Blog



April 23, 2015
Crafting for the 21st Century

crafting.jpgIt used to be roots and herbs and crops and chickens that folks brought to the Mast General Store in historic Valle Crucis for trade. Today, the items "traded" are more along the lines of baskets, birdhouses, bread, homemade butter, and hand-turned bowls. Although the products may have changed, the intent is still the same - the Mast Store provides a marketplace for local and regional residents and artists to present the fruits of their efforts.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.