How to love a Berkshire Blanket throw

Love your throw

Valentine’s Day is on the way and love is in the air! Marlene is back with tips on how to find the perfect throw that you’ll love.

Find your fabric
Is it a cozy plush, or a smoothly soft fleece that you love? Or are natural fibers your thing? There’s a fabric just right for every style and season! Plush and fleece are perfect for soft warmth, while natural fibers will vary. Cotton is beautiful, but not known for being very warm. Mohair, alpaca, and bamboo are lightweight natural fibers that are warm, breathable, and decorative–perfect for throws that need to be functional and decorative year-round.

Select your size
There’s the standard 50″ x 60″ size or the oversized 60″ x 70″ (big enough for two – but oh-so-cozy that you might not want to share).

Choose your color
Gone are the days of just a few drab colors. Light neutrals, bold hues, and everything in between is fair game. A fun way to refresh your decor is to seasonally change out your throws. Here’s an easy guide: light colors perfectly reflect the renewal tone of spring, bright colors in the summer (because everything in the summer is bright!), warm and dark colors for the fall (think harvest), and bold colors to invigorate the drab winter (red, green, gold, and royal blue are great picks).

Treat yourself to daily comfort
Snuggle as often as you can. When you are not using the throw, drape it nicely over the edge of the chair of couch. Voila! You’ve gone from comfort to chic, just like that!

Know the proper care and feeding of your throw
Always follow the care label instructions. For most throws this will be: wash separately in cold water on the delicate cycle and air dry or dry in the dryer on an air only cycle (no heat). Special detergents aren’t needed, but please, no bleach (the throws don’t like it).

Enjoy your throw for years to come!

Categories: Blanket, Throw & Sheet Commentary | Leave a comment

Creative reuse for packaging

Recycle001The holiday shopping season is in full swing and our packaging maven, Marlene, has weighed in with her crafty ideas on how you can reuse packaging.

Many items come in a box, bag or with some type of packaging.  Instead of throwing this packaging away or recycling it, please take a moment and think where you might be able to reuse some of it. While recycling is always a good option when it’s available, the process still takes considerable energy. A more environmentally friendly solution is to turn that “trash” into something useful!

Shipping boxes can be reused making wrapping irregularly shaped items easier.  Give kids an empty box and let them decorate it to make a unique gift “basket” to fill with holiday goodies and gifts. Or let their imaginations run wild and see what kinds of cool things they come up with! Cars, rocket ships, or a video arcade…the possibilities are endless!

Take papers you were going to recycle and use them to wrap packages. Or shred colored paper to use as gift bag and basket filler.  Colorful magazine pictures can be cut out and made into holiday decorations.

The ribbons wrapped around many of the throws and blankets that we sell could be reused for wrapping another gift or using as ribbon to hang holiday decorations.

Plastic bags can enjoy a second life as small waste bin liners, making clean up easy after holiday guests depart.

- Marlene

There are many creative ways to reuse packaging.  What crafty ideas can you come up with? Let us know in the comments below!

Categories: Blanket, Throw & Sheet Commentary | Tags: , , , , , | 1 Comment

Berkshireblanket.com – a birthday story

It’s our second birthday on the web! Our Ecommerce Director, Emily, shares her story of how a historic October snowstorm delayed the launch of BerkshireBlanket.com.

October Snowstorm Cleanup - photo from Masslive.com

Photo from Masslive.com

Two years ago, we were ready to launch our fab new website on November 1st. We were giddy – it was the first time we’d ever sold directly to our customers or even online! Just before we were about to launch, we had a freak snowstorm here in the Northeast- it wasn’t even quite November yet. Because there were still leaves on the trees, the snow collected in branches and they just broke, toppled, fell, and cracked everywhere. I remember standing on my screened-in porch, in what should have been that still quiet that only happens during nighttime snowstorms, but instead listening to the sounds of wood cracking and falling – literally, every few seconds.

I called the police department in Ware, where our old mill stands, explained I was hoping to come into work to launch our new site that day. He said “You’re not launching anything! There isn’t a single road into Ware that’s passable. Please don’t try to come here – stay home and stay warm.”

