While having lunch in San Marino one afternoon, Tim Gledhill noticed an available retail space on Mission Street and decided to inquire about it. In June, he moved his linen design business, Huddleson, to the new building after outgrowing his former office in downtown Los Angeles.
“I love this neighborhood and knew it was a place where I could get excited about coming to work every morning,” Gledhill said. “We’ve been welcomed by the community. It’s a great fit for us.”
Huddleson offers contemporary luxury linens designed in Los Angeles and made from the finest Italian fabrics. It carries a full range of table linens including napkins, placemats, runners and tablecloths, as well as bed linens such as sheets, duvet covers and decorative pillows.
Before opening Huddleson, Gledhill worked for The Rug Company, a leading British design brand that produces designer and contemporary rugs. A lightbulb went off one day during a conversation he had with a digital printer, which is when Gledhill discovered that fabric could be used as a big art canvas.
“When they explained the capability of digital printing, I learned that one could do huge scale prints without being bound by confines and limitations with regards to patterns, width or length,” Gledhill said. “I came out with a few designs that were large scale and that’s how I got started. Huddleson launched in 2012 with 10 tablecloth designs and then very quickly expanded into more tablecloth designs and bed linens as well.”
Many of Huddleson’s designs are hand painted. Digital printing captures all of the unique details such as the brush strokes in a painting so that the design looks like it’s painted onto the fabric. Huddleson also creates custom tablecloths to accommodate a variety of table shapes and sizes, custom printed table linens, as well as monogram, hem-stitch and contrast stitching to add a more personalized touch.
All of the linens are made from Italian fabric and the printing is done in Italy, but the cutting and sewing is performed locally at a workroom in Anaheim, which allows for a quick turnaround for smaller custom orders. In addition to its own line of pure Italian table linens, Huddleson has a collection of table linens specifically designed for luxury restaurants and events using the finest quality spun polyester with stain release technology that is manufactured to withstand restaurant use and commercial laundering.
“We’re constantly launching new designs,” Gledhill said. “We have an exciting collaboration coming up in the spring, plus some other designs we’re working on. We really focus on quality and we spent a long time researching the best printers and fabrics to deliver quality designs that have longevity. People love us for gifts because we have stuff that you don’t see in other places. We want to keep offering unique stuff that people can’t find elsewhere.”
For the holidays, Huddleson has a selection of linens in warmer colors such as gold, green, red and orange, and their monogram services also make for a popular gifting option. On the walls of the store, Huddleson features works by artists that are available for purchase, as well as various pieces by a local ceramicist. Customers also have the option of ordering custom ceramics for their home.
“People are always drawn to custom art,” Gledhill said. We’re very much into doing custom pieces and being a good resource for our customers to deliver what they want. I love the creativity that having this business allows me, and I enjoy the face-to-face interactions with customers so I can get direct feedback as to what they’re looking for and how they respond to different pieces. It also gives them the opportunity to touch and feel the fabrics, and see the colors and quality in-person.”
Another draw for customers when they walk into the store is being greeted by Jet, the shop’s friendly and adorable Labrador-Pitbull mix.
“She has become quite the local celebrity,” Gledhill remarked. “Lots of people come by just to see her. I encourage everyone to come in and have a look around. Jet and I will be sure to give you a very warm welcome.”
Huddleson is located at 2513 Mission St. in San Marino. It is open Monday – Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. For more information, call (626) 399-0320 or visit www.huddleson.com.
Huddleson Business Spotlight appeared in the print edition of the South Pasadena Review on 10.25.19. Support Local Business.