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August 8, 2018
Fall Trends Feature Denim & Bold Colors

Fashion Trends for Fall 2018Temperatures are moderating a bit after a blistering July. That’s a sure sign that fall is on the way, along with a new wave of fashion trends to embrace the new season. Checking the trends, we’ll see a continuation of some of summer’s general tendencies with a heavy dose of time travel. If you are thinking Back to the Future you’d be in the right decade. Here’s a look at what’s on the runway and what you’ll see featured on our creaking floors.

June 27, 2018
A Look Back at Summers Past

Let's Find a BallgameYou should always take time out for a little fun, no matter what your age. As a result of a conversation just recently, it occurred to us that the definition of fun can change over time. What’s fun for a 10-year-old today might be considered some sort of punishment for a 10-year-old a generation or two back. This blog grew out of that conversation and a question that was asked on your blog writer’s Facebook page. We’re turning back the clock to see what was fun 30, 40, 50, and more years ago. It’s the memories of summer and those days when time moved so slowly we wished some of it away.

June 20, 2018
Spend the Night Under the Stars

Sleeping Under the StarsSo, when was the last time you spent the night under the stars? Can you remember roasting marshmallows and making s’mores? What about spinning ghost stories by the glow of the campfire? If it’s hard to remember, then we’d like for you to mark your calendars for the National Wildlife Federation’s Great American Campout. Since 2005, the fourth Saturday in June has been celebrated with tents in backyards and a public campsites. Won’t you take the pledge?

May 23, 2018
Land Trust Day is Set for June 2

This farm is in a land conservancy land trust.Mark Twain once said, “Buy land, they’re not making it any more.” It stands to reason, that if they’re not making it any more, then we should consider it rare and care for it as a collector’s item, making certain that it will be passed on to a new generation. In a nutshell, that’s what a land trust does, and why we should celebrate their efforts because we all benefit from them.

May 9, 2018
May is Sharing Our Shoes Month

Answer the S-O-S CallSpring cleaning is taking place in all Mast Store communities. Windows are being scrubbed; the carpet is getting cleaned; and the closets, well, if you haven’t worn it in a while, it’s probably time to say goodbye to it. Take a good look at your shoes. If they have some miles left in them, we can make it easy for you to put some smiles on some local faces.

April 18, 2018
Mast Store Celebrates Earth Day Every Day

Plastic recyclingWhen the Earth Day movement started on April 22, 1970, no one knew exactly what was going to happen. Organizing protests and demonstrations relied mostly on word of mouth or passing out leaflets. The actions taken that day included teach-ins, where you could go to learn more about how everyday activities were impacting the planet, trash pick ups, and commuting using people power instead of cars. Listening to the raised voices at schools, on nature walks, and at public gatherings lead to laws and guidelines that cleared the air around Los Angeles of its infamous smog and cleaned up the Cuyahoga River from its days of burning because it was so polluted to an ecosystem that supports many wildlife species. To help do our part, the Mast Store is taking steps to reduce its impact on the earth.

April 11, 2018
What's In Style for Spring 2018

Levi'sWe believe the cold weather is mostly behind us now, so we can actively look ahead to freshening up our wardrobes with new colors, patterns, and designs. While you won’t see any of the extreme fashions that wandered down the runway in New York, you will see many of the trends that are inspired by cutting-edge designers.

April 4, 2018
Tips for Photographing Wildflowers

FleabanePoet Alice Oswald said about the season: "Spring, when the earth tilts closer to the sun, runs a strict timetable of flowers." As the earth is renewing itself, many of us are finding more time to spend outside. One of those is Heather, the Mast Store photographer. When she ventures out on hikes, she loves to capture wildflower beauty she encounters along the way. This week's blog features some of her tips to help improve your photography. 

March 21, 2018
Your Dog is Looking Forward to Spring, Too

Caesar and Cleo in the snowJust like you, your dog is eager for the coming of spring. He or she is dreaming of long walks and hiking adventures to discover new places and activities. They probably need to work their way up to that longer adventure, too. Let’s see what to do.

March 14, 2018
24 Hours in Winston-Salem

Heritage Bridge at Old SalemThe city of Winston-Salem is reinventing itself daily. From being a tobacco and textile mecca, the city is now a haven of arts and innovation. Many of the old tobacco factories are being reclaimed and transformed into medical research laboratories, technology hubs, and apartments for people wanting to live amongst the re-emerging downtown vibe. But what if you’re not ready to take the deep dive and move to Winston-Salem? We have recommendations on must stops for spending 24 hours in Camel City that are just a short walk or drive from the front door of the Mast Store.

March 7, 2018
Planting by the Moon and by the Signs

An almanac is a great reference for planting.Whether or not you believe that your destiny is governed by the stars, you probably know which astrological sign you were born under, right? Astrology is just an amusement to most of us these days, but to our ancestors, natural astrology was important in predicting seasonal events and weather. Well-informed planters used the position of the sun, moon and the constellations to manage their livestock and crops.

February 14, 2018
5 Ways to Escape the Winter Blues

Beating the Winter BluesBy now you’ve heard the news – the official weather prognosticating groundhog, Punxsutawney Phil, emerged from his burrow and saw his shadow, thus, we’ll have six more weeks of winter. That could be the most depressing news you’ve heard in a while, especially if you suffer from Seasonal Affective Disorder, also known as SAD. Longer nights, cold temperatures, and gray days all figure into a general feeling of sadness and depression. But, there are steps you can take to reduce its effects. Here are five ways to escape the winter blues.

February 4, 2018
Be a Sweetheart is Coming Up February 10 & 11

All locations of the Mast Store will be asking guests to Be a Sweetheart on February 10 and 11. On these two days, when you purchase your sweetheart’s favorite candy, we’ll match each pound with a $1 donation to our food security partners.

