To be a millennial is to have known burnout, as Anne Helen Peterson’s viral treatise suggested earlier this year. But to truly be a millennial on an ideological level, one’s sense of world-weariness and emotional exhaustion can’t stop there. Not until you’ve first figured out a way to channel that burnout into a stylized brand.
That was my thought upon learning of Pattern, a consumer startup founded by a group of burned out New York millennials. “These millennials were so burned out, they’re building a startup to combat burnout,” a Quartz headline on the company’s origins reads. The logic here is impenetrable. Starting a company is, of course, the natural first step in retrieving one’s sense of wellness from beneath the wheel of capitalism that’s been crushing it. There’s nothing like entrepreneur life to restore some inner peace!
A blog post by venture capital firm RRE Ventures, a Pattern investor, describes the company’s mission as one that helps consumers “be fully present” — through the products they buy.
“Today’s adult consumer is living in a burnout culture...,” the post says. “Pattern aims to help today’s adult consumer tackle these problems. Their goal is to help their customers enjoy daily life and find fulfillment in simple pastimes. They will be launching multiple consumer brands all aimed at helping you enjoy daily life more in the home, whether it be through cooking, organizing and maintaining your home, or creating new hobbies.”
The organization's first brand of burnout-beating products is a cookware line, designed to help consumers "get into the rhythm of the kitchen and enjoy home cooking." Personally, I hadn't realized that secondhand cooking utensils were playing a significant role in a generation's burnout crisis, but this is good information to have!
Pattern’s founders seem to already be taking their burnout to the bank, too. Quartz says the company has raised $14 million in VC funding to date, and given the $4 trillion to be found within today's wellness industry, there's likely more where that came from. Here's hoping that as conversations around burnout continue to rise, more policy-based solutions (and not just product branding opportunities) will, too.