New Year, New Collection, New Partner
Happy New Year everyone!
Early January marked the first day of production for Herron's new collection of blankets and rugs!
The collection is designed, grown, milled and manufactured in the US with 100% supply chain and labor transparency. Our soft and sturdy cotton blankets are woven with Virginia grown cotton, on industrial, mechanized looms in a revived mill on Chicago's west side. Our rugs are made to order, woven by hand with Maine made virgin wool on dobby looms at the Herron Studio near Chicago's West Loop.
Collection linesheets will be available to buyers and interior designers in early march. And will be Available for pre-sale mid March to the public. And now for the story...
I am excited to share some of the wonderful news that has made this collection's existence in the world a reality. In the summer of 2015 I had launched a Kickstarter Campaign to raise funds to produce a collection of woven blankets, rugs and table linens produced on hand looms in my studio using Virginia grown cotton and wool. The campaign, despite all my best efforts and the efforts of my friends and community, failed to meet it's funding goal by $25,000. I tabled the idea of releasing my collection and went back to the drawing board, or rather the loom. Fast forward 2 months later, I met Mary Ann Weprin, a lovely, tall and slender blonde woman about my age, who brought her young daughter to attend a parent-child weaving workshop I was teaching in Wisconsin at Wandawega, hosted by my client The Land of Nod. A few weeks after the workshop, Mary Ann wrote me an email re-introducing herself and asking if we could have coffee to discuss my failed Kickstarter and the ideas surrounding my collection. One sunny afternoon in September, over coffee in my studio at The Feather Lofts, I shared with her my vision plan of producing sustainable designer textiles, with supply chain and labor transparency. I described in detail why this work was important to me and what it meant for the future of textiles. We looked through past work samples of my hand woven blankets, wall hangings ,pillows and rugs that I had used to promote my Kickstarter Campaign. Mary Ann, in her charming southern accent brought up the idea of she and her husband becoming my silent partner and investing some funds to make this new collection. Coincidentally, Mary Ann's husband Ben Weprin, a successful Chicago based hotelier, had just completed a project called The Chicago Athletic Association with my client Roman and Williams. I had worked closely with Roman and WIlliams the previous year to design and produce hand woven pillows and wall hangings for their Chicago project The Freehand Hotel, which opened in May 2015. After a month of meetings and conversations with Mary Ann and Ben, presenting my business plan, production plan and goals to them at Ben's office, I decided to move forward with their offer. Over the course of 4 months, from September to December 2015, I found myself deeply engaged in the long and arduous legal process of outlining our partnership contract, which became final over Christmas. January 1st began not only a new year, but a new partnership and the production of this collection. I am so grateful for this tremendous opportunity and beyond pleased to be working with a newly revived weaving mill in Chicago's Humboldt Park neighborhood called appropriately, The Weaving Mill, where our blankets are being woven on industrial, mechanized looms, using custom dyed and spun cotton grown by Cestari Farm in Virginia.
AND NOW FOR THE RUGS
In addition to blankets, the collection will also feature 2 new rug designs; a bright and colorful 6' x 9' area rug and more subdued 2' x 3' throw rug. These rugs are woven by hand and made to order in my Chicago studio. I am honored to have been invited by artist Andrea Zittel to create the first sample of the area rug in her weaving studio at A-Z West in Joshua Tree, California. I will be headed there on February 1st and documenting the weaving process on Instagram, so check it out and keep in touch! I love to see your comments!
Visit us at ICFF this spring!
Lastly but not even close to the least, Herron will be at the ICFF Luxury Home and Furniture show this May showing all of our new collection and more! Booth 20153, Level 1. Come see us!