January 24, 2018
Upcoming Events You Won't Want to Miss

The Polar Plunge at Blowing Rock WinterfestSometimes during the winter, you need an excuse or a gentle nudge to pull yourself away from the comfortable couch. We’ve come up with a few events happening in Mast Store communities that may be just the ticket for you.

January 10, 2018
12 Steps to Staying Young at Heart

Stay young at heartYoung at heart is defined by Merriam-Webster as thinking and acting like young people; active and having lots of energy. To get an idea of how we can all stay young at heart, I interviewed several of my favorite people who are no longer in their 20s and 30s, but you certainly can’t tell it when you meet them or enjoy their company for a little while. Here’s what they shared.

January 3, 2018
Layering 101

LayeringIt’s winter, and we’re all ready for some outdoor, sub-freezing, fun. By now, you’ve probably been told that “layering” is the key to staying warm during winter activities, but what exactly does that mean? The simple answer has always been to dress in layers of clothing that you can easily add or take off as temperatures change but, actually, there is more to consider if you want to be truly comfortable in a wide range of weather conditions.

November 29, 2017
A Mast Store Gift Guide

This is the time of year when you hope you have lots of scrap paper handy. Adding names, making notes, scratching out other notes, drawing lines to link thoughts – sometimes your gift list can get confusing! Mast Store hopes to help alleviate some of that confusion with this gift guide to at least get you started. It is broken out into different areas of the store to showcase some of the items we think would be appreciated by your lucky recipient.

November 8, 2017
Share the Warmth with Mast Store and Columbia

STW KidThere’s a decided chill to the temperatures, so Winter is just around the corner. Mast Store is helping Share the Warmth in all its communities by holding a coat collection now through November 30. Columbia Sportswear, Mast Store’s vendor partner, is making a donation of new coats, jackets, and fleeces to keep the chill away, too.

October 25, 2017
Merrell Food for Kids is October 25 - November 7

KidIf you could do one thing that would help a child do better in school, have a better outlook on life, and be better able to fight disease, would you do it? Having enough to eat helps with all three of those situations and more. That’s why Mast Store, Merrell Footwear, and food security agencies in Mast Store's home communities are partnering again from October 25-November 7 to provide Food for Kids.

October 18, 2017
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.

October 11, 2017
24 Hours in Valle Crucis, NC

VCBlogLocal historian John Preston Arthur wrote, “There’s a dreamy spell that hangs over this little valley.” That spell is further magnified during the month of October. With eye-popping visuals – think brightly-colored leaves, cattle quietly grazing in pastures, orange pumpkins peering out from amongst their leafy vines – the curvy road that brings you from Boone or Banner Elk is like a portal that slows time to a more relaxing, almost lazy, pace. To take in all of the activities we’re recommending for this 24 hours, you won’t be able to tarry long.

September 13, 2017
Please Take Your Seats – The Show is About to Begin

PriceLakeLeaves3.jpg

Perhaps a better directive would be “please begin planning your itineraries and booking your reservations; the show is about to begin.” As the calendar continues its march to the fall equinox, the anticipation of the changing of the leaves builds.

Will this be a good fall color season? How will the recent hurricane affect the leaves? Just what happens to make the leaves change anyway? The answers to these questions will vary depending upon who you ask, where you live, and the types of trees in the general area. To get a better handle on an answer that is applicable for the Blue Ridge and Smoky Mountains, we contacted Dr. Howard Neufeld at Appalachian State University.

September 5, 2017
Friends' Day in Knoxville Benefits the Friends of the Smokies

FOTS-Cable-Mill-SamHobbs.jpgThe Great Smoky Mountains National Park is the most visited unit in the National Park Service. On September 9, the Mast Store in Knoxville is hosting volunteers from the Friends of the Smokies (FOTS) and will donate 10% of the day’s sales to help this group’s continuing efforts to preserve and protect this important, beautiful, and biologically diverse park.

September 4, 2017
Friends' Day Is September 9 and Supports the MST

cover.jpgSaturday, September 9, 2017 is Friends’ Day at Mast General Store. On that day Mast General Store will donate 10% of proceeds from the day’s sales to support local partners. For all of the North Carolina stores the recipient of that support is the Mountains To Sea Trail.

September 3, 2017
Friends of the Reedy River Receives Support on Friends' Day in Greenville

FORR-1.jpg The Reedy River flows through Downtown Greenville and is inextricably linked to the city’s success.  On September 9, the Mast Store in Greenville is hosting volunteers from the Friends of the Reedy River and will donate 10% of the day’s sales to help this group’s continuing efforts to improve the river’s condition.

August 24, 2017
Trending for Fall

True GritThe calendar may say summer, but fall is the word of the day. New arrivals for the upcoming season are arriving daily. As trends do, everything old is new again. Many of this fall’s fashion trends are remakes of styles from a not-too-distant past. Mast Store’s fashion sense tends to embrace the classics because you can never go wrong there. But you will see some of the trends represented in our fashion and footwear departments. Let’s have a look.

August 15, 2017
Check Off Your Summer Bucket List

TheMoon.jpgIt’s hard to believe it’s already August, and everyone is talking about back-to-school plans. Even so, there’s still time to check off a few more items on your summer bucket list. Just in case you’ve already completed yours, we have a few suggestions for you to consider adding.

August 8, 2017
There's Going to Be an Eclipse - August 21, 2017

Eclipse2The most anticipated event of the century is happening on Monday, August 21. For the first time in almost a century, a total eclipse of the sun will sweep across the United States from the coast of Oregon to the coast of South Carolina. Astronomers and serial eclipsers are heading to the Path of Totality, a 70-mile wide band where the moon’s shadow will totally block the sun.

