For our next post in our 'Meet the Maker' series we asked Bill Reitz a few questions to get to know the man behind our newest tie offering, Twisted Fin Ties. Twisted Fin uses only the finest materials to create premium quality printed twill silk ties with a double wool blend liner. All their designs are created by Bill himself, from the drawing of the golfer to the sailboat to the signature Twisted Fin dolphin. You may be surprised that this tie-wearing guy also loves his toes in the sand...but who doesn't?
We're excited to announce a new club exclusively for our very best "sailors." We won't share exactly what's required to get in the club, but we've sent out emails to the select few that met our criteria for joining The Upper Deck.
We believe strongly in giving back. We've encouraged making the holidays a season of giving in past, and donated to organizations we believe in.
This year, we're proud to announce that we made a donation of over $5,000 worth of women's apparel to the San Francisco organization, A Miner Miracle. A Miner Miracle's store location is now closed, but the organization is still active in the San Francisco community.
We were connected to the organization through K.I.D.S./Fashion Delivers, which is an organization responsible for connecting those wishing to make a donation with organizations who can make use of those donations. Their
As I write this from San Francisco, where it's sunny and 65 degrees, I understand Juno, a massive snow storm, is bearing down on the east coast. As you may expect, our New Bedford warehouse will be closed tomorrow - and perhaps Wednesday. The same schedule is true for our partner store , The Emporium of Nantucket . This means there will be shipping Delays due to Winter Storm Juno. Orders will not ship until Wednesday or Thursday at the earliest. UPS has announced potential delays as well. Please plan your arrival dates accordingly. If it's a gift, you pretty much get a fee pass to be a little late anyway.
Also, if you're expecting to be hit by this storm, please prepare and be safe. Believe it or not, there are some things I miss about storms like this - but I still don't envy you.
'Meet the Maker' is a series of blog posts that gives you a chance to get to know the people that make some of the great items we offer. For our first post, we've asked Kathy Baltz, maker of Nautical Flag Banners, a few questions.
- Beach or Mountains?
I prefer the mountains over the beach. I find the Mountains beautiful and peaceful compared to the ocean, although I grew up thinking I could never leave the ocean!
- Favorite activity/hobby?
I love skiing so much, I taught full time for 14 years. I still try and ski 4 - 5 mornings a week. In the summer, I love my gardens. I plant 20 dozen state fair zinnias per year to compliment my perennial garden!
- What was your Inspiration to quilt?
I have a golfing friend who wanted me to join her quilting group. I told her: "I don't sew." She was persistent and I went to a fabric store with her. I was blown away by the color. I'm an artist. I love color and design.
- When did you begin?
I started quilting 6 years ago. My first quilt was child size quilt. My biggest block was: "Why should I cut up this good fabric to sew it together again?" After that first quilt I went out and bought fabric for a king size quilt. It took me a more than a month to finish it. The wonderful Ladies of the Lakes Quilting Guild in Wolfeboro, NH helped me, taught me, and supported me through my first big project. I'm forever grateful and still have so much fun at meetings!
- Where did you get the idea for the banners?
The idea came from a love of quilting and having a boat on Winnepesaukee. I wanted to make a quilt for the bed (which had to be a custom size) and put the name of our boat on the quilt. I wanted white with royal blue for a crisp look. I knew from experience, embroidery would take a long time. I thought about using the Nautical Flag Alphabet. When I looked at the alphabet, I realized it was all geometric shapes that could be pieced in fabric. It was white and royal blue and had just enough color for added interest with red, yellow and black.I got out my graph paper and markers and started to play with designs. Once I had drawn out Lake Winnepesaukee, I played with Scituate, Hingham, and Cape Cod.I'm from a big family in Scituate, Mass. All seven kids were brought up with a love of the ocean and boating. I thought of Christmas presents for family in their town names. That's when I thought Marco Island, Plymouth, Lake Erie, Annapolis, etc.I was in Stockholm during the Whitbread race years ago and remembered all the flags. This could be international.Even though I've been in NH for many years, the love of the ocean and all things nautical is still with me.The fabrics are 100% cotton and the batting is a polyester blend.
- Who was your first customer?
My first customer was a Guild member who has a son in Boothbay Harbor, Maine. I made a table runner for her son "who has everything."
- What's the most overlooked detail?
The most often overlooked detail is how tiny some of the pieces of fabric can be to get a proper nautical letter.
