Nestled in behind a small glass storefront in central Frankfurt is a one-of-a-kind throw utopia. Blanket Store is a niche boutique dedicated to—yes, you guessed it—blankets, and owner Natalie Gray has found inventory that’s stitched, knit, and woven around the world. Assistant Editor Jordan Kushins stumbled upon the shop when wandering through the city on a cold, snowy day last month and couldn’t think of anything more inviting than the warm wonderland dedicated to keeping you cozy and your home a little bit brighter, so she asked Grey to open up about her coverlet sanctuary.
When did you open the Blanket Store?
I opened the Blanket Store last October, but the started the shop (with a smaller selection) in an organic ice cream parlor and a furniture store the winter before.
What inspired you to expand?
I could never find more than one or two interesting blankets in one spot, and most of the blankets I saw were in hundreds of different beige tones instead of the colors the world has to offer. So, I figured, why not have a store that offers the variety from around the globe?
What’s your background?
I studied art and design and have always loved colors and the beauty of natural materials.
What’s best about your job?
I love that I can contribute to make the world a little more colorful, and that I get people who never even thought about blankets before to want one.
What’s your favorite item you sell?
I can’t decide! One of my favorites, though, is the “Mirage” blanket from Lithuania, which was Blanket Store’s first blanket.
How does your personal taste influence what you sell in the store?
I like simple things and am pretty bossy about colors, but I’m quite open. I can be drawn to a mix of colors, a special hue, the way it’s woven, the story. I personally prefer mohair or sheep wool blankets more than cashmere, because I wouldn’t hesitate to really use them, but I wouldn’t sell anything I don’t like.
What's the neighborhood like around Blanket Store?
My store is across the street from the “Kleinmarkthalle,” Frankfurt’s market hall, which is famous for food from around the world, but also offers Frankfurt-style specialties sold directly from the stand owners. So you could say the area is kind of old-fashioned in a lively way.
Where do you find your wares?
I get the blankets at international fairs, small markets and nice coincidences. Some of my designer friends also make very limited editions.
What’s the plan for the warmer spring and summer months?
I haven’t had a summer season with Blanket Store yet, but blankets are simply a part of having a home: long summer evenings can be cold, friends might spend the night, kids need them to make a cave or to play ghost. I also sell bedspreads, sleeping bags and real English picnic blankets with a wax cloth layer, and might sell summertime things like bicycle accessories and interesting other things from small projects from throughout the world.