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by Halley Sanford November 28, 2020 2 min read

The Catalyst Coat

Ah, yes. The unassuming, unsuspecting, unpredictable little garment that started it all.

“I caught a glimpse of a coat in a grocery store,” Cheryl laughed. “It sounds funny, in hindsight, that that’s Double D Ranch’s origin story, but that’s truly how it all began.”

“Cheryl was too sick from altitude sickness to ski,” explained Audrey. “So, I took the boys up the mountain, and Mom and Dad took Cheryl into town to get medicine, and that’s when she saw the coat. And she was still obsessing over it at dinner, and a guy at the table next to us overheard and told us where she could get one made.”

Naturally, first thing the next day, Cheryl was in that little hole in the wall shop, picking out a blanket to turn into her dream coat. (An hour or so later, Daddy Doug walked into that same shop, inquired whether Cheryl had been there, and then did the most Doug thing ever: he asked the man to slip a note in the pocket before he shipped it that said, “I know what you’re up to.” Actually, he didn’t.Wedidn’t even know what we were up to yet!)

But her blanket coat came, and it was every bit as beautiful as Cheryl imagined it would be. And we’re not the only ones who thought that. Everyone just fawned over it. Daddy kept insisting that we should sell them in our little store, but we took a little more convincing.

“At one point, we were walking down the street outside Dallas Market Center,” Cheryl said. “And this shuttle bus driving past came to a stop and a woman got out and said, ‘I made the driver stop because Ihave to know about that coat!’ and I think that was the moment we decided we needed to re-think and market them.”

The demand was there, the supply was not. We hit the usual roadblocks, of course, but in true McMullen fashion, we surmounted them, and by the grace of God, we’re still stitching labels that read “Double D Ranch” into these beautiful blanket coats 30 years later.


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