- What's the most complicated part?
The most complicated part of quilting design is that a 1/4 inch seam must be allowed to each side of the fabric. When a piece of a letter is 3/8" wide; well, it gets complicated.
- Do you have a favorite quilt?
Three years ago, my then 87 year old Aunt Betty pulled two quilt tops out of her hope chest that were made by my Great Grandmother in the 1930's - 40's. She asked me to finish one so she could use it on her bed. She gave me the second one. It's a 9 patch design, easy as pie today, but in the 1930's and 40's, people used up scraps to make quilts. Some of the 3 inch squares are pieced together using scraps of the same material. I was thrilled to find that quilting is in the family tree!
- Where's your favorite place?
My favorite place in the world is the top of Mount Washington in New Hampshire. I have gone up there so many times, that sometimes I'll just drive up for lunch! On a clear day you can see the ocean but I usually look to the southwest for "that feeling". I've gone up the auto road with a packed lunch, parked at the snow fields, and hiked over to the top of Mt Jefferson to read a book. Once I met a couple who had been on the trail for three days on their way to Washington. They were shocked to find me just sitting there with a day pack. : ) They took me up on my offer of a ride down the mountain but hiked to the top of Washington first.
- Beach or Mountains?
In movies, it is pretty common to see a pirate ship with a particular skull bearing black flag indicating that it is in fact, a pirate ship. It may seem like a bad idea considering the fact that pirates were the outlaws of the sea, but the representation is pretty close to reality. Flags have never lost their importance in maritime communication; not even pirates have challenged their significance.
To date, ships from across the world use flags for various purpose such as identifying themselves and for communication. These flags are commonly known as nautical flags.
In the Shop: Customize your own nautical flag quilted banners
Ski season is upon us again. Although some resorts haven't had a great start to the season, there are over 3 months left for fresh tracks, goggle tans, and après ski festivities. At first glance, skiing may not seem to fit our "nautically inspired" motif, but we've given it a lot of thought and determined that skiing indeed is part of a nautically inspired life so that debate is settled.
Now, to really cause some debate, I'm going to present you with my top 11 ski resorts in North America. We could have picked 10. We could have chosen from the United States, the northern hemisphere, or the whole world. We didn't.
I've chosen these based on the overall criteria of how much I enjoy the resort. In the case of few, I'm basing it on how much I think I'd enjoy the resort because I haven't yet visited. My enjoyment typically depends on the terrain and snow conditions primarily. Other factors include the crowds, lift speed, après ski scene, the town, and the people. Beginner areas are a non-factor as are ski-through Starbucks. With that in mind, it's on to our 11 best ski resorts in North America.
On Tuesday, we inadvertently sent out an email to a number of customers thanking them for their order the previous day. It's something we do with every order. Unfortunately, most these customers hadn't placed an order with us yesterday. Of course, the natural reaction was concern that someone had placed an order using their credit card.
We received dozens of calls, emails, and chat requests immediately after sending out the email. (If only our other emails inspired this type of response!). Once we realized that all these calls and emails were about the same issue, we looked into it and found this was a mistake with our email system. No orders were actually placed. All emails were answered quickly and although we couldn't answer all calls immediately, we returned all calls as quickly as possible.
Once everything was under control, I sent an email to the affected sailors apologizing for our mistake. We certainly didn't intend for this to happen and assured customers it was a mistake on our part. There was no need to worry about fraudulent orders. The email also included a store credit for those customers.
Although I wouldn't have blamed people for being annoyed, I was surprised by the number of emails we received from people thanking us for apologizing. Although we caused some rough seas, it was great to hear so many people so understanding of our mistake. Just another reason we love the sailors aboard our ship. Now, let's sail on to smoother seas ahead!
Ahoy there, sailors! It's hard to believe we're over a week into 2015 already. To help get the year started right, and to make some room for new collections, we've got a pretty incredible sale for our loyal sailors.
We've refreshed our 'Sale' section for men, women, and decor with a new set of items, all marked down 30-70%. For a limited time, we're offering an extra 30% off when you use the code HAPPY2015. Take advantage of these savings while you can because quantities - especially in particular sizes, are limited.
Unfortunately, this offer can't be combined with the 20% discount for new customers. Sale ends Monday, January 12th at 11:59pm PST.
Shop our sale section now before these items are gone forever.