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How Great Jones sweats the small stuff to make me want their cute cookware.

Am I a good cook? Well, it depends.

On one hand: I love to take a break from keeping up on this winter of our discontent by throwing myself wholeheartedly into a recipe. After a very microwavey childhood, I taught myself to cook in my 20s, and I’m proud of all the skills I developed. I can make tofu taste like you actually wanna eat it. I can freestyle a decent frittata from whatever’s currently wilting in the crisper. I’ll even take a big swing and spend all day making restaurant-quality French onion soup.

On the other hand: My cookies and cinnamon rolls always come out hard and/or rubbery. I own paprika but still don’t know what paprika is for. And the other day I accidentally used vanilla oat milk to make macaroni casserole (not recommended, but I still ate it).

Let’s just say that while the definition of “good” is subjective, I enjoy cooking very much. Are you like me? Do you find gentle relaxation and respite from this nightmare world by standing in your kitchen and chopping vegetables into tiny cubes for 45 minutes?

Then maybe you’ve already heard of Great Jones. If you haven’t, here’s the real quick intro: They’re the D2C cookware startup currently giving Le Creuset a run for its croutons. So much so that they just announced raising $1.75 million in new funding. The idea behind their success is this: Young-ish people like me want nice-ish stuff to cook healthy-ish food with, but we’re realizing that a 95-year legacy of French gastronomic excellence may not be worth the $500 price tag. Great Jones positions itself as a “realistic heirloom” brand that’s more affordable than All-Clad or Le Creuset, but still sturdy and lovely enough to leave to your children (who, statistically, are dogs).

Great Jones’ business is working its way into our hearts and kitchens — and business is good. What’s their secret? A scrappy summer-camp origin story? Instagrammable Dutch ovens in nostalgio-modern shapes and matte kindercore colors? A groovy, curvy, retro logo?

I mean, yes, yes and yes (even though the summer camp thing feels a little saccharine for me). But another secret has to be their website; it feels less like a place to contemplate purchasing pots and pans, and more like an unfussy but charming food magazine I just want to keep flipping through.

What’s their website content doing so right? A lot. I see a lot of great decisions, from getting Kelis to make a guest appearance on their blog to creating a 24-hour cooking advice hotline amusingly called the Potline. But I want to draw your attention to the relatively small, humble copy choices that really won me over.

Take this paragraph from the FAQ section.

“Anything and everything you love to eat.” Expansive and permissive. You do you. It’s followed up with three tangible examples of deeply soothing comfort foods. Does it even matter that they’re all heavy on the meat/dairy and I’m a vegetarian who actually would rather be a vegan? No, because I’m now on board with the warm and cozy sensorial fantasy of eating whatever I want out of these pans.

Love the choice to have charmingly askew illustrations by Mari Andrew instead of digitally created icons, but what I really love is having design choices decoded in tiny tidbits of plain language (OK, I also really love that Babar-esque elephant). Why are the handles shaped like that? Oh, so you can get all four fingers into them. Why is the interior gray? Oh, because it’s light enough to see butter go from yellow to brown, but dark enough that it won’t immediately start to look gross and dingy.

But what I love most? They take every opportunity to keep the messaging on-brand. Here are their three shipping options, hidden away on the checkout page.

Bake, broil, sear. Did they have to do that? No — they wanted to. Because it would be fun. Planting an Easter egg like this is how you get people to crack a smile as they’re shopping, and people always remember how you made them feel.

Drum roll, please: Thread is now a Certified B Corp! We 🎉 are 🎉 stoked

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