Christmas Cove Designs was born in 1981, when our founder Gerry Bradley decided to knit hats and sweaters on a knitting machine, which she learned to use while teaching nursery school for a few years in England. She was living in Christmas Cove, Maine--a saltwater fishing community comprised of hearty, self-driven people. She sold the hats and sweaters at local fairs in the summers. She decided to try her hand at Christmas stockings, which she also offered for sale on a local level. Success moved her to apply for a space at a large wholesale trade show, where she took many orders for an expanded line of stockings. Friends and neighbors were found who were willing to help knit and stitch stockings to fill orders, which were shipped to all parts of the country. At her second show, Gerry was discovered by several large catalogs, and Christmas Cove Designs was off and running.
When Gerry discovered she had breast cancer in the early 1990s, she called on her old friend Jefferson Cotton, a freelance illustrator and designer, who often helped her with new designs. She asked Jeff to come into the business with her; together they expanded the line, changed materials to 100% local virgin wool yarn and attended a variety of new wholesale trade shows.
After Gerry’s death in 1992, Jeff took over the running of the business. He moved the enterprise to larger quarters in the town of Dresden. With new motivation, the business became computerized, accessible to buyers at trade shows and consumers on the web, and efficient with a skillful production team.
Looking for a simple yet attractive stocking hanger to display our stockings, we worked with Jeff's creative high school friend, Arnold "Toby" Williams, to invent and patent the Sock Hook®, a unique stocking hanger made of steam-bent Maine hardwood. It rapidly cornered the stocking hanger market with its simplicity of design and strength of purpose, and is a major part of our enterprise today.
This family business on the coast of Maine is a true cottage industry, employing local knitters and stitchers who work in their homes. We offer a green, eco-friendly product, free of synthetic fibers and toxic dyes. Handmade in the USA means we are committed to quality workmanship, sustainability and a healthy environment for all.