August 2, 2017
It's Back-to-School Time and You Can Help

Classroom.jpgYou remember the good ol’ days. As the countdown to the first day of school started, you’d go to the mailbox to see who your homeroom teacher was going to be. Then, the phone lines would light up with  calls from your friends to see if you were in their classes.

July 26, 2017
Enjoying Garden Goodness

VeggiesThe time we’ve been anticipating since winter, really, is finally here. Our gardens that were eagerly planned when snow was on the ground are giving us gifts on a daily basis. Squash, tomatoes, cucumbers, zucchini, beans, cauliflower, broccoli, lettuce, … the list could go on and on. You’ve planned meals using the bounty until you’ve run out of ideas. Well, we have a few more.

July 12, 2017
An Interview with a Tree

BigOakTreeinFog.jpgCapturing the oral history of our parents and grandparents can be an interesting adventure. Posing questions at the supper table during family holiday gatherings reveals life's highs and lows, which are often related with humor once the elation and the sting have had a chance to fade. It’s how we learn more about who we are and where we came from as people. But have you ever thought about interviewing a tree?

June 21, 2017
Burt's Bees - Life Lessons from the Bee Man

burts-bees-i.jpgIn the summer of 1984, Maine artist Roxanne Quimby, was trying to thumb a ride home. Eventually, a bright yellow Datsun pickup truck pulled over, and Roxanne instantly recognized Burt Shavitz, a local fellow whose beard was almost as well-known as his roadside honey stand. Burt and Roxanne hit it off. Before long, Roxanne was making candles in his 8-x-8 turkey coop with unused wax from Burt's beehives. They made $200 at their first craft fair; within a year, they'd make $20,000. It was a pretty fantastic beginning, but it was just the beginning all the same.

June 13, 2017
Chasing the Catawba Rhododendron in the Blue Ridge Mountains

Mid to late June ushers in one of the most celebrated months in the Blue Ridge Mountains: the Catawba Rhododendron blooming season. The bees buzz with delight, drinking in the flower’s nutritious nectar. The famed rhododendron’s splashes of hot pink create a stunning landscape against a backdrop of mountainsides draped in early summer green. 

May 30, 2017
Celebrate Land Trust Day 2017

lt1.jpgLand Trust Day at Mast Store is celebrating its fifteenth year on Saturday, June 3rd. We are honored to host this friend-raising day for the land trust organizations in each of our communities to visit with our guests, educate people on what land trusts do, and to garner support both in our local communities and in the home communities of our visitors.

May 23, 2017
Don't Suffer from Travel Paralysis

sheri-travel-1a.jpgThroughout the month of May, the traditional beginning of travel season, we're sharing travel stories from our employees along with travel tips and tricks learned along the way. This week, we’re talking about overcoming travel paralysis.

May 23, 2017
Bagpipes & Roadrunners in Arizona with Fox

arizona1.jpgThroughout the month of May, the traditional beginning of travel season, we're sharing travel stories from our employees along with travel tips and tricks learned along the way. This week, we’re exploring the Great American Desert with Fox.

May 22, 2017
Answer the S.O.S Call – Sharing Our Shoes

sharing-our-shoes-2016.jpgMast General Store is sending out an S.O.S. in the form of a shoe drive, Sharing Our Shoes.  During the month of May, Mast encourages the community to search their closets for shoes they no longer need and to drop them off at the store nearest you.   The collection drive runs through May 31st, but many locations accept donations all year.

May 17, 2017
Travel Smart With These Eco Friendly Tips

ecotransport-1.jpgAs we continue celebrating travel season throughout the month of May, we’re thinking about creative and earth-friendly approaches to transportation: cycling, walking, and carpooling. You’ll also find some helpful tips on how to become a more eco-friendly driver.

May 10, 2017
Exploring the United Kingdom with Elizabeth

elizabeth-uk-hostel-1.jpgThis May, the traditional beginning of travel season, we're sharing travel stories from our employees along with travel tips and tricks learned along the way. Last week, we explored a variety of traveling tips with Deb. This week, we’re learning about the many benefits of hostelling with Elizabeth.

May 3, 2017
Expert Tips to Kick Off Travel Season

travel-tips-main.jpgLast August, Mast Store's blogs featured our employees' stories about their favorite visit to a National Park in celebration of the National Park Service Centennial. This May, the traditional beginning of travel season, we're sharing travel stories from our employees along with travel tips and tricks learned along the way. Please join us!

April 19, 2017
Ways to Celebrate Earth Day

earth-main-2.jpgAs the famous philosopher, Voltaire, said, “no snowflake in an avalanche ever feels responsible,” yet where would the avalanche be without each snowflake?  From picking up litter in your neighborhood to making the switch to reusable shopping bags, these seemingly small habits can combine to have a powerful effect. With Earth Day coming up on Saturday, April 22nd, we’re thinking about changes we can make to reduce our impact on the environment. Earth Day is the perfect time to form a new habit. 

April 3, 2017
The Sherpa Standard: All things, in all ways, are tied together.

sherpa-main.jpgOn Friday, March 31st, the Mast Store in Asheville hosted a special event with Sherpa Adventure Gear, celebrating Nepalese food, culture, and the history of the Sherpa people.

March 29, 2017
Spring Crafting with Kids

craft-4.jpg
Welcome the new season by enjoying some fun and simple craft projects with the children in your life.  From rainsticks and tissue paper trees to racing rainbows and string Easter eggs, these ideas are festive and easy for every member of your family.

March 15, 2017
Creating a Container Garden for Vegetables, Herbs, and Flowers

Container gardening has rapidly gained in popularity over the past decade. Not only is it more convenient for smaller dwellings, but containers make it easier for you to control water, soil, sun exposure, and fertilizer. but containers make it easier for you to control water, soil, sun exposure, and fertilizer.

