Here's to Happy Days

At this time of year, when we are furiously striving to maintain an even keel through the bustle and blur of a busy December, the team behind the Kerrin label consciously takes moments to revisit, talk about and clarify our ikigai, (and full disclosure; most of these moments take place while holding up the bar at our local while downloading on the day’s events over a beer or three).

A Japanese compound word composed of “iki” which means “life” and “gai” meaning value or worth, the ikigai philosophy articulates and validates the search for life’s meaning through purpose-driven vocation.

Kerrin Holiday Shirt Manufacturer

Purpose-driven vocation - making things to last.

The face value definition resonates, but we must admit that the irreverent and mischievous way the ideology has been appropriated also strikes a chord. In a truly “memeifying” moment that took place almost a decade ago, a Guernsey guy by the name of Marc Winn took Spanish astrologer Andrés Zuzunaga’s “purpose venn diagram” and changed only the central word “purpose” to “ikigai”. Japanologists looked on with indignation as this larrikin corrupted the original ikigai ideology which was then promulgated across the western world by trusting wellness gurus and well-meaning business coaches. (Winn counts himself as a well-meaning business coach whose deliberate merging of two principles came from honest intentions of helping us make our experience of the world a happier-for-longer, more purposeful, one).

From the outside looking in, the Japanese often seem able to achieve equal parts pragmatism and romance within many of their practiced ideologies, and ikigai is a perfect example of that.

Kerrin Pop Up Retailo

Outside looking in - Kerrin pop-up retail.

Kerrin Holiday Shirt and Bucket Hat

Reflecting in the Holiday Shirt and Canvas Bucket Hat.

Pragmatically, one’s ikigai - or at least the Winn-ikigai riff - is the sweet spot that can be found where the circles of Passion, Mission, Profession and Vocation intersect. Romantically, it’s what fuels the soul to drive us through each day, each month and each year; and keeps the belly fire stoked throughout all the highs and lows that life throws at us. It’s about finding joy in the mundane as much as the extraordinary life tasks and events. And this westernised version of the philosophy unashamedly gives license to make a living, even profit, from a passion that has meaning, that one is good at, and that others benefit from.

Winn found a way for us to visually map, then execute and regularly reflect on our “reason for being”. That’s cool. It feels good, and we’re all about the good feels, especially coming out the other side of the most isolating and alien-like pandemic years we never could have imagined until they happened.

So, from the Kerrin team to you and yours, we hope you manage to shed any regrets from the past; we wish you enjoyment for the present; and fulfilment in the discovery and practice of your own ikigai for the coming year and beyond. Here’s to happy days.

Surfing in Kerrin Board Shorts

Taking a break in Kerrin Boardies.