The Store: Calhoun & Co.
The Maker: Kerry Stokes
These days, the phrase "weekend goals" brings to mind cozy linens and the latest season of Westworld more than nights out late dancing, drinking, and general merry-making. And few online destinations best capture our feelings on weekend goals like Calhoun & Co. The home of the uber-popular "Good At Naps" blanket takes cozy to a new level. All this hygge is the brainchild of Kerry Stokes, a Brooklyn-based designer who started Calhoun & Co. to sell pieces that would make people's homes feel more like, well, homes.
"The idea of creating pieces that people kept in their homes, where they spend time with those nearest & dearest to them, felt like a natural fit," she explains. Her pieces, like their creator, don't take themselves too seriously, either.
"There is always some aspect of playfulness in each design—whether it's the texture or graphics," she says. We spoke with Stokes to learn more about her inspiration behind her shop, the super-sweet story behind her shop's name, and the mini blanket that a surprising number of people request in a more adult size.
How did Calhoun & Co. get started?
Calhoun & Co. is about a year and half old, although I certainly made my fair share of pillow covers and home accents for as long as I can remember. I've always been a maker or designer in some sense. My mom taught me how to sew at a young age, and I always loved having a craft at my birthday parties growing up. I went to college for apparel design (which I loved) but realized it wasn't the exact path I wanted to be on. Designing pieces for the home felt cozier and more me.
At the launch, it was just a couple of blankets and pillows. We've since added beach towels, dish towels, and lots of new throw blanket designs. There are also a couple of other projects in the works which I can't wait to share.
What is the story behind the shop's name ?
I grew up in a tight-knit neighborhood and feel really lucky that I had such a wonderful environment to grow up in and that I still have a strong bond with the people and the place. It was the kind of neighborhood that was filled with kids my age growing up and where we would run around each other's yards, play kickball in the cul-de-sac, spend hours and hours in each other's homes playing dress-up and to this day have neighborhood parties. The name of the street I grew up on is Calhoun Avenue, and is one of my favorite places.
What is the best-selling item in your shop?
The best selling item continues to be the "Good At Naps" throw—which was the very first design launched. One of our newest items—the "Very Big Hug" has been pretty popular since launching, and we've been getting the sweetest gift notes to be included with those orders, which truly makes me the happiest.
Have you ever received any weird custom requests?
We don't do custom orders—but I think the funniest thing people have asked for is the "Eat Poop Sleep" blanket in the large size…
Where do you create your products?
I just moved into a new studio in Greenpoint, Brooklyn, so that's my base for where I design everything. (Before here it was out of my apartment!) I work with a couple of manufacturing partners based right here in NYC, in the South, and New York State.
Do you have a favorite Etsy store (besides your own, of course!)
There are so SO many great shops! My most recent purchases were this adorable ceramic pencil and glasses holder by LennyMud and an organic tee from RoundPlusSquare.
What's something that people don't think about in your line of work?
It's all a balancing act, an sometimes it's hard to make time for the parts of the job that help me to move forward- mostly taking the time to be illustrate, paint, or just have fun creating things. Also… boxes of blankets are very heavy.
What do you do for inspiration when you're stuck?
Sometimes it takes a few rounds of searching for inspiration before it hits right. Everything and anything can be a spark. Traveling is always an inspiration although I definitely don't do it enough (but am trying to!), but I'm also inspired by the complete opposite of staying home with my people, keeping cozy, and playing some card games. I'm also constantly inspired by colors, insects, flowers, New York City, and my dog, Slug—his ability to nap and get cozy anywhere and anytime is incredible.
How do you imagine people using your products at home?
I hope for a couple of things; that they bought or received a blanket that is adding a little bit of personality into their home, that they can get cozy with it, and it makes them smile.
Check out some of our favorite picks from Calhoun & Co.: