April 15, 2015
Klean Kanteen "Bring Your Own" for Earth Day

klean4.jpgWith Earth Day coming up on Wednesday, April 22nd, we are thinking about changes we can make in our everyday lives that will lessen our impact on the environment. Many Mast associates carpool, bike or walk to work… Not only because it’s fun to socialize with co-workers each morning in the car or exercise while we commute, but also because it decreases our carbon footprint. But what if “creative commuting” isn’t an option?  What other small, new shifts in our daily habits can make a big difference in the long-term health of our planet? Klean Kanteen has some ideas they share with their Bring Your Own project. They are inspiring us in a big way.

Tags: Inspiration, Mast Family Favorites, Winston-Salem, Columbia, Knoxville, Greenville, Asheville, Hendersonville, Waynesville, Boone, Valle Crucis, all
April 8, 2015
Tilley Hats: A Friend for a Lifetime

040715-tilley-hat-4.jpgAlex Tilley, the founder of Tilley Hats, became frustrated when he couldn’t find a good sailing hat. He decided to oversee the making of some proper hats for himself and other Toronto sailors. He wanted the hat to float, stay on, not to shrink, last indefinitely, and look good. He didn’t realize that such a thing was considered impossible.

Tags: Mast Family Favorites, Adventure, Winston-Salem, Columbia, Knoxville, Greenville, Asheville, Hendersonville, Waynesville, Boone, Valle Crucis, all
March 18, 2015
Join Us Along the Haywood County Quilt Trail

alaina-drawdy-cox-spring-daffodils.JPGCrocuses and daffodils popping up all over the southeast serve as a cheerful reminder that spring is just around the corner. The longer days of sunshine and warmer temperatures always inspire us to get outside and explore something new. This year, we're looking forward to enjoying an urban outdoor adventure along the Haywood County Quilt Trail.

Tags: Local Flavor, Adventure, Waynesville
March 12, 2015
Keeping Good Company with Toad&Co

0315-toad-and-co-5.jpgIf you were to conduct a blind touch test of clothing fabrics in the Outdoor Department at Mast General Store, you may find one brand’s “hand feel” to be exceptionally soft. These super soft clothes made from nearly 100% organic cotton, with recycled polyester, and using environment-friendly dyes are the hallmark of our new line, Toad&Co.

Tags: Winston-Salem, Columbia, Knoxville, Greenville, Asheville, Hendersonville, Waynesville, Boone, Valle Crucis, Mast Family Favorites, all
March 4, 2015
Remembering the Valle with Blanche Hodges Kohnle - Part Two

0315-alaina-drawdy-cox-valle-crucis.jpgReflecting on her own childhood, Blanche describes her dad, Clingman Hodges, as “the greatest musician”. He mastered the banjo, mandolin, and auto harp . Each morning, he’d awaken the children for school and their mother’s fresh made biscuit breakfast by picking a cheerful tune on the banjo.

Tags: Winston-Salem, Columbia, Knoxville, Greenville, Asheville, Hendersonville, Waynesville, Boone, Valle Crucis, all, Inspiration, Behind the Scenes, Customer Stories, Local Flavor
February 24, 2015
Remembering the Valle with Blanche Hodges Kohnle - Part One

blanche-kohnle.jpgLast year, a beautiful, petite, and cheerful 96-year-old woman and her son stopped by the Mast Store in Asheville and visited with us for a while. Many Mast guests with rich histories and even richer stories pass through our doors every day, but this guest was particularly special because she holds the keys to the history of our beloved Valle. Valle Crucis – the birthplace of Mast General Store.

Tags: Winston-Salem, Columbia, Knoxville, Greenville, Asheville, Hendersonville, Waynesville, Boone, Valle Crucis, all, Inspiration, Behind the Scenes, Customer Stories, Local Flavor
February 16, 2015
Easy Photography Tips for Winter Landscapes

winter-photography-2.jpgLong-range views, snowy scenes, and gorgeous sunsets: Winter provides ample opportunity to capture beautiful photos and you don’t have to be an expert photographer or own a lot of expensive equipment to get the perfect shot. This week our Mast Store Photo Stylist, Heather, shares some helpful tips for shooting winter landscapes with your point-and-shoot camera or your cell phone too.

