From the slopes of Aspen, Company founder Carol Grant Sullivan talks inspiration,
what's behind the Caroline label, and her collaboration with Hudson's Bay.
Q. Before starting Caroline, you spent 20+ years consulting to VISA and the major Canadian banks. What ever led to Caroline Furs?
A. I'd been around fur all my life and for sometime had been designing pieces for fun. I'd made up a few patterns for vests, hats, and mittens. I was in Aspen for a book talk and the young owner of a store in town asked if I could arrange to get his store some fur just like the pieces I was wearing. He gave me my first order on the spot.
Q. How did the HBC collaboration come about?
A. Bonnie Brooks, President of HBC, loved my idea and bought the entire collection for the HBC stores. To this day, we are continually adding new products to the collection of fur blankets and pillows.
Q. You have 2 children with your husband of 30+ years. Are they involved in Caroline?
A. Yes, we are a close family. They all provide a great source of inspiration- sharing thoughts on strategy, trends, and input into new more contemporary product ideas.
Q. You have designed custom fur blankets and fashion pieces for many customers at home and abroad including celebrity designers and Hollywood stars. What is your favourite project?
A. I still get a thrill every time I am asked to do any sort of special commission. I love the pressure and the intensity of designing and dreaming up the most exciting plans for custom, one of a kind,'front-row worthy' pieces. Some of my favourites are:
- The unforgettable Wedding Jacket created in White Mink for my son's beautiful bride to wear on her Wedding Day.
- The extraordinary set of Christmas Stockings embellished with White Arctic Fox trim, created with the most precious silk satin textile. Made for the family of a Southern USA state Governor.
- The coolest set of jet blankets in luxurious sheared Beaver to match the company logo of a Wall Street businessman.
- The cosiest, custom designed collection of luxe lodge pillows, blankets and floor rugs for Bison Heli-skiing Lodge Revelstoke, Canada.
- The luxe Caroline / HBC coyote blanket given to Kanye West on the occasion of the birth of his firstborn, North.
Q: Ski or Snowboard?
A: Ski only—I have never considered going to the dark side.
Q: Beaver or mink jacket?
A: Cropped sheared beaver jacket, dyed navy blue.
Q: Favourite ski Aspen moment?
A: Stepping off the plane at the beginning of every ski season.
Q: Steeps, bumps or powder?
A: I prefer steeps and occasionally a few race gates.
Q: Godiva or Guittard's chocolate?
A: Neither—I've given both up for the Delicious Chocolate layer cake at Bonnie's on Aspen Mtn.
Q: Best/Dream ski trip
A: I love the Pyrenees- Cortina d'Ampezzo for it's European lifestyle.
Q: Most treasured possession?
A: My engagement ring.
Q: Trait most valued in others?
A: Strength, kindness, character
Q: Favourite day of the week?
A: Winter ski season - Fridays, but Summertime- I love Sundays at the Farm or up at the Lake.