SEATTLE—Hotel bathrobes are a common amenity these days. Seattle’s Hotel Theodore is stocking its