We were without electricity for 5 days, which for us means no heat. It was 20 degrees during the day. I literally don’t know what we would have done if I didn’t work at a blanket company! We borrowed some extra warm ones to bring home and slept on the floor of our living room in front of the fire. I brought my son in to work with me once the roads had been cleaned up enough, serpentining between the lanes to avoid the piles of snow and branches that remained, so he could plug in and get online.  Fortunately, we also have a fitness club next door to our mill. Berkshire Blanket made arrangements with them so that if anyone from our company – and their families! – went in, they could use the facilities and Berkshire Blanket would pick up the tab. This was HUGE for those of us without heat or hot water. It was an amazingly generous thing to do.

It took months before all of the storm cleanup was done! But we did manage to pull it together and launch the site, just one week late. It took a tremendous effort from people who were inconvenienced, frustrated, tired, and unbathed (it wasn’t pretty).

Two years out, and we’re going great guns! THANK YOU to our customers – your enthusiasm and loyalty is what keeps us going. As always, please keep in touch and let us know how we can better serve you.

All my best,
Emily

Categories: Berkshire Blanket at Large | Tags: , , , | 2 Comments

A pink ribbon throw that does more than comfort

Pink Ribbon Throw - the gift that gives twice from Berkshire BlanketIt’s a sobering reality: breast cancer is something that has touched or will touch nearly all of us.  According to the American Cancer Society, about 1 in 8 women in the US will develop breast cancer during their lifetime.

We’ve been personally affected by this at Berkshire Blanket and wanted to do whatever we could to help.  It started with Bobbi:

“My name is Bobbi and I have worked for Berkshire Blanket for 11 years. In February of 2011 I was diagnosed with stage 4 breast cancer. As many of you may know this kind of news changes your entire life, little did I know how much this disease would take over my life. Over the next year I went through months of chemotherapy, then surgery and finally radiation. In June of 2012 I was told I was a miracle patient and cancer free, you can just imagine how elated I was. Unfortunately, this was short lived–in December I awoke to a badly swollen arm. After much testing it was found I had developed a blood clot – the cancer had returned and so my journey is not over. During all this time I have been able to continue working at Berkshire with the support of all my co-workers, as well as the company. This has certainly helped to give me the strength to carry on, as I have learned no one can do it alone.  I am so honored that Berkshire Blanket is now going to have a pink ribbon throw to show their continued support in my battle and to honor all who have fought this disease.”

In recognition of Breast Cancer Awareness Month this October, we’ve designed a new Pink Ribbon Throw. Not only does this provide physical comfort and a show of support, it also does so much more–we’re donating all profits from the sale of this throw to support cancer research. The specially selected price of $28 commemorates the 28th anniversary of Breast Cancer Awareness Month.

Of course, while Bobbi was our initial inspiration in designing the Pink Ribbon Throw, she is far from alone in her struggle.  We started sharing her story with our family and friends and were touched that others wanted to share their stories with us too.

Donna - breast cancer survivor

Donna benefited from years of cancer research

From Donna: “When I was diagnosed with stage three breast cancer, 9 years ago, at age 36, I did not know what “stage three” meant.  My doctor told me that with stage three we will talk about your chances for survival; with stage four we discuss quantity and quality of life…  I was fortunate enough to be able to participate in the last testing stage for Herceptin, which was a new chemotherapy drug.  After a year of chemotherapies, surgeries and radiation, I looked back and realized how incredibly lucky I am to have received the benefit of years of cancer research.  I know that with the combined effort of medical research and doctors, friends, community, and the loving support of my family, 9 years later I am still here thanking God for the joys of my life.”

Laurie - breast cancer survivor

Laurie (center) is the first in her family to become a breast cancer survivor

Laurie (center) was diagnosed with breast cancer at age 44 and is a survivor. She is surrounded by her sisters Susan and Linda. These women have lost their Mother, their sister Gail, and their aunt to breast cancer. Thanks to educational awareness, early detection and medical advances Laurie is the first woman in her family to become a survivor after being diagnosed with breast cancer.

We hope that our new throw will serve as a way to raise awareness, support patients and survivors, and provide comfort at a time that it can be hard to come by.  We know that by donating all of the profits from these throws to cancer research, we’ll be able to make a positive impact for all of the Bobbis, Donnas, and Lauries out there.

If you’ve been affected by cancer and would like to share your story, we invite you to comment below. What was your experience? What brought you comfort?