March 1, 2017
Celebrating Read Across America Day with The Little Golden Books

read-main.jpgOur country’s literacy initiative, Read Across America Day, is being celebrated on Thursday, March 2nd. In conjunction with this event, The Little Golden Books is celebrating its 75th anniversary throughout 2017.  In addition to honoring the importance of Read Across America, Mast associates share stories about lessons we learned from our favorite Little Golden Books.

February 22, 2017
Leave No Trace Principles Made Easy for Kids

2-LNT-2.jpgLast week we learned about the seven basic principles of Leave No Trace (LNT). Familiarize yourself with the LNT essentials by clicking visiting last week's blog entry. This week, we’re exploring easy ways to share these important guidelines with the children in your life. Let’s get started.

February 15, 2017
Leave No Trace Made Easy

1-LNT-6.jpgIf you’ve been to a Girl Scouts or Boy Scouts meeting, attended a wilderness summer camp, or participated in the Great American Backyard Campout, you may already be familiar with the principles of Leave No Trace (LNT). These valuable principles aren’t just useful in the woods, they can be applied in every environment. This week, we’re exploring Leave No Trace so our collective small steps can lead to big changes in the natural world (and in ourselves)!

February 6, 2017
Be a Sweetheart in Winston-Salem on February 11 and 12

sweetheart_ltrposter-2017-secondharvestnc-web.jpg

On Valentine’s Day, we all want to do something thoughtful for our sweethearts. Why not double up and help someone you don’t even know have a hot, nourishing meal? It’s so easy!

This is the 14th year for Be a Sweetheart. The event was founded in 2004 when a need to fill their pantries was communicated by our food security partners. In the beginning, Mast Store matched each pound of candy purchased with our own pound of food. Then, because of the ability of our food banks and food rescue partners to stretch a dollar into more, Mast Store began donating $1 for each pound purchased. It was a natural tie-in to link Valentine’s Day, when many of us do something nice for someone we love, to supporting efforts to feed a desperate need in our communities.

February 6, 2017
Be a Sweetheart in Columbia on February 11 and 12

sweetheart_ltrposter-2017-harvesthope-web.jpg

On Valentine’s Day, we all want to do something thoughtful for our sweethearts. Why not double up and help someone you don’t even know have a hot, nourishing meal? It’s so easy!

This is the 14th year for Be a Sweetheart. The event was founded in 2004 when a need to fill their pantries was communicated by our food security partners. In the beginning, Mast Store matched each pound of candy purchased with our own pound of food. Then, because of the ability of our food banks and food rescue partners to stretch a dollar into more, Mast Store began donating $1 for each pound purchased. It was a natural tie-in to link Valentine’s Day, when many of us do something nice for someone we love, to supporting efforts to feed a desperate need in our communities.

February 6, 2017
Be a Sweetheart in Greenville on February 11 and 12

sweetheart_ltrposter-2017-loaves-fishes-web.jpg

On Valentine’s Day, we all want to do something thoughtful for our sweethearts. Why not double up and help someone you don’t even know have a hot, nourishing meal? It’s so easy!

This is the 14th year for Be a Sweetheart. The event was founded in 2004 when a need to fill their pantries was communicated by our food security partners. In the beginning, Mast Store matched each pound of candy purchased with our own pound of food. Then, because of the ability of our food banks and food rescue partners to stretch a dollar into more, Mast Store began donating $1 for each pound purchased. It was a natural tie-in to link Valentine’s Day, when many of us do something nice for someone we love, to supporting efforts to feed a desperate need in our communities.

February 6, 2017
Be a Sweetheart in the High Country on February 11 and 12

sweetheart_ltrposter-2017-hunger-health-web.jpg

On Valentine’s Day, we all want to do something thoughtful for our sweethearts. Why not double up and help someone you don’t even know have a hot, nourishing meal? It’s so easy!

This is the 14th year for Be a Sweetheart. The event was founded in 2004 when a need to fill their pantries was communicated by our food security partners. In the beginning, Mast Store matched each pound of candy purchased with our own pound of food. Then, because of the ability of our food banks and food rescue partners to stretch a dollar into more, Mast Store began donating $1 for each pound purchased. It was a natural tie-in to link Valentine’s Day, when many of us do something nice for someone we love, to supporting efforts to feed a desperate need in our communities.

February 2, 2017
Be a Sweetheart in Western NC on February 11 and 12

sweetheart_ltrposter-2017-manna.jpg

On Valentine’s Day, we all want to do something thoughtful for our sweethearts. Why not double up and help someone you don’t even know have a hot, nourishing meal? It’s so easy!

This is the 14th year for Be a Sweetheart. The event was founded in 2004 when a need to fill their pantries was communicated by our food security partners. In the beginning, Mast Store matched each pound of candy purchased with our own pound of food. Then, because of the ability of our food banks and food rescue partners to stretch a dollar into more, Mast Store began donating $1 for each pound purchased. It was a natural tie-in to link Valentine’s Day, when many of us do something nice for someone we love, to supporting efforts to feed a desperate need in our communities.

February 1, 2017
Enjoying 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.

February 1, 2017
Be a Sweetheart in Knoxville on February 11 and 12

sweetheart_ltrposter-2017-secondharvesttn-web.jpg

On Valentine’s Day, we all want to do something thoughtful for our sweethearts. Why not double up and help someone you don’t even know have a hot, nourishing meal? It’s so easy!

This is the 14th year for Be a Sweetheart. The event was founded in 2004 when a need to fill their pantries was communicated by our food security partners. In the beginning, Mast Store matched each pound of candy purchased with our own pound of food. Then, because of the ability of our food banks and food rescue partners to stretch a dollar into more, Mast Store began donating $1 for each pound purchased. It was a natural tie-in to link Valentine’s Day, when many of us do something nice for someone we love, to supporting efforts to feed a desperate need in our communities.

