Q&A with the founders of Atlantic Blankets

Q&A with the founders of Atlantic Blankets, Al and Gemma Graham

Date: 11 Feb 2022
Categories: General,Interiors

Editor Rebecca Moore catches up with husband-and-wife duo Al and Gemma Graham founders of Atlantic Blankets, to chat seaside inspiration, sustainability and, of course, beautiful blankets.

Tell us the story behind Atlantic Blankets…
We are a family run business based in Perranporth. We started about 10 years ago, combining our skills of marketing and design. We have had steady growth since then, but our key values remain the same, to produce quality products made in the UK with a focus on sustainability and recycling.

How does Cornwall inspire your blankets?
The sea is such a great part of Cornwall’s identity, and we can’t help but take influence from this. Whether it’s the ever-changing colours and moods, what happens in, on and around it, all informs our designs.

As a company, what’s your approach to sustainability?
Environmental sustainability is an extremely important part of our business. Half of our products are woven from wool which is a sustainable material in itself, being natural and renewable. We also weave with recycled brushed cotton. This yarn is produced from the offcuts from T shirt production, material that would normally go into landfill. We only partner with mills based in the UK, championing the skills and experience of generations of mill owners.

 

You have a shop in Perranporth. Where else would you recommend visiting while in the area?
I think the main attraction of Perranporth is its beach. There’s a great local community based on and around the beach, whether that’s surfing, surf lifesaving, cold water swimming, or dog walking. There’s also great access to the South West coastal path with great walks in both directions, west towards St Agnes or east towards Newquay.

What would be your perfect day in Cornwall?
Living in Perranporth so close to the beach means we spend a lot of our time in and on the water. A day of surfing with family and friends, followed by a picnic on the beach couldn’t be any better.

Do you have a favourite beach?
There’s no place like home!

What’s your most popular design?
We are continually designing new blankets and throws to keep things fresh. Some designs get replaced with others. We have a few that have stood the test of time. The wide herringbone 100 per cent wools are very popular and our grey swell recycled cotton has been a number one seller for years. We also do a number of collaborations with local and national companies, which produce some popular designs.

Which design has your heart?
The simplicity in colour and design of the Portolan is one of my favourites. Its inspiration comes from old sea navigation charts, creating an interesting pattern. It’s very simple, but sometimes we
find less is more, and let the quality of the product take the glory. All of our designs have a story to them.

Any interior tips for those decorating a Cornish home?
I think simplicity through good design can really inform an interior. Natural colours and materials are a great starting point as a palette for a space. These can then be accentuated by little pockets of colour and pattern, taking inspiration from surrounding colours and forms.

And lastly, what are your favourite fellow Cornish interior brands?
Cornwall has so many established and new designers or makers. I think the pandemic has forced the hand of many people to follow their passion and dreams and setup new micro businesses. This is great for the region. We speak with a lot of people who have some great ideas and big plans, the majority with the environment being at the forefront of their plans.

We have always loved what Tom and the team are doing up the road at Finisterre. Circular and Co, also in Perranporth, are doing some amazing things too. Hart Miller, Flexi Hex and Fourth Element all continue to astound me with their products and forward thinking.

Visit Atlantic Blanket’s store on St Pirans Rd in Perranporth, or browse the full collection online here.

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