Tags: Winston-Salem, Columbia, Knoxville, Greenville, Asheville, Hendersonville, Waynesville, Boone, Valle Crucis, all, Adventure
February 6, 2015
Nine Essential Winter Hiking Tips

Hiking in winter poses challenges that are very different from hitting the trail all other seasons of the year. Shortened daylight, lower temperatures, and quickly changing conditions may present obstacles, but they are all easy to safely navigate with proper planning. We sat down this week with Dan, one of our resident “hiking experts” at the Mast Store Asheville, for some valuable tips you’ll want to use as you plan your outdoor adventure in the coldest season of the year.

Tags: Winston-Salem, Columbia, Knoxville, Greenville, Asheville, Hendersonville, Waynesville, Boone, Valle Crucis, all, Adventure
January 28, 2015
Exploring the Mountains in Winter

Winter is gradually making its grand appearance with sinking temperatures and driving snow. After the wintry mix is plowed and the wind abates, it’s time to head outside for some wintertime exploration. The detail, clarity, and focus across multiple mountain ranges are most spectacular in the deep of winter. Closer views are just as thrilling because the bare trees reveal details on the landscape that are easy to miss when blocked by rich foliage.

Tags: Columbia, Winston-Salem, Knoxville, Greenville, Asheville, Hendersonville, Waynesville, Boone, Valle Crucis, all, Inspiration, Local Flavor, Adventure
January 20, 2015
Sock Monkeyin' Around

sock-monkey.jpgLaVerna arrived for work in the Home and Hearth Department at the Asheville Store one morning and watched carefully as a woman casually walked through the store with two companions.

Tags: Behind the Scenes, Mast Family Favorites, Customer Stories, Local Flavor, Asheville
January 12, 2015
The Holidays Revisited

0115-mast-holiday-4.jpgFor my family, the holiday season isn’t complete without a reading of Dylan Thomas’ “A Child’s Christmas In Wales”. Everyone’s favorite ornament on the tree is a wide-mouthed Santa who, when you squeeze his cheeks, offers a chocolate kiss. And each stocking gets a beautiful, large navel orange in the bottom of the toe, just like my Swedish cousins have done for generations.

Tags: Winston-Salem, Columbia, Knoxville, Greenville, Asheville, Hendersonville, Waynesville, Boone, Valle Crucis, Inspiration, Behind the Scenes, Customer Stories, Local Flavor, all
December 30, 2014
Cooking for the New Year

Collard GreensHere we are about to put another year in the books. How can 365 days pass by so quickly? With the New Year just hours away, it's time to begin preparing to greet the New Year in a traditional way in order to have a full year of good luck. 

Tags: Winston-Salem, Columbia, Knoxville, Greenville, Asheville, Hendersonville, Waynesville, Boone, Valle Crucis, all, At Home, Recipes
December 23, 2014
Accidental Christmas Traditions

Tree at WorkThe holidays are here with all of their pomp and circumstance, parties and decorations, traditions and food. Many of the celebrations around the holidays have their roots in ancient Christian beliefs and pagan festivals. But there are some that are, well, accidental

Tags: Winston-Salem, Columbia, Knoxville, Greenville, Asheville, Hendersonville, Waynesville, Boone, Valle Crucis, At Home, Inspiration, Mast Family Favorites, Local Flavor, all
December 18, 2014
Good to Eat and Easy to Fix

Grit-Casserole-1000px.jpgWell, the holidays are upon us. Everyone's calendars are full of parties, get togethers, and covered dish gatherings. The schedule for family visits is lengthy and covers most of the time between Christmas Eve and Christmas Night. With so many places to go and people to see, it's often not practical to prepare a full meal for your guests. That's where a smattering of hearty appetizers and sweet treats will help tide them over to their next stop.

