Wow, what a year it's been! I think it's fair to say that none of us could have foreseen what 2020 would bring... it has been a tough 12 months for us all, as individuals and businesses alike. As we find ourselves approaching the end of the year, I want to say a heartfelt thank you to every single person who has supported The British Blanket Company this year. From buying a blanket, to sharing an Instagram post; writing a review or telling a friend, it means so much to our family business. Looking back, it with a mix of shock and awe that we find 2020 has been the best year for The British Blanket Company yet. Truly we could not have done this without you and feel so grateful that we can look to the future with optimism.
January: Storm Brendan ripped through the country and we huddled under our blankets as the rain lashed down outside. Little did we know, this was only a tiny taster of the turbulance 2020 had in store...
February: We pitched for (and won) a place on the Natwest Entrepreneur Accelerator, an intensive programme for fast-growing businesses. Opening our 60-second pitch with "Staying in is the new going out" we were blissfully unaware how accurate that statement would become!
March: The month the world fell apart. Lockdown 1:0 began and every day felt like grabbing onto shifting sand. Would our mills keep weaving? Would our couriers keep delivering? Would people keep buying blankets? How could we keep our small business alive?
April: The chaos continued, but we realised we could carry on doing what we do best... looking after our awesome customers and delivering blankets to make people smile. We met a fantastic new business mentor through the All Together initiative and started work planning our first Special Edition collection.
May: Rainbow fever took over the UK and you couldn't get enough of our Rainbow Stripe throws. This blanket was 525% more popular in 2020 than it was in 2019!
June: We launched a Facebook poll and you voted on your favourite colourways for the special edition British Birds blankets. We devised the concept during the early days of lockdown when the roads were quiet, exercise was prescribed and the birds sang their hearts out in the trees.
July: The world began to open up again and restrictions were relaxed on outdoor gatherings and camping trips and staycations were allowed again. Our picnic rugs became popular as we all ate alfresco whenever we could.
August: 'Eat Out To Help Out' brought lots of trade enquiries from restaurants looking to cosy-up their outdoor dining spaces. We love that throws from The British Blanket Company have found new homes in some of Britain's most luxurious hotels, pubs and private members clubs this year.
September: Our new British Birds blankets arrived and looked even more beautiful than we had imagined! We spent a wonderful day photographing the collection at The Forge in Bristol and preparing for the press launch. There was an amazing Indian Summer heat wave and picnic rugs flew off our shelves again.
October: This month was all about our British Birds collection. We launched the first limited run of blankets to coincide with Wool Week and sold out of some designs in under 2 weeks! More were swiftly put into weaving to keep up with demand. We finished the month by launching our range of gorgeous lambswool scarves.
November: We celebrated the 5th birthday of The British Blanket Company and reflected on the trials, tribulations and successes of five years of our family business. Christmas orders arrived thick and fast as lovely people around Britain sought to support small, independent shops.
December: Always a crazy month and this year was no exception. Our amazing warehouse team picked, packed and shipped more blankets than ever before. We ended the year feeling more thankful to our wonderful customers than ever and optimistic for the future.
What next? A few days of well-earned time off to spend with our families before returning in January to make plans for 2021. We're hoping for a year just as exciting... but hopefully a little less bonkers! We're so grateful for your support this last 12 months and hope you'll stick with us for the ride. Thank you!
We wish you a safe, cosy and happy Christmas.
Bethan and Joe