January 11, 2017
Ideas for Enjoying Snow Days

snow-days-main.jpgWith another unseasonably mild holiday season behind us, folks in the southeast were very excited to wake up to 6 to 10 inches of fresh fallen snow the first full weekend of the New Year. If your family is anything like mine, we were totally unprepared for the powdery goodness. (My husband chalks it up to wearing shorts from March straight through December in 2016.) Below, you’ll find a few ideas for how to make the most of your next snow day. Our fingers are crossed that we have quite a few more in store this winter…

December 27, 2016
Resolve to Make 2017 a Year of Giving

giving-main-3.jpgThere’s that moment each year after all of the gifts are unwrapped and the last of our Christmas dinner leftovers have been put away that I find myself alone in our living room. “The children are nestled all snug in their beds,” the multi-colored tree lights bounce off the hardwood floor in a cheerful rainbow, and I’m flanked by a snoozing dog and cat, thinking to myself, “Is Christmas over already?” Within days, I’m preparing for the new year and am faced with a new set of questions: “What will 2017 look like?” “How and where will I invest my time in the New Year?”

November 9, 2016
Columbia Helps Us Share the Warmth

share-the-warmth-2016.jpgAs we scurry about enjoying the cool days of fall, we all know that colder temperatures are on the way, and many of us are ready to face whatever weather the coming season has to offer. Unfortunately, there are some in our communities who aren’t as prepared. The Mast General Store is partnering with Columbia Sportswear for this year's annual Share the Warmth coat, sweater and blanket collection campaign from now until November 30th.

November 8, 2016
Merrell Footwear Supports Food for Kids 2016 in Knoxville

FFK-2016-BANNER.jpgThis is the eighth year that Merrell and Mast General Store are partnering with our community food agencies in support of Food for Kids. They realize how important it is to give a child a good foundation to grow, to learn, and to just be a kid. From October 26th through November 8th, Merrell Footwear will make a donation to fill a backpack with weekend food for each pair of shoes purchased.

October 24, 2016
Merrell Footwear Supports Food for Kids 2016 in the High Country

FFK-2016-BANNER.jpgIf you could do one thing that would improve a child’s self-esteem, help facilitate better behavior, and increase his or her learning potential, wouldn’t you do it? It’s easy. Just make sure that the child is not hungry. According to Feeding America, 1 in 6 children in the U.S. worry about when they’ll have their next meal.

October 24, 2016
Merrell Footwear Supports Food for Kids 2016 in Western NC

FFK-2016-BANNER.jpgIf you could do one thing that would improve a child’s self-esteem, help facilitate better behavior, and increase his or her learning potential, wouldn’t you do it? It’s easy. Just make sure that the child is not hungry. According to Feeding America, 1 in 6 children in the U.S. worry about when they’ll have their next meal.

October 24, 2016
Merrell Footwear Supports Food for Kids 2016 in Greenville

FFK-2016-BANNER.jpgIf you could do one thing that would improve a child’s self-esteem, help facilitate better behavior, and increase his or her learning potential, wouldn’t you do it? It’s easy. Just make sure that the child is not hungry. According to Feeding America, 1 in 6 children in the U.S. worry about when they’ll have their next meal.

October 24, 2016
Merrell Footwear Supports Food for Kids 2016 in Columbia

FFK-2016-BANNER.jpgIf you could do one thing that would improve a child’s self-esteem, help facilitate better behavior, and increase his or her learning potential, wouldn’t you do it? It’s easy. Just make sure that the child is not hungry. According to Feeding America, 1 in 6 children in the U.S. worry about when they’ll have their next meal.

October 17, 2016
Merrell Footwear Supports Food for Kids 2016

FFK-2016-BANNER.jpgIf you could do one thing that would improve a child’s self-esteem, help facilitate better behavior, and increase his or her learning potential, wouldn’t you do it? It’s easy. Just make sure that the child is not hungry. According to Feeding America, 1 in 6 children in the U.S. worry about when they’ll have their next meal.

September 21, 2016
Easy Fall Crafts with Kids

a-fall-crafts-5.JPGSummer is slowly giving way to fall, and as the days grow shorter and the weather begins to change, my family enjoys creating homemade decorations to welcome the new season. Each year, we pull out our daughters’ fall-themed creations to decorate the house. The girls love seeing what they’ve made in years past and we all look forward to our tradition of adding a few new decorations to our collection. Here are a few ideas to get you started with your own autumn crafting tradition:

September 8, 2016
Join Us For Friends' Day with the Blue Ridge Parkway Foundation

Friends-Day-BRPF-1.JPGThe Beatles refrain is true, “I get by with a little help from my friends.” On Saturday, September 10, the Mast Store will be hosting Friends in each of its home communities that have the awesome responsibility of taking care of resources that locals and visitors enjoy every day. At the end of the day, each of our store locations will donate 10% of the day’s sales to support our local conservation partners.

September 7, 2016
Join Us For Friends' Day with Friends of the Smokies

friends-day-smokies-2.jpgThe Beatles refrain is true, “I get by with a little help from my friends.” On Saturday, September 10, the Mast Store will be hosting Friends in each of its home communities that have the awesome responsibility of taking care of resources that locals and visitors enjoy every day. At the end of the day, each of our store locations will donate 10% of the day’s sales to support our local conservation partners.

September 5, 2016
Join Us For Friends' Day with Old Salem

friends-day-salem-1.jpgThe Beatles refrain is true, “I get by with a little help from my friends.” On Saturday, September 10, the Mast Store will be hosting Friends in each of its home communities that have the awesome responsibility of taking care of resources that locals and visitors enjoy every day. At the end of the day, each of our store locations will donate 10% of the day’s sales to support our local conservation partners.