Categories: Berkshire Blanket at Large, Berkshire Blanket gives back, Blanket, Throw & Sheet Commentary | Tags: , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Smart packaging for your bedding

packaging

The new packaging is on the right.

Did you know? The two most important functions of packaging are…

1) Ensure the product is protected in transit from the vendor to the retail floor from damage and theft.

2) Provide product information such as special features.

Berkshire Blanket packaging is created to be both functional and visually interesting. Today in Bed Bath & Beyond you will see one of our latest packaging innovations in the throw department.  We wanted to present our soft and cozy Serasoft® Supreme in a non-traditional packaging method.  We ventured away from the traditional 12 x 12 fold and offered a 11” x 15” fold for a throw.   We used a much larger front insert with a colorful photo to drawn attention.  The smiling woman and cozy feel of the throw drew a positive emotional reactions, leading people to feel the blanket. Being able to feel how soft and cozy the fabric was revolutionized the experience of shopping for throws.

-Marlene

Categories: Blanket, Throw & Sheet Commentary | Tags: , | Leave a comment

It’s time for summer camp!

Berkshire Direction

At camp.

Girl's Bunk

The girls’ bunk.

Boy Bunk

They boys’ bunk.

Summer is here and many kids have camp fever! This past weekend I helped three campers move into their cabins. As I was helping one camper unpack, she pulled out her Shearling Berkshire Blanket. Her cousin then took out her Serasoft Berkshire Blanket. Both girls laid their blankets at the end of their bed and mentioned they needed a piece of home while they were far away from home.

After the girls were settled in their cabin, we walked over to the boy’s cabin where a brother was staying. He was already unpacked and meeting a fellow bunker when I noticed on his bed was a fleece Berkshire Blanket! He laughed when he knew I had noticed the blanket on his bed.

Even though hot weather was predicted for the next few weeks the kids were prepared for those occasional cool nights. Being away from home is hard when you’re younger and having a piece of comfort helps those times when you are feeling a little home sick. Take a look at their bunks – they turn what looks like an uncomfortable camp bed into a soft cuddly bed for a good night’s sleep! They will definitely be feeling refreshed every morning and ready for camp fun!

-Jenna

Categories: Blanket, Throw & Sheet Commentary | Tags: , , , , | 1 Comment

Summer Outdoor Living

Image

There is nothing more that I love than a lazy day either in the hammock, on the lounger, or by the pool!

The night air can be crisp and cool. To help keep the chill away and still be able to sit outside and enjoy the fresh air, I snuggle up under a throw!I also use a cozy pillow to support my back and help my posture when sitting on the outdoor furniture.

So think outside the house – use your throws/pillows and blankets to snuggle up under and enjoy the outdoors, and dress up your outdoor furniture!

-Marlene

Categories: Blanket, Throw & Sheet Commentary | Tags: , , , , | Leave a comment

Color Watch: Tranquil Blue

Blue flowers

As summer comes into full swing, it’s hard not to fall in love with shades blue…bright skies and deep oceans are constant reminders of how this wonderful color can inspire tranquility and calm. This wonderful tray of blue swatches summarizes the endless options…add the color to cream for classic cheer up or be daring and mix with it tangerine and porcini.

-Mei

Blue fabric swatches

Categories: Color Watch | Tags: , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Welcome to the Paisley Party

What is your perfect paisley? We are so excited to see that the paisley print has made a comeback. It’s a wonderful print pattern with so many options. If you are a comfy casual home owner, mix and match a bandanna paisley. Perhaps you are more bohemian… there are types of paisley for you, too, like my personal favorite, the Kashmir paisley. It’s delicate yet bold and is the perfect way to dress up a room.

Below is a mini look book of trending paisley fashion styles on Tumblr.

-Mei

tumblr_mnga250wA01qmc6yvo1_500

tumblr_lumbpluNma1qdqznco1_500 tumblr_mmx3gxybN21r35xqto1_500 tumblr_mnapw8Qrc21r3xmnvo1_500tumblr_mnxhvenXHM1st6vafo1_500 tumblr_mnxj5wIMRo1ry00boo1_500 tumblr_mny0ekl9ZO1r08n29o1_500 tumblr_mnyd3hTT0P1srn73mo1_500 tumblr_mnyjv50ZpD1r1df0wo2_500

Categories: Decor Inspiration | Tags: , , , , , | Leave a comment

Inside Shopper Kim’s Style

Kim intro

Kim is in our insider shopping group, the Comfort Connoisseurs.  She has been a fan of Berkshire Blanket for at least a decade. The company name is what first inspired her to buy her first blanket because she is from the area known as The Berkshires in Massachusetts. When she felt how soft the bedding was, she knew it was her style. We did an interview with her to learn more.

How would you describe your personal home decorating style? Eclectic, with a good feel for French country and contemporary Scandinavian. Each room, though blending with the others, carries its own flavor. I like to blur the decor lines and mix contemporary with African style, or French country with a far eastern touch in the accents. That’s another reason that I love the Berkshire Blanket lines, as they blend so seamlessly with any style or decor that I go with.

What are your hobbies? Vegan cooking and baking, sewing, gardening (vegetable and perennial), and any kind of art or crafts, and reading (I have a gazillion books that I also blend effortlessly into my décor!) My favorite activities are things like hiking and kayaking, anything outdoors. I have a blog and Facebook page called ‘berkshiregirl’ that are devoted to bringing people the best of everything to be found in the Berkshires.

What’s your favorite color? My favorite color if I had to pick just one would be eggplant, but, my ultimate favorite color is the combination of magenta and dark blue.

If you had to choose one color to paint a wall would you choose bubblegum pink or neon green? Neon green. I think more could be done aesthetically with it. (But, don’t tell my little girl that, she would make me choose the bubblegum pink if she saw this!)

What is your favorite fashion trend this season? My favorite fashion trends this season are the inclination to go with individuality and not mainstream. I like that I am seeing a lot of great colors like tangerine and new blues that I haven’t seen before. I like the trend of scaling down what you have, but making what you have be really great and really you; something that you want to live in or wear.

In one word, you think ruffles are: Silly

What is your favorite Berkshire Blanket product? The Extra-Fluffy Throw Blanket, because it is so unbelievably soft and comfortable. I love how I sink into it when I wrap it around me. It’s also just the right size for casual hanging out, but big enough for serious covering up comfort when I need it. I am most thankful for the all season sheets, as they have seen me through years of freezing New England winters and clammy Berkshire summers, all the while keeping me perfectly comforted.

What is your favorite Berkshire Blanket fabric? Serasoft. I consider it irresistible. It is like touching luxury…if you could touch luxury.  My family knows that if we are in a department store and there are Berkshire Blanket products, that I will be making a stop off at the bedding department. Which really is silly, because we have several Serasoft blankets at home….

How does Berkshire Blanket comfort fit into your everyday life? My family is all about being comfortable, from the things we wear to the products in our home. Life can be difficult, and we all face hard things throughout our days. Being comfortable during all of it makes life livable. Softens the hardness, and gives our souls a hug. Berkshire Blanket fits into our comfortable lifestyle by letting us come home to a place that we know we can get cozy and let our guards down.

What’s your favorite spot in your home to relax? My favorite spot in my current home is my living room, which is really a combined area that includes the kitchen and dining area. We have a giant couch that we love to curl up on, under an Extra-Fluffy throw, and read our books individually, but cuddled next to each other. My two little ones have their own throws, but still curl up under mine.

Do you have any personal laundry tips or secrets to keeping your blankets nice? I store my bedding folded in the closets that have good ventilation. My blankets rarely get stored as they are all (and we have 10 of them!) constantly in use or being laundered. I wash in cold water to retain color and fluffiness, and line dry all of the products, to add to their longevity and keep the fluffiness factor high. I have a high efficiency washer that I use on gentle and only use earth friendly washing products. I think this keeps them in near new condition, even though many are several years old.

A true BB story: One of my favorite Christmas’ was when I decided to get everyone Berkshire Blanket products. It was in my early days of admiration for Berkshire Blanket, and I knew that everyone that I loved HAD to have one, so they could enjoy what I was experiencing. It was fun to watch each person open them, and once everyone figured out that that was my gift for everyone that year, they were excited to see which one they had gotten from me.

Categories: Blanket, Throw & Sheet Commentary | Tags: , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Blog at WordPress.com. The Adventure Journal Theme.

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 27 other followers