Pendleton weaving American spirit
By Kaitlyn Schroyer
LONGMEADOW There are not many stores around that can say they have existed for 100 years. The beginning of Pendleton started in a small woolen mill in Pendleton, Ore., in 1909. Today, Pendleton makes the majority of their wool in Portland, Ore.
This year, the Longmeadow location is celebrating its fifth anniversary. As a company wide celebration honoring their 100th anniversary, Pendleton is hosting a contest. People are asked to write a story of 500 words or less about their families, their histories and what makes their families so very special. Entry forms can be picked up in the store. Submissions must be in by April 30. The winner receives a Pendleton blanket specially made for them.
C.P. Bishop, the founder of the original Pendleton, first sold to Native Americans in the area when they bought blankets for not only everyday use, but for their exchange value.
"We would like to get people in who don t know we re here. We have great quality merchandise and are known. Our products go from the sheep to the rack," Cheryl Moses, store manager of the Longmeadow Pendleton, said.
Pendleton did not stop with just selling to Native Americans. In the 1920s, Pendleton opened up their first retail shop in Chicago. By 1954, Pendleton was accepting Walt Disney s invitation to open up a store in Disneyland s Frontiertown; however, this store closed in 1990 when the Walt Disney Co. wanted its own stores in their theme parks. Since then, Pendleton has opened about 50 stores nationwide.
Not only are their products sold in the Pendleton stores, but they are sold throughout the nation in smaller stores. Items from men s and women s clothing to blankets to some home wear can be found in Pendleton stores.
"Longmeadow was chosen as a location because of its small town look and appeal. We have lots of supporters in Longmeadow, East Longmeadow and Springfield," Moses commented.
There are only two other Pendleton locations in Massachusetts -- one in Lenox, one in Sudbury.
The Longmeadow Pendleton is located at 680 Bliss Rd. inside the Longmeadow Shops. For more information on the store, visit www.pendleton-usa.com