September 5, 2016
Join Us For Friends' Day with Friends of the Reedy River

Friends-Day-Reedy-3.jpgThe Beatles refrain is true, “I get by with a little help from my friends.” On Saturday, September 10, the Mast Store will be hosting Friends in each of its home communities that have the awesome responsibility of taking care of resources that locals and visitors enjoy every day. At the end of the day, each of our store locations will donate 10% of the day’s sales to support our local conservation partners.

September 4, 2016
Friends' Day is September 10

friends-day-smokies-2.jpgThe Beatles refrain is true, “I get by with a little help from my friends.” On Saturday, September 10, the Mast Store will be hosting Friends in each of its home communities that have the awesome responsibility of taking care of resources that locals and visitors enjoy every day. At the end of the day, each of our store locations will donate 10% of the day’s sales to support our local conservation partners.

August 31, 2016
NPS Centennial: Fun for the Whole Family at Connemara

connemara-alaina-1.jpgMy first visit to Connemara was a breezy, blue-skied, late summer day last year. This unique and beautiful National Park offers an astonishing array of activities to enjoy: The opportunity to explore the home of a Pulitzer Prize-winning author, the sweet splendor of a laze-about in open fields with a herd of milking goats, and a gentle trail to Big Glassy with stunning views of the Blue Ridge Mountains. Though I’ve enjoyed a wide variety of National Parks over the years, Connemara has easily become a favorite for its diverse offerings that every member of my family will enjoy.

August 30, 2016
NPS Centennial: Snowy Adventure on the Appalachian Trail

GSMNP-2-Scott-1.jpgWe had entered the park under clouds and wet, frozen fog. My partner, Turbo, and I left Cosby Knob Shelter around 9:30 a.m., which not exactly an alpine start, and set off into the chilly damp. As we gained in elevation, the snow got deeper and made for slow going. Often, we would fall through the crunchy top layer and sink into deeper soft snow beneath. Then things got interesting…

August 29, 2016
NPS Centennial: Black Bear Encounters in Shenandoah

shenandoah-2-mary-3.jpgAfter my husband and I retired from our careers, we lived full time in our RV for two and a half years. During that time, we traveled around the country working in different campgrounds. We worked several summers in Shenandoah National Park as campground hosts for the National Park Service.

August 28, 2016
NPS Centennial: Discovering Desert Beauty in Zion

Zion-Deb-3b.jpgThe desert offers both magical and mystical beauty. When I’m still, I can see the changes in the color of the landscape, and discover nature I didn’t see at first glance. As I see these things, I hear the desert calling me.

August 26, 2016
NPS Centennial: Amazing Beauty Close to Home at Mammoth Cave

Mammoth-Cave-Tamera-1.jpgThe first field trip went on was in first grade to Tuckaleechee Caverns in Townsend, Tennessee. This trip was the first time I became fascinated by caves and bats. Once I learned about Mammoth Cave from the weekly reader during elementary school, I made a plan to someday visit there. It was interesting to me to know the largest cave system on the planet was less than 200 miles from home. Experts have explored 400 miles of Mammoth Cave, but there’s still much more to explore.  After a little research, I put the cave at the top of my to-do list.

August 25, 2016
NPS Centennial: Island Adventures in St. John

Jody-BVI-5.jpgI honestly cannot say what would be my favorite National Park because they’re all wonderfully diverse treasures. I had the unique experience of living on the U.S. Virgin Island of St. John. Did you know that more than half of this stunning island is part of the Virgin Islands National Park?

August 24, 2016
NPS Centennial: Making Family Memories Out West

Yellowstone-Amy-1.jpgI’ve long been a fan of America’s National Parks. This probably began the summer I worked in Yellowstone while I was a college student.  At 21-years-old, visiting Yellowstone was a life altering-experience.  Although I’ve visited quite a few national parks, Yellowstone has remained my favorite.

August 22, 2016
NPS Centennial: Getting a Bird's Eye View From Bodie Island Lighthouse

Bodie-Heather-1.jpegIn late September 2013, I visited the Outer Banks of North Carolina.  One of the highlights of the trip was a stop at Bodie Lighthouse on the Oregon Inlet in Nags Head, NC.  It had recently undergone major renovations that finished at the end of March 2013.  Luckily for me, it was now open for the public to explore the interior of the lighthouse!

August 21, 2016
NPS Centennial: Running with the Wolves in Yellowstone

Western-NPS-Tour-2-Gina-1.jpgWhen I was a junior in the biology department at Appalachian State University, I had the wonderful opportunity to travel cross-country throughout the United States, into Mexico and Canada, visiting many state and national parks. Our studies focused on the fauna and flora throughout the U.S. We traveled for 7 weeks.

August 19, 2016
NPS Centennial: Paddling & Birding on the Congaree River

Congaree-Joey-1a.jpgGrowing up in Columbia, South Carolina, I’ve had this somewhat overlooked gem in my backyard my whole life.  My dad loves bird watching, so, as a child, I got to go to the Congaree National Park about four times a year for the seasonal bird counts.

August 17, 2016
NPS Centennial: Exploring the Great Smokies in Tennessee

GSMNP-Chris-4.jpgI always like to visit the Great Smoky Mountain National Park because it is the most bio-diverse park in the NPS.  With everything from huge, exposed balds and ridge lines to dark and wet coves, the Smokies have it all.  They have just over 800 miles of trails that can give you whatever you want to see while in the woods.  I have been trying to knock out every trail in the Park since I was in college, and I am up to just over 600 miles complete…and don’t want it to end!  For that reason, every trip to the Smokies is my favorite trip.

