FREEPORT — The craftsmanship is apparent at Brahms Mount.
A large, antique shuttle sitting in the window at 115 Main St. tells passersby the products are made with great attention and detail. The staging of blankets, throws, and pillows inside the store looks like a page out of a glossy home magazine.
Shoppers downtown aren’t the only ones who are lured by the machine to see what it creates; Brahms Mount has been noticed by America Online and was recently featured in its This Built America series.
“Out of the many companies in Maine, I’m glad they chose us,” Brahms Mount owner and president David Kaufman said. “We were flattered.”
Brahms Mount, which has been in Freeport for two years, makes and sells high-end home textiles. The company started in Hallowell in 1983, and now operates out of Monmouth.
The business prides itself on making everything by hand and creating American-made products, which is what drew AOL to the company. Kaufman said it’s what interests customers, too.
“In general, Americans look to support American manufacturing,” he said.
Although the products are made using shuttle looms from the 1940s, Kaufman said the blankets are being touched and handled by people through the entire process. Freeport store manager Suzanne Lauzier said this ensures that every blanket and throw is of high quality.
“Everything is made by hand,” Lauzier said. “We produce such beautiful, beautiful pieces.”
After the blankets are off the looms, Brahms Mount employees wash and inspect every piece. Kaufman explained that before this is done, the blankets feel rough or stiff. Having each one washed and taken care of individually produces the soft blankets and throws found in store.
In addition to creating blankets, Kaufman has created new jobs since buying the company from founders Claudia Brahms and Noel Mount in 2009. When he purchased Brahms Mount, there were only five employees; there are now 37.
Kaufman said that although the economy is still coming back, his business is doing well. He said having a location in Freeport helps.
“Being in Freeport is a good location,” he said. “Freeport attracts a lot of people.”
Kaufman said he believes Brahms Mount fits in well with its surroundings. It is next door to L.L. Bean, which also is known for selling American-made products.
Kaufman said while many companies try to produce items at a higher rate of speed, he doesn’t mind that Brahms Mount takes its time to ensure each blanket is specially made. He said it’s important to put time into a piece so that it can last for a lifetime, or longer.
“These are heirloom products,” Kaufman said. “They’ll last for decades and decades. We want people to pass these down through their family.”
Brahms Mount designs all of its owns blankets and throws, and then uses antique shuttle looms, like the one on display in Freeport, to weave them.