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Small Business Saturday: Shakedown Goods

The first time we met Shakedown Goods was 2010 in the middle of the night at Wakarusa Music Festival in Arkansas….and the rest is history!  John and Wesli of Shakedown Goods have an amazing business.  It’s like a hippie emporium but so much more because they are artists with a passion for supporting other artisans.  They sell a wide range of amazing hand crafted goods like: original art hat pins and patches, band related dog collars and pet charms, leather/gemstone jewelry, Dope on a Rope soap, hemp lighter kits, some really REALLY cool socks and more!

That’s just the amazing stuff they sell!  John and Wesli have become some of our best friends over the years and it is inspiring to see them grow their business.  We have vended next to and shared booths with these guys, been through some pretty scary storms together, and have gone to countless Widespread Panic shows with them.  John and Wesli now run a successful traveling and online store that caters to a music loving, festivarian crowd and are a household name throughout the nation. We are very grateful to have this amazing couple in our lives and we’re stoked for the memories to come!

Check out Shakedown Goods!

From Colorado to Carolina

Ted and I spent 8 amazing and transformative years in Denver, Colorado.  During that time we started the Tarpestry business, got married, explored Colorado and traveled across the country on festival tours.  All Tarpestrys were made locally at Stryker By Design – a manufacturing company right outside of Denver.  After a few years of deliberation we decided to move back to the Blue Ridge Mountains in our home state of North Carolina.  

In late 2015 we packed ourselves and the business and moved to a family farm outside of Boone, NC.  We set up our office in a beautiful old barn and set out to find a local manufacturer.  We lucked out and stumbled upon Tsuga, a company that designs and produces quality outdoor products and bags.  In early 2017, Tsuga completed the first Tarpestry line of the year.  

We are proud of our Colorado roots and are excited for our future in the mountains of Appalachia.  Tarpestry is officially….Built in the Blue Ridge.

To learn more about our origins, see the Tarpestry Story!

How to rock the holidays with Tarpestry

Baby, it’s cold outside! The fire is going in the fireplace and you’ve stashed your Tarpestry away to be ready for next camping season…  Wait, what? You don’t need to put your Tarpestry away for the winter!  Here are a few ideas for using your Tarpestry this holiday season:

Use your Classic Tarpestry for your Christmas tree skirt and wrap the base of your tree in style.  Not only will your presents be placed on beautiful fabric, but your hardwoods will be protected from water drips.

Take your Tarpestry on your next sledding adventure!  Park the Tarpestry at the top of the hill for breaks without wet bums. Plus, you can add your arsenal of snowballs to your Tarpestry and move them to the best firing locations.  The Rugged Style is best because it gives double the water-repellency!

Feeling a draft?  We know from experience that it is no fun to have a fire in the fireplace,only to feel a draft of cold air streaming in from a crack in the door or windows.  Brrrr!  We have very effectively used a Tarpestry to cover a window or door and reduce the cold air creep.  It really helps!

Other fun ways you can use your Tarpestry this holiday season include but certainly aren’t limited to:  seat around the outdoor bonfire, guest air mattress cover (a nice buffer from the cold air), cover for the firewood, firewood transport, buffer in the car for wet gear and so much more!

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Make Someone Happy!

We have seen our share of elated faces over the years – pictures of people opening their brand new Tarpestry presents.  We agree! Tarpestry makes an excellent gift for anytime of the year but especially during the holiday seasons. That’s because anyone can use it, practically anywhere!  They can use their gift in the park for picnics, on the beach, at lawn concerts, and more.  

We have heard people say that the Tarpestry was their favorite gift over the holidays!  But shhh we aren’t supposed to tell anyone.  So let the snow fall, and let the smiles appear on your loved ones faces this Christmas when you all sit around the tree together and they open their Tarpestry.  So go on, make someone happy, and give them the gift of adventure!

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Tarpestry Care: How To Strap

So you’ve mastered the Tarpestry fold & roll – bravo! Now you’re ready to pack your Tarpestry for the road!  (If you haven’t mastered the roll, see this blog post for simple instructions.)

They seem small enough, but Tarpestrys are a heavy duty three and a half pounds! Carrying this load under your arm or in your hand all the way from camp to main stage can become a serious upper arm workout.  Well suffer no longer, friends, because Team Tarpestry is here to help!

All you need is a Tarpestry strap.  Transfer that weight to your strong shoulders and free up your arms and hands for important stuff…like beer.

Here’s the method:

  1. Line up the buckles, tails out in the same direction.
  2. Unclip your first buckle and clip around one side of the Tarpestry roll.  Pull it tight.
  3. Line up the tabs on top so the strap is not twisted.
  4. Unclip your second buckle and clip around the other side of the Tarpestry roll.  Pull it tight.
  5. Loosen the strap for a crossbody carry or tighten for an underarm carry.

