Berkshire Blanket at Large

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

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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

Pet shelters love blanket donations

Berk our beta fish stays warm with a fuzzy bowl cover!

Berk our beta fish stays warm with a fuzzy bowl cover!

Cleaning out old sheets and blankets you no longer want to use?

Donate them to your local animal shelter!

Most shelters will accept old blankets, bath towels, sheets and and t-shirts. Shelters use these for lining pet cages, cleaning up messes, drying off wet animals, providing warm bedding, and covering kennel doors when pets need a rest from the light. Most shelters are under-served so any extra help is greatly appreciated.

Berkshire Blanket regularly donates to local shelters and organizations, including APAW, American Poodles at Work.

Help keep our fuzzy friends warm while they are waiting to be adopted!

Meeko loves his cupcake throw!

Meeko loves his cupcake throw!

Bodhi as a puppy with his favorite green Fluffy throw!

Bodhi as a puppy with his favorite green Fluffy throw!

Those pictures were a few of our favorite animal friends that love Berkshire!

-Marlene

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Mink Blanket spotted at New Resort Hotel

Friends of my mine just stayed at the newest, hottest resort in Atlantic City.

Mink Blanket at swanky hotel
In the closet, they found a Berkshire Blanket “Mink Blanket with Satin Binding!”  It’s one our most luxuriously smooth blankets. Berkshire Hospitality, our branch that services the hospitality industry, is proud to be the supplier for these hot new properties.

The Jersey Shore just got whole lot classier. I get to say that, as a Jersey girl!

– Mei

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