It's been way too long since our first and last update, but then again time flies when you're building an online business from the ground up. Our little boys are growing like weeds, now 6 and 7 in 1st and 2nd grade, and we're more than six months into our quarantine at home routine in the new covid19 reality. But we can't complain as we're all well, working, safe and secure. We've had a wonderful summer, and now my favorite season is upon us. For me it's a time to focus on home and hearth, giving thanks, and reflection.
Benn~Burry has come a long, long way since our original post commemorating our launch back in March '19. It's been quite a learning curve but an amazing journey, with many ups and downs along the way. We've put a tremendous amount of time and effort into refining our product lines, featuring many new and great indie brands that are made right here in the U.S.A., and ensuring that all our other quality products ship from the U.S. for much faster shipping and delivery to your door.
Our product categories have grown from Men's and Women's Apparel, Outerwear and Footwear to include a variety of Accessories and Sporting Goods, and we're continuing to expand our Gifts offerings. Importantly, we've focused our vision and long term goal to feature, if not exclusively, New England made brands and products that are 100% "Made in America" and ideally made in New England. This is who we are, and it's where we're headed as we continue to refine and evolve, so stay tuned!
I've been reflecting a lot over the summer on why it is I've had the drive to pour so much energy into this store, and let me tell you the idea was met with some trepidation by my father who lived through the decline of American retail and loss of the original Benn~Burry stores in Vermont in the late 1980s to early 1990s. It was a painful experience for him, and the pain was shared to a lesser extent by his family and children who saw a proud legacy that was an integral part of our upbringing and family identity lost.
I suppose I've always been one to have a difficult time letting go, particularly of something that has had time to take root inside me like Benn~Burry had. Benn~Burry features prominently in my earliest childhood memories, of my dad, of our family, lifestyle and times with Grandma Davis at the old historic farmhouse and stores on the Bennington/Shaftsbury town line on Vermont's historic route 7A. It was a time for which I feel a lot of nostalgia, naturally, and I promise to share as many of these memories as possible as I reflect back on those days in future posts.
But it's more than just not wanting to let go of something I had fond memories of. It was something deeper than that. It was about the realization that this unique heritage I had experienced had fundamentally shaped who I am including my values, tastes, and notions of what is good in life. I had spent a long career in an entirely different line of work that took me far and wide, away from New England, and it was a major priority as time went on, after I got married, to get back to my roots so I could raise children in ways similar to the way I had been brought up. There is no more beautiful place on God's green earth than the green fields and pastoral settings of New England.
My grandmother embodied that rugged individualist spirit of a true "yankee" from down east, i.e. Maine or New England, and a seed of that spirit has been growing inside me since forever. The drive to forge my own path and make it on my own, depending on no one, and the pride that comes from that are deeply ingrained. Of course, we all rely on someone from time to time, but a yankee "peddlah" is a special kind of tough, born of hard knocks and a harder work ethic, and ultimately a survivor.
That's what I am, I suppose, and what better way to survive than living in New England with my beautiful family and sharing that great spirit and heritage with the world. I think that's what Benn~Burry was always about...sharing, supporting and encouraging those values and celebrating that lifestyle. I realized along the way that I wanted to share what I grew up with, how I grew up, what I love, and in the process reconnect the deepest bits of my soul to bring it all into focus.
I'm looking forward to continuing on this journey, and making new friends along the way, and I hope to count you among them. Welcome to the Benn~Burry family!
Parker A. Davis, Founder & Owner/Operator