August 16, 2016
NPS Centennial: The Grand Canyon, an Ethereal Visit

GC-1.jpgZephyr-roughened and patinaed cliffs began to narrow all around.  I watched for the indications of our journey’s end, read where we were in the encyclopedic rocks in my enfeebled way.  Past the friable Tapeats Sandstone, fascinating Vishnu Schist was yards First time reactions differ.  The Grand Canyon.  One of the World’s Wonders.  Stillness pervades my whole self.

August 15, 2016
NPS Centennial: Bikecentennial '76 Memories

Grand-Teton-Chafin-1.jpegI participated in the Bikecentennial ‘76.  This landmark event consisted of a series of bicycle tours on the TransAmerica Bicycle Trail across the United States in the summer of 1976 in commemoration of the bicentennial of America's Declaration of Independence. Best of all, I was able to enjoy several national parks from the comfort of my bicycle.

August 14, 2016
NPS Centennial: Wildlife Encounters in Rocky Mountain National Park

Rockies-Renea-2.jpg“Whoa, what is that?” I screamed with excitement. “It’s an elk,” my friend Cathy responded.  I had never seen such a creature.  It was amazing, and what made it even more amazing was the beautiful alpine tundra on which the elk and its counterparts were standing.  We had made it…Rocky Mountain National Park. This place was not like anything I had ever seen or experienced before.

August 12, 2016
NPS Centennial: Honeymooning in Glacier National Park

Glacier-Travis-2a.jpgThis summer, my wife and I drove 2,210 miles to Glacier National Park in Montana for our honeymoon.  We chose Glacier because we had a friend in Bozeman, Montana that told us about her experience there. After we did some research, we decided that traveling to Glacier National Park would be out perfect honeymoon destination.

August 10, 2016
NPS Centennial: All Things Beautiful and Blueberry in Maine

Acadia Laura 3My husband and I recently went to Acadia National Park for our 5th wedding anniversary. It was the best trip we’ve ever taken. Spectacular views, warm sun, cool breeze, and flowers in abundance… It couldn’t have been more perfect!

August 8, 2016
NPS Centennial: Endless Exploration on the Blue Ridge Parkway

BRP-2-Fox-1.jpgMy favorite National Park is the Blue Ridge Parkway. It’s wonderful to be able to experience it by car for as little or as long as you'd like. You can take a short drive to refresh your mind when you've got just an hour, or you could spend entire weeks driving and stopping at all the overlooks and park attractions. 

August 7, 2016
NPS Centennial: Treasures Abound at Cape Lookout National Seashore

Cape-Lookout-Sheri-4.jpgCape Lookout National Seashore includes a Visitor Center on the Mainland at Harker’s Island, North Carolina, as well as Shackleford Banks and North and South Core Banks. You can reach the Cape Lookout Lighthouse and Shackleford by ferry (from Beaufort or Harker’s Island), or if you are adventurous, by paddling out on a kayak.

August 5, 2016
NPS Centennial: American Pride at the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island

Liberty-JD-header.jpgThe first time I viewed the Statue of Liberty, I was sailing into New York harbor on my way to Montauk, NY. That was nearly three decades ago. We slipped beneath the Verrazano Bridge and there she was. I was awestruck. The next occasion was a fly over nearly a decade later, but the same feeling was evoked. However, it wasn’t until June of this year that I actually visited Lady Liberty in person. I was again awestruck.

August 3, 2016
NPS Centennial: Finding Peace in Shenandoah National Park

Shenandoah-Theresa-1.jpgShenandoah National Park is a family favorite and we travel there often. My husband, Eric, and I love it so much that we got married in the park - right off Skyline Drive at Timber Hollow Outlook.  As you see in the photos, I got married in a gray wool suit. I am not very “girly” and it was late November.

August 1, 2016
NPS Centennial: Honeymoon Adventure in the Western National Parks

Western-NPS-Tour-Carter-1.jpg For our honeymoon, my wife, Michelle, and I went on a journey westward.  We started in Colorado and looped our way through Wyoming, Montana, Idaho, and Utah visiting friends, family, and National Parks along the way. It was truly an adventure, and a magnificent start to the real adventure that is the rest of our lives.

July 27, 2016
Valuable Advice for Incoming College Freshmen

freshmen-2.jpgEmbarking on a college career is an exciting, and often daunting, venture. Few folks forget the mixed emotions we felt as we prepared for our freshman year in higher education. As the new school year edges ever closer, we’ve reached out to our Mast Store associates for their best advice for incoming college freshmen. Our contributors attended universities, as well as technical and community colleges.  From college seniors, newer college graduates, and those who've completed their education a few years ago or many decades ago, we hope you or someone you love will benefit from their words of wisdom.

June 21, 2016
Volunteering in the National Parks

nps-volunteer-5.jpgThroughout 2016, we’re celebrating the 100th anniversary of the National Park System by exploring the history of the parks, offering ideas about how to Find Your Park in the southeast, as well as tips to help you make the most of your park adventure.

May 10, 2016
Find Your Park in Tennessee

tn-nps-2.jpgThroughout 2016, we’re celebrating the 100th anniversary of the National Park System by exploring the history of the parks, offering ideas about how to Find Your Park in the southeast, as well as tips to help you make the most of your park adventure.

January 27, 2016
Past and Present are Closely Linked at the Mast Store in Greenville

ma1Leafing through a stack of old black-and-white photographs of the building that now houses Mast Store Greenville, it’s fun to imagine what it felt like to shop at 111 North Main Street during the mid-20th century. A member of our Mast Store family fills in the blanks with her vivid memories of a beautiful and bustling store full of people and goods making the history of this lovely brick-walled building come to life. How does she know the nuances of this special place? Mary Alice Shand, a youthful 80-years-old, began her career in this very same building in 1951 at the tender age of 16.

