Exclusive Interview with Three-Fourths of an Ounce

Three-Fourths of an Ounce was founded in response to a growing awareness that in our culture there is a taboo around death that has deprived us of a living, vibrant language to speak about one of the most important events and rituals in life. As fascinating as this is, there is a plethora of inspiring products included from Three-Fourths of an Ounce. Recently, I had the opportunity to speak with the founder, Lauri London Freedman about this amazing brand. Here is what she had to say...

(Q) Tell me a little more about Three-Fourths Of An Ounce...
I can tell by your questions that you've already read everything on the website, but I think the welcome letter and the http://www.3-4oz.com/about-us/ is still probably one of the best things I've written about the site as a whole. Also, I'd really like to emphasize how much I hope that the website inspires someone to take another look at a tradition that they didn't think there was a place for in their life. The ideas and products on Three-Fourths of an Ounce are all rooted in ideas and actions that have withstood the test of time and are meant to spark conversation and reinvention as much as they are there for people to adopt wholeheartedly.

(Q) Your products truly do facilitate modern, design-focused products. I have to ask, what inspired you to create Three-Fourths Of An Ounce?
Thank you for that. The inspiration for Three-Fourths of an Ounce was manifold and developed over many years. Both my husband and I were raised as Jewish, but struggled as many young couples do to find the balance between the reason of traditions and the rhyme of reinvention. I found that the world supported creative expression and offered endless inspiration when we were celebrating weddings or births but that when it came time to celebrate a life well lived or grieve a life cut short there was nothing there. I craved and needed a way to offer my condolences and say what was in my heart without feeling like I was breaking rules. Three-Fourths of an Ounce was born from the belief that I couldn't be alone in that struggle and that there must be other people who also needed help finding the right words or the right gift when it felt like there were no words that could be adequate.

(Q) I heard you collect rocks. My second home is in Bozeman, Montana and I am always finding some sort of rock that I wanna pick up and take home with me. I want to ask, what else do you like to collect?
First of all, I adore Bozeman. I was there with my kids during the potato festival a few years ago and I've never seen so many happy kids with potato guns in my entire life. It's actually my oldest son who collects the rocks. It's a small collection of beautiful rocks he's gathered from all of our travels. All three of my kids seem to have inherited my collectors' gene and wherever you look in our home you'll find a little collection of something. One of the first you'd see is a collection of small, vinyl toys that started with a little set of Disney figurines about 17 years ago and has grown to hundreds of little art toys in that time. It is a wonderful and wacky assemblage of collectibles from artists like Takashi Murakami and Tara McPherson and then more mainstream little figures like Smurfs from toy stores wherever we find ourselves.

(Q) You have quite a few products that really caught my attention. One in particular was the "Weight of the Soul" piece. Tell me a little more about this piece...

The story of Duncan MacDougall is one that has captured my imagination and inspired me in many ways. I haven't done exhaustive research on his methodology or the minutiae of his work which has allowed me to create an almost unimpeachable version of him in my head. I imagine him as a man - a fairly crazy man--who wanted desperately to use his vocation as a scientist and a physician to support his religious beliefs that God exists. I imagine him as someone who saw the tide of society turning and he passionately and fervently wanted to hold it back. That story was both the inspiration for the name of the company and this gorgeous carved stone that Ted has created for us. Each one is hand carved and finished and is completely unique. They weigh 3/4 OZ which is, as you know by now, what Dr. Macdougall determined was the weight of the soul. Ted and I have come to think of each of them as a little soul unto itself and they are the most wonderful little objects to hold in your hand.

(Q) When you choose products you want to place in your store, do you select them yourself? Tell me a little more about the designers of the products you sell at Three-Fourths Of An Ounce...

Each object that is available on the Three-Fourths of an Ounce website has been designed just for Three-Fourths of an Ounce with a designer who I've admired for years.
For details on each of the designers that helped create each of the Three-Fourths of An Ounce objects, please visit http://www.3-4oz.com/about-us/designers/.

(Q) For those individuals reading this interview, what would you like them to know about Three-Fourths Of An Ounce?
I hope that both the journal and the objects on the website inspire people and provide some tools to find and share compassion in the aftermath of death and illness. I hope they are pieces of a larger revolution in the way we approach commemoration and that they offer people beautiful, thoughtful and creative ways to mourn and remember.
For more information about Three-Fourths of an Ounce, please visit http://www.3-4oz.com today.