Tags: Winston-Salem, Columbia, Knoxville, Greenville, Asheville, Hendersonville, Waynesville, Boone, Valle Crucis, Mast Family Favorites, At Home, Inspiration, Recipes
December 8, 2014
A Gift to Enjoy the Outdoors

ChristmasTentIt is often a challenge to find just the right gift for everyone on your list, particularly if you are trying to find something for the outdoor enthusiast. Just a few questions that can be asked in casual conversation can help steer you to a thoughtful and useful gift that will serve him or her for years to come.

Tags: Winston-Salem, Columbia, Knoxville, Greenville, Asheville, Hendersonville, Waynesville, Boone, Valle Crucis, all, Inspiration, Adventure
November 26, 2014
Bringing the Family Together for the Holidays

Family Fun NightThe holidays can be the most stressful time of the year. All of us create imagined expectations that are often unrealistic, that we push ourselves to achieve, when what we need to do is take a deep breath and relax. When family comes over, are they really coming to critique your housekeeping or to have an enjoyable meal filled with lots of laughter? While we'll agree that everyone wants to keep a perfect house, but for most of us, it's not practical, so hide the clutter in the extra bedroom (we guarantee that it'll be there later), do a quickie vacuum and dust job, and clean the bathrooms.

Tags: Winston-Salem, Columbia, Knoxville, Greenville, Asheville, Hendersonville, Waynesville, Boone, Valle Crucis, all, At Home, Inspiration
October 23, 2014
Safely Scrub-A-Dub-Dub with American Made SallyeAnder Soaps

sallyeander-1.jpgThe SallyeAnder Soaps story started 30 years ago when the creators’ infant son couldn’t tolerate the bath products on the market. Everything the couple tried irritated his skin, and so the Minetto, NY natives decided to make their own gentle and natural soap for their son. The results were spectacular for them, as well as many other families, and the soap rapidly gained in popularity. A few years later, the couple quit their day jobs, and started SallyeAnder Soaps, selling their American-made, all-natural soaps across the globe.

Tags: Winston-Salem, Columbia, Knoxville, Greenville, Asheville, Hendersonville, Waynesville, Boone, Valle Crucis, all, Local Flavor, Mast Family Favorites, At Home
October 6, 2014
Smart Travelers Get a Head Start on Fall Weekends in the Mountains

DSC03420.jpgGardens are bearing the last of their summer gifts. Children awaken early for hours filled with learning. The length of sunlight shortens with each passing day. Some mornings there’s a familiar crisp scent in the air reminding us that fall is fast approaching. Knowing this beloved season is quickly come and gone, it’s never too early to plan your autumn excursion to the Blue Ridge and Smoky Mountains.

Tags: Greenville, Knoxville, Asheville, Hendersonville, Waynesville, Boone, Valle Crucis, Local Flavor, Adventure
September 26, 2014
Putting Your Garden to Bed

Iris_Gift_Nature.jpgA good cleanup in the fall is well worth your while for a healthy, vital garden next spring. Get started by pulling up vegetable plants such as tomatoes, squashes, peas, and beans. Compost the disease-free ones; put sickly or blighted ones on the burn pile or discard away from the garden. Pull up and put away garden stakes and tomato cages. Don’t forget to clean up dead or declining annuals... and remember marigolds, calendulas and zinnias are easy to grow next year, from the seeds you save.

Tags: Winston-Salem, Columbia, Knoxville, Greenville, Asheville, Hendersonville, Waynesville, Boone, Valle Crucis, all, At Home, Gardening
September 15, 2014
Making the Most of Apple Season

apple-1.jpgApple picking season is one of the sweetest times of year and we’re fortunate to live in an area that offers quite a few “pick your own” fruit farms and orchards. Here are some tips to help you get the most out of Apple Season – from fun-filled orchard exploration to preparing fall flavored treats at home.

Tags: Winston-Salem, Columbia, Knoxville, Greenville, Asheville, Hendersonville, Waynesville, Boone, Valle Crucis, all, Recipes, Local Flavor