JG Switzer likes to call its line of throws “unforbidden fur” because it’s made of upcycled scraps of sheep fur from an Italian glove-maker.
This winter, while you’re cuddling in your Tahoe cabin, shouldn’t you be wrapped in a throw as fine as that glass of Shafer cab in your hand? Jessica Switzer Green thinks so, and her newly launched namesake company aims to be your source. “At JG Switzer, we set out to make the most beautiful blankets in the world,” she says. “This is our singular mission.”
The San Francisco native wasn’t always a luxury-bedding evangelist; she’s a Silicon Valley startup veteran and former VP of marketing at Tesla Motors. But when she couldn’t find a stylish, heirloom-quality wool blanket to present to her college-bound daughter, Ava, as her grandmother had done for her, she combined inspiration with business know-how, and JG Switzer was born.
The company’s debut Legends collection ($529 to $1,200) features merino and lambswool-cashmere blends woven by an 18th-century English mill that holds a Royal Warrant for supplying fabrics to Windsor Castle. The mill also bespoke-dyes some of the pieces, ensuring that some colors are exclusive to the brand. Each blanket (three of which are named after Green’s grown children Henry, Camille and, yes, Ava) is handfinished and framed in solid or custom-printed 4-inch silk charmeuse.
For customers who crave the warmth and feel of fur but bristle at its environmental and ethical downsides, JG Switzer offers a luxe, eco-friendly alternative: the Forbidden Fur collection ($349 to $1,399). Remnants of Toscana sheep pelts from an Italian glove factory are assembled into blankets, throws and pillows, and backed with supple silk charmeuse for the ultimate in upcycled glamour. To keep an eye on quality, seven staff members design and produce the blankets in JG Switzer’s Sebastopol workshop. “We have an incredible group of women here,” says Green. “I feel like we are in a beautiful blanket laboratory every day, inventing new ways to dress the bed.”
An under-wraps Ashley blanket, named for Green’s stepdaughter, is due out this spring, and Green dreams of collaborating with Italian textile company Fortuny one day. Meanwhile, JG Switzer is staying focused on doing its part to fulfill its motto: “Blanket the world with beauty”—one bed (or sofa in Tahoe) at a time.
Originally published in the January/February issue of Silicon Valley