ways are made to inspire and help you downsize your life. Tiny living requires constant optimization, leading to a myriad of design challenges. Our role is to look for the products solving for them, so you don't have to
With a life on the go, quality can't be overlooked: your gear will have to survive the road. Our platform is built on community feedback and experiences, so you can have the peace of mind knowing you're buying things that are made to last
Because we give a damn, we source products from people who do, too. We value transparency: all items sold on Simpler Ways are located in North America, and our badge system allows minority-owned or eco-conscious businesses to let you know they are
Inspire people to downsize their lives to live better
This project is not just meant to gather purposeful essentials so that you can focus your energy elsewhere. We exist to inspire people to downsize their lives to live better.
Our deeper ambition is to be a source of constant inspiration to break away from a linear life path. Our approach is communal, and we’ll be sure to share the tips and stories of those before us who’ve done this right.
We hope you’ll enjoy our growing catalog— as much as getting to know the beautiful minds and projects behind each product you'll find on Simpler Ways.
Please shoot us a message if you think we’re missing something, we’d love to hear from you!
Thank you for joining us on our mission to embrace the simpler ways of life!
See you on the road.