10 Minute Read –
I used to keep all of my knives out in the open and stuck to the wall on one of those magnetic strips they use in restaurants until my ex-girlfriend used them to fillet 85% of my throw pillows with extreme prejudice.
In a triumphant flurry of fabric, feather clusters and satisfied cackling, she sliced them apart as a defiant act. She had had enough of upper-class pillows with no other use than to be admired from afar. She judged them all and most were sentenced to death.
Truth be told, she wasn’t necessarily wrong. I endlessly preach the importance of fashion and function and ten pillows (that figure excludes your standard bedtime pillow) is a bit much for one sofa, one bedspread, and two heads. Still, her lethal methods left me upset. Not because of the money I had spent on the pillows themselves, or the mess we were left to clean up, but because of the waste of craftsmanship.
People think of pillows the same way they think of plates – just something you (typically) buy quickly out of necessity. And, yes, I’m well aware you can satisfy a home decor pillow quota at Target for $20, but even those didn’t just appear out of thin air. Someone took the time to choose those fabrics and sew them together. Have you ever tried to sew a pillow with a zipper? It’s more than just sewing four straight lines. Anyway, I was recently given the opportunity to head to our warehouse and design our fall line of pillows. I thought I’d be there for two hours max and ended up staying the entire day.
These are what officially unofficial purchase orders for pillows look like. They each need to be drawn out, front and back, with the measurements for each side. If there’s a particular way you want the pattern to go, that has to be specified. The same goes for the zipper…and the tag…and the corners…and the style of the seams.
This is all after you sift through rolls of fabric stacked 8 feet high to find juuuuust the right one and cut off a small sample with razor-sharp shears while teetering on a ladder that’s older than you are all while trying to ignore the cruel laughter of warehouse workers who have taken an early lunch just so they enjoy some slapstick entertainment while they eat.
The result was 75 pillows ranging in size from 20″ x 20″ to 36″ x 36″ all made from vintage feed sacks and old curtains. I’ve written before about the joy of letting nothing go to waste, and making something out of nothing, but once you see a professional and sellable product that YOU designed and that customers will adore, well, for me that’s one of the better feelings a person in this business can have.
What’s the point of all this? Aside from advising my fellow pillow lovers to keep their cutlery under lock and key, I’d love for everyone to explore the items I, no WE, created.
As a company, we’ve been doing this for years, and I’ll admit I never truly appreciated, but now that I’ve had the chance to see the process from the start, I cannot stress the value of the cushion beside the arm of your sofa waiting patiently to be noticed. Every last millimeter of that cozy little square was carefully handpicked. The fabric, the print, the patter, the thread color. Everything. So don’t just ignore it. At the very least, buy it a friend to keep it company.