If you've poked around the PillowCubes blog for any amount of time recently, you've probably become aware of our fun, new "Customer Spotlight" series! Throughout this series, we are exploring the stories behind our customers - bringing light to their products and sharing their creativity with the world! While we are creators ourselves, nothing makes us more excited than to see our white pillow inserts come to life with covers. Today, we're spotlighting our friends at Beastly Threads and we're so excited to share their story!
At Beastly Threads, we are deeply passionate about making beautiful things that make our customers happy and give back. Our textiles incorporate bold, colorful designs, sustainable materials, and ethical manufacturing practices. In addition, with each product sold, a significant portion of the profits go to wildlife preservation efforts, hence the name Beastly Threads. Our organic cotton pillows, sarongs, scarves, table runners, and soon beach ponchos, bandanas, and aprons are hand block-printed by artisans in Bagru and Jaipur, India. Our napkins and tea towels are hand screen-printed in Brooklyn, New York. We employ ethical, green practices that are kind to workers and the environment.
2) How long has Beastly Threads been in operation? How did you start?
Although Beastly Threads officially launched in June 2015, it was really born in August 2012 on a plane from San Francisco to Washington, DC. I had been working in education reform for around 14 years and was looking to make a big change. On the plane, I read TOMS founder Blake Mycoskie’s book “Start Something That Matters” and was greatly inspired by Blake’s story and the impact of TOMS. By the time I got off the plane in DC, I had a product idea (scarves), a set of product non-negotiables (high quality, eco-friendly, and ethically-manufactured), and a cause (saving endangered species). Then, of course, came the very hard part: making it happen. I spent the next two years trying to manufacture the scarves in the US but found that the printing methods available (screen and digital printing) did not yield beautiful rich colors on both sides of the scarf. After many many hours on Google, I was thrilled to find Bagru Textiles, a group of artisans in Bagru, India that hand block-print textiles using traditional techniques and non-toxic dyes. In June 2015, we finally went live with beastlythreads.com and began selling our first line of six scarves supporting efforts to save Big Horn Sheep, Cerulean Warblers, Chinook Salmon, and Staghorn Coral. Since then, we have added more scarves plus pillows, table runners, napkins, tea towels, and sarongs and many more designs and animals. It has been an intensely difficult but immensely gratifying labor of love.
3) Share a little about your home decor line. We want to learn more about your pillow covers and fabrics, and get the full scoop!
Beastly Home includes organic cotton, hand-printed napkins, tea towels, table runners, and of course, pillows. We think the best thing about our Beastly Home products is how washable and durable they are. I have a Beastly table runner on my dining room table at all times and no matter how raucous and messy a dinner party gets, the runner washes clean. Similarly, our Beastly pillows take a beating and keep on looking gorgeous. I have several of mine outside on our patio in Santiago, Chile (where my family and I now live) and even with loads of dust, aggressive birds, and mucky kids, they wash clean every time. Sadly, we sold out of our very popular Honeybee pillows but we still have the gorgeous indigo and white Chinook pillows and both the green and white and gray and white Faux Bois pillows. I am obviously biased but I love them all!
4) What sets Beastly Threads apart from other small shops?
I am happy to report that Beastly is one of many amazing small and big shops selling eco-friendly, ethically-manufactured textiles. It is a very good sign that we are not alone in this space. Ten years ago, one would have to search high and low to find affordable organic cotton products produced by workers that were treated well. Now they are everywhere! What I do think sets Beastly apart are our unique, bold, colorful designs and the fact that we give so much money to environmental groups with each purchase. Not a mere 1 or 3%. We give $10 with every single purchase! That is far more than any other company we have seen.
5) Why did you choose PillowCubes inserts? Please share a little about your experience working with the PC team.
I needed our pillow inserts to be eco-friendly, comfortable, hypoallergenic, and non-smelly. I was prepared for another long search for such products so was relieved to easily find PillowCubes. The PillowCubes recycled polyester inserts are all that we needed them to be AND they are made in the USA! I couldn’t be more pleased that we chose PillowCubes and have loved our experience using the PC we site and working with the PC team.
6) Anything else you’d like to add? Do you have any new products coming soon or plans for growth?
I was thrilled to release our new sarongs this past June and add Northern Jaguar Project and Loggerhead Marinelife Center to our list of supported environmental organizations. That makes ten nonprofits that we are sending money to and thirteen animals we are helping to save. Regarding new products, we have three super exciting products coming for the holidays: aprons, beach ponchos, and bandanas. I hope our customers adore them as much as I do!