Friday, July 9, 2010

Ship, Crate, Barrel

It's no secret that I love Crate & Barrel. And in typical fashion regarding everything that I love, I wanted to know more. You see, in the luxury retail industry, everything has a story. From the inspiration for design, the time-tested treatments for fabrics and materials for that oh-so-perfect aesthetic, the history and heritage of a company's origins - everything has a story. Part of the allure to luxe companies and products is that romance.

It's a general understanding that people want to feel good. We want to experience success and happiness, good health, and harmony. So when someone creates a dynamic product, presents it in a mind-blowing manner, and goes against the grain of complacency and mediocrity, I am more than pleased to not only patronize the business, but tell everyone about it.

So I wanted to know more about Crate and Barrel. I found the most charming story on their official website:

Back in the '60s, a young Chicago couple by the name of Gordon and Carole Segal had just returned from a honeymoon in Europe. One night, while washing their dishes after dinner, they lamented there was no place at home to buy the contemporary, affordable housewares they had admired throughout their travels.


Passionate to make these designs available to others, the Segals hired one employee and leased an abandoned elevator factory on Chicago's Wells Street. They traveled throughout Europe buying directly from glassblowers and ceramicists, from factories making beautiful French copper pots and simple white bistro dinnerware. With no money left for displays, they stacked the shipping crates as shelves and filled the overseas barrels with fun merchandise. So out of necessity came the unique Crate and Barrel style…and name. And on a cold December day in 1962, just moments before the official opening, Gordon and Carole realized they had forgotten just one thing–a cash register (no kidding).

A lot has changed since that first store opened. Instead of the one employee we had in 1962, we now have 7,500. Instead of one small storefront, we now have 160 spectacular stores in markets across the US.

And now, we’re honored to share our passion with our first international Crate and Barrel store, now open at Toronto’s exciting Yorkdale Shopping Centre.

Coupling this lovely story with the many years I've shopped C&B and their hipper, younger minded CB2, I thought I needed to shop the website and see what was new. And what did I discover that I'm absolutely LOVING?! Crate and Barrel has teamed up with Tumi, one of the most durable and delightful Italian luggage ranges for their very own T Tech by Tumi for Crate & Barrel.

Durable and lightweight, with tons of pockets and zippered compartments, and accented in my favourite bright red piping, this collection is perfect for those jaunts across Europe, those African safaris, those adventures to Asia, and that mid-week business trip to St Louis. Affordably priced from just under US$100 to US$350, this collection is sure to exceed all of your travel needs.

1 comment:

Janet said...

If they have a carry-on 360 spinner, I'm sold!