For the visual folks, a superb video:

Ready to take the leap? Shop here.

Tarpestry Care: How to Fold

Your Tarpestry arrives in the mail – it’s perfectly folded in perfect form in it’s perfect little box. You can’t wait to see the design so you untie the rope and spread it open on your living room floor. You admire your Tarpestry in all of it’s splendor. Maybe your new Tarpestry is one of the lucky 3D designs and you put on your 3D glasses and get lost for a while.  Maybe you take a nap. Eventually you come back to the world and need to roll up the Tarpestry again. You start to fold it based on the existing fold lines – much like putting a map back together.  And with similar results, it is not perfectly folded in perfect form and you ask yourself “how did this EVER fit inside that tiny box??”.  Well suffer no longer, friends, because Team Tarpestry is here to help!  This is an easy fold/roll and once you know it…you know it.

Here’s the method:

  1. Fold once, hamburger style, grommet to grommet. For those of you who missed out on this in first grade – hamburger style is folding in half to get a square-ish fold instead of a long skinny fold (hot dog style).
  2. Same fold again, in half, same direction.
  3. Same fold one more time, in half, same direction.
  4. Flatten and smooth it out.
  5. Roll it up, nice and tight.

For the visual folks, a super professional video:

Everything You’ve Ever Wanted To Know About Tarpestry (and more!)

Maybe you’ve just discovered Tarpestry…or you are already a proud owner and want to know so much more!  Well hold on to your hats because you are about to become a wizard in the realm of Tarpestry.  (More of a long-story-short person? See this page instead.)

This product’s purpose is to be a durable outdoor blanket with a beautiful design on one side.  In simple terms, a Tarpestry is a “tarp” and a tapestry put together.  It is a weather-resistant outdoor blanket that puts a layer between you and nature, with style.  Seems simple enough, but don’t let this short explanation limit what you think a Tarpestry is capable of!

The base fabric is the tarp portion of the Tarpestry, a urethane-coated and heavy duty polyester (similar to duffle bag material). This is the buffer from the occasional unpleasantries, providing water repellency and UV protection.  This side of the Tarpestry goes down on the damp or dirty ground – protect those tushies!  You can also tie this side up for protection from the sun and rain…even wear it as a poncho!  These things are known “lifesavers” from sudden downpours and blistering sun.

The upper fabric comes in a variety of fabric options – differentiated by the name of style.  The options are Classic, Rugged and Fleece.

Our most popular style of Tarpestry is the Classic Style.  This option has beautifully designed 100% cotton fabric and is much softer than the base fabric – perfect for lounging on.  The fabric is hand silk-screen printed with vegetable dyes.  Because of unique layering of the dyes, the Classic Style has 3-D options! That’s right, some Classic Style Tarpestry designs come with a pair of 3-D glasses and, trust us, they are f.u.n.!

Another fabric option is the Rugged Style Tarpestry and this style is true to it’s namesake.  The fabric is a water-repellent and UV resistant polyester – just like our base fabric but a bit softer. The Rugged Style Tarpestry is built for adventure. Take them to the beach or on river and lake excursions because this Rugged Style will repel water and are quick to dry.  The Rugged is also built for famous beverage spillers – children, adults, we don’t judge! This style is so hardcore we’ve made our Dog Duvet Covers with the same fabric.

The third Style is our Fleece with a soft and cushy velour fleece top fabric. This style is, hands down, the Team Tarpestry favorite.  We do a lot of camping and this Tarpestry makes sleeping outside a true luxury.  Here’s the method: Put one Fleece Tapestry on top of your air mat or sleeping pad, fleece side up. Then make your bed per usual but top it off with another Fleece Tarpestry, fleece side down. The Tarpestry on the bottom keeps cold air from creeping up into your warm zone.  The Tarpestry on the top seals in the warmth while the tarp side keeps you dry from tent drips. Voila! The Fleece Style is also perfect for outdoor sporting events – protect your tush from cold bleachers and wrap yourself in warmth!

So, water-repellent backing and beautiful top fabric for your outdoor blanket.  Sounds great right?  Well brace yourself, the Tarpestry takes it a step further.  We add metal grommet rings to the corners of each Tarpestry – with the option of customizing with more.  Rope the Tarpestry up for privacy and sun/rain/wind protection and stake the Tarpestry down in the grass or sand when windy.  These little metal rings are essential for multiplying the practicality of the Tarpestry.  Additionally, each Tarpestry has a corner velcro pocket for storing the small necessities for your adventure. Think sunscreen, snacks, and the car keys that always vanish at dusk.

Well that’s a Tarpestry in a nutshell!  This is a robust product that will be sure to enhance your outdoor experience – whether you are picnicking or going on a grand adventure!  Pack a Tarpestry next time you head out on your excursion to see what it can do for you.

Still want more? Head on over to the Tarpestry Story page to learn about our origins.

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