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Our Origins Garnet Hill

Our Origins Garnet Hill

About Us

Our origins

It all started over 45 years ago with the finest natural fibers and the coziest flannel sheets.

Image of Bedding

Flannel and family: that’s what started Garnet Hill.

In 1973, Pegge Kirschner and her husband, Grant Dowse, returned from a trip to Europe with an English cotton flannel sheet. Soon they realized its exceptional warmth and quality couldn’t be found in the U.S. They wanted to provide this same comfort and coziness for the people they cared about, so they sowed the seed for what would later become America’s original natural fibers company. In 1976, to honor the beautiful place in New Hampshire where they lived, they called it Garnet Hill.

We grew from these humble beginnings.

Pegge and Grant went from enticing their first customers with mail-order swatches of the famed flannel to living and working out of a Franconia barnturned-warehouse, finding their groove in their small New Hampshire-mountain community. After collaborating with the artisans around them, they expanded, offering flannel sleepwear, wool sweaters, cashmere scarves, and more. With handwritten notes in each order and a Rolodex of customers’ preferences, Pegge and Grant were at the epicenter of a community that was connected by threads of goodness.

Goodness has always been in the fiber of who we are.

There was goodness in the fabric and there was goodness in the intention of coming together behind a common goal. When Pegge and Grant tragically passed in a 1985 plane crash, it was this goodness — the goodness of the spirited collective — that upheld what Garnet Hill stands for. The company didn’t crumble from losing its founders, because it was founded on more than just two people. The foundation was family.

For the last three decades,
Garnet Hill has flourished.

Time and time again, Garnet Hill has shown that the best way to embrace change is to be true to who we are — to make, create, build, and grow, all from the goodness found in nature and each other.

The 70's

1973

The idea is born.

Pegge and Grant leave New Hampshire for a camping trip in Europe. To keep warm at night, they purchase 100% cotton flannel sheets in England. When they return, they are unable to find the same quality and softness in the U.S.

1976

The company is created.

Pegge and Grant become purveyors of English flannel and launch Garnet Hill from their sugar-house home in Sugar Hill, NH. The timing proves ideal: the energy crisis is underway, so thermostats are lowered and orders for warm flannel bedding begin to flow.

The first catalog is mailed.

Garnet Hill starts by placing small ads in Yankee magazine and Country Journal. Customers send in 25 cents and receive flannel swatches lovingly stapled into a custom catalog.

1978

Our home quickly expands.

Garnet Hill moves just down the road to Franconia, into a new gambrel-style barn designed by Pegge herself. Though we have added on over the years, this original “barn” remains our corporate headquarters. The onsite outlet store has become a gathering spot for the community.

The 80’s

1980

Our iconic wrap is born.

At the time, the wrap is offered in a variety of natural fibers: cashmere, wool/silk, and alpaca.

1981

The vision becomes a tagline.

“The Natural Fibers Catalog” first appears, then quickly evolves into “The Original Natural Fibers Catalog.”

1985

Tragedy strikes.

On February 1, on its way from Montreal, the small plane carrying Pegge, Grant, and two other passengers crashes into Cherry Mountain, near Whitefield, NH, during a snowstorm. Though devastated, the Garnet Hill family pledges to carry on their mission and vision.

Linen joins the line-up.

Naturally soft, breathable, and temperature regulating, linen sheets from Belgium are introduced into the bedding collection.

The 90’s til today

1994

We lead the way in organic cotton.

Garnet Hill becomes the largest purveyor of organic cotton in the U.S. by partnering with Green Cotton® Group, a Danish company that is at the forefront of vertical organic-cotton production.

1997

The family expands again.

Garnet Hill is purchased by International Cornerstone Brands, a portfolio of some of the best catalog brands in America, including Ballard Designs, Frontgate, and Grandin Road.

2000

We enter the world of dot-com.

Garnet Hill launches garnethill.com, our first e-commerce site, which allows us to offer more ways to shop and experience our original designs.

2001

Our partnerships grow.

We introduce our collaboration with Hable Construction®. The whimsical collection includes appliqu├ęd wool-felt pillows, holiday stockings, and decorative accessories, all made by a Hungarian women’s cooperative.

Our responsibility

We’re passionate about and committed to weaving threads of goodness and humanity into everything we do.

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