It’s National Poetry Month, a perfect time to highlight our special connection to one of America’s most famous and celebrated poets, Robert Frost. How are Garnet Hill and the Pulitzer Prize winning author connected? Certainly if you were “Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening”, especially in an open sleigh, you would want to be wrapped up in Garnet Hill flannel sheets and comforters. But Garnet Hill and Robert Frost have much more in common than that.
Step outside Garnet Hill headquarters and look left down Main Street, and you will see the Franconia and Presidential Mountain Ranges. Snow covered yet in April.
Franconia, New Hampshire, home to Garnet Hill, is Frost country in more ways than one. It was the chosen home, then summer retreat of Robert Frost who, not a New Englander by birth, was drawn to the magnificent landscape and rustic culture of The North Country — the very things that drew the founders of Garnet Hill here thirty eight years ago.
1976 was a big year for innovative and inspirational start-ups in Franconia. After his death, the town of Franconia purchased his home and The Frost Place was created — a museum and education center for poets and poetry. That same year, working out of their home (a wood-heated sugar house without plumbing), Grant Dowse and Pegge Kirschner mailed their very first Garnet Hill catalog with the legendary flannel swatches attached. Now we are a larger-scale successful operation, able to ship a little bit of Franconia all over the globe.
In that same spirit, people travel from all over to visit the Frost Place where they pay homage to this iconic poet, and stand in the very same place where he looked out over the spectacular White Mountains and wrote his inspiring words.
Only a mile down the road, Garnet Hill has worked with the Frost Place on several occasions. We’ve decorated Frost’s former homestead with rugs and pillows for photo shoots, donated products such as bedding, and this year we’ve added The Frost Place to our Community Charity Fund. Each year when the Frost Place picks a Poet in Residence fellow to live for a summer in Frost’s former home (in order to soak up as much inspiration and creativity as possible for their work and continue his poetic tradition), they will be sleeping on cozy, high-quality bedding courtesy of Garnet Hill.
Like Frost’s poetry, Garnet Hill designs are fresh and distinctive. Though seemingly simple, they reflect exquisite attention to detail and quiet artistry.
We often walk through the woods wondering if this is the yellow wood where two roads diverged? Is that the road not taken? Here are some words from the man himself:
From Robert Frost to John W. Haines
June 1, 1915
I am writing here in pencil because I am off here by the Gale river without a pen and with nothing to dip into but water. The water is good water but I doubt if it is turbid enough to leave the least stain if I wrote with it. It runs clear and broad and shallow on cobble stones with a noise more like talking than writing.
We, too, write to you across the road from the Gale River, at Garnet Hill headquarters. Happy National Poetry Month from the community of artists, designers, and writers of Garnet Hill.
Photography courtesy of the Frost Place