We met with the lovely Pendleton buyers late last year…and in a few months the relationship has blossomed.
We are entirely thrilled to be on the cover of the current catalog with our Samur medallion clad in 18K with white stone and gold beads. On My! French Kande just turned 3 years old, and it now has history with an iconic American company that’s 124 years old. We are proud of this union. Here’s a bit of the Pendleton history for all you RED-BLOODED AMERICAN FEMALES!
In 1863, traveling down the Atlantic seaboard, crossing the Isthmus of Panama on a burro, and sailing up the Pacific coast was a grueling four-month passage. Yet for Thomas Kay, a young English weaver, it was a dream come true. An old hand at sea voyages, he had already crossed the Atlantic years earlier to work at east coast textile mills. With skills honed, he was now headed to an area with ideal conditions for raising sheep and producing wool. A place with moderate weather and plentiful water – America’s newest state, Oregon.
Kay helped organize Oregon’s second woolen mill in Brownsville, where he oversaw the weaving operation. Soon he was made a superintendent of the company. In 1889, Thomas Kay opened his own mill in Salem, Oregon. From these humble beginnings rose a dyed-in-the-wool American success story.
Thomas Kay’s eldest daughter, Fannie, learned the mill business and ably assisted her father in mill operation and management. When she married retail merchant C.P. Bishop, a complementary combination of merchandising and manufacturing expertise emerged – a solid foundation for what was to become Pendleton Woolen Mills.
This dual textile-retail heritage was passed on to the three Bishop sons, Clarence, Roy and Chauncey. In 1909, with family and town backing, the Bishop sons started up an idle mill in Pendleton, Oregon.
CUT TO TODAY….Pendleton has thrived under the direction of the Bishop family. Today the company owns and operates 7 facilities, manages 75 Pendleton retail stores and publishes apparel and home direct mail catalogs. For many years, Clarence’s sons, C.M. Bishop, Jr. (Mort) and Broughton (Brot) Bishop, acted as co-executive officers.
Today, their sons have assumed management roles in the company. C.M. Bishop III is president and John and Charles are vice presidents. Another son, Peter, is manager of the Catalog/Internet Division. This family thread has continued to produce Pendleton leadership with a legacy of hands-on management for six generations — warranted to be a Pendleton since 1863.