December 29, 2015
Do-Able New Year's Resolutions

new-year-resolutions-5.jpgHow would you like for your life to look one year from today? Would it look different than it does now? Most folks enjoy positive change and a fresh start, but it can be difficult to implement those things without a plan. The New Year provides the perfect opportunity to resolve to start anew, and it doesn’t have to be joyless or a drudgery. We offer a few “do-able” ideas from a personal perspective to help you approach your 2016 resolutions.

December 22, 2015
Enjoying Winter Break with the Family

winter-break-3.jpgChildren are counting down the days until Christmas morning, but there’s another countdown happening in homes across the country. Winter break is fast approaching and that means no homework, staying up late, and sleeping in. This extra time together in the middle of the school year provides ample opportunity to turn off the television and dig into some fun family projects and activities. Here is a list of simple ideas you may want to incorporate into your holiday time together:

December 15, 2015
The Secret to Giving the Perfect Gift

perfect-gift-1.jpgLast week we explored “How to Select the Perfect Host Gift." This week we offer shopping tips for all the other wonderful people in your life… from your family member, who seems to already have one of everything, to that special someone, who sometimes leaves you stumped. We’ve checked in with our Mast Store gift-giving experts to help unravel the mystery of finding the perfect gift for just about anyone on your Christmas list.

October 15, 2015
Woolrich, Woven True, Then & Now

WR_BLANKETS_STACK_4938.jpgWoolrich has an incredible, storied history and has long been a favorite of Mast General Store. This heritage brand has been synonymous with quality outdoor clothing for over 185 years.  Fifty-three years before the Original Mast Store opened our doors in Valle Crucis, North Carolina, Woolrich's founder, John Rich, constructed his first woolen mill in Pennsylvania in 1830. The history that unfolded in tandem with the growth of Rich's woolen mill is an incredible story with deep American roots.

August 6, 2015
Savoring the Last Days of Summer

sunflower-baby-alaina-drawdy-cox-1.jpgYou know the summer is coming to a close when the sunflowers start to droop in the heat of the noonday sun. Checking in with a large field of cheery sunflowers near the Mast Store World Wide Headquarters, it’s clear from the sleepy blooms that summer is ever so slowly fading. Before we get back into the swing of another school year, here are a few of our favorite ways to enjoy the last days of summer.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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

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.

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.

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.

August 22, 2014
Neighbors Helping Neighbors

whupabug.jpgWaynesville resident, Carl Hughes, is not the kind of fellow who backs down from a serious challenge. As a construction supervisor for Chevron in Angola, Carl was familiar with malaria symptoms, having suffered through it eight times during his many trips abroad. But when his co-worker’s daughter died from the vicious mosquito-borne disease, he was dumbstruck. During a one-month break at home, he resolved to create an insect repellant which would stop the spread of malaria. His research and experimentation led to the creation of Whup-a-Bug.

July 25, 2014
Made in North Carolina - From Dirt to Shirt

mast-private-label-4.jpgBrowsing through our clothes over the past couple of years, you’ve probably run across a new label that reads “Mast Store Private Label Shirts”. With the help of the fine folks at TS Designs, we’ve been able to create a unique line that is made in North Carolina - from dirt to shirt.

July 11, 2014
An All-American Partnership

nester-2.jpgMt. Airy sock manufacturer, Nester Hosiery, and Mast General Store have led parallel lives since our companies began collaborating in the early 1990s. As family-owned, environmentally-responsible companies that go the extra mile to provide quality products for their communities and beyond, both Mast and Nester are proud of their American roots.

June 9, 2014
Savoring the Journey with Frank and Peggy

Jaskolka-Great-Smoky-Mtn.jpgWe all want to invest our lives in the things we love. For Frank and Peggy, their great love in life, in addition to each other, is exploring the outdoors together.

June 6, 2014
National Geographic Explorer and Best-selling Author Visits Boone Mast Store

helen-1.jpgThe Turchin Center for the Visual Arts, Mast General Store and Cordura are proud to host National Geographic Explorer and best-selling author Helen Thayer for a free presentation on Wednesday, May 14 in the lecture hall at the Turchin Center for the Visual Arts in Downtown Boone. The presentation, “Polar Dream,” begins at 6:30 p.m. A meet and greet reception with light refreshments will be held immediately following the presentation. 

May 22, 2014
What Mast Means to You

gentsThis past June, one of our new Facebook friends asked us an excellent question. We posed her question to our 25,000 “friends on the internet” and were mightily touched by their answers. This blog captures what happened. 

May 10, 2014
Mast Founders Featured in "Capital At Play" Magazine

capital-5.jpgWhen a 31-year-old John Cooper first laid eyes on the Mast General Store back in 1976, he had a vision for his family’s future that involved going back into the past. “I fell in love with the store as soon as I stepped inside,” says Cooper, who had traveled from his home in Florida with a friend to scout out potential real estate. “They literally had to carry me out.”

May 2, 2014
Loggerhead Apparel Helps its Namesake

loggerhead-2.jpgDid you know the Loggerhead Sea Turtle is South Carolina’s state reptile? The Mast Stores in Greenville and Columbia Mast Stores carry a very special South Carolina-based line of clothing that feature this majestic creature. In addition to its superior line of clothing, the state’s own Loggerhead Apparel is dedicated to two different, yet worthy, causes. One is breathing new life back into South Carolina's textile industry. The other is the preservation and protection of the endangered Loggerhead Sea Turtle.

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Friends' Day in Columbia Salutes the Palmetto Trail

PCF-3.jpgThe Palmetto Trail, a project of the Palmetto Conservation Foundation (PCF), begins in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains at Wahalla and stretches across the state of South Carolina to the Low Country near Charleston. On September 9, the Mast Store in Columbia is hosting volunteers from the PCF and will donate 10% of the day’s sales to help this group’s continuing efforts to conserve South Carolina’s natural and cultural resources and to promote active outdoor recreation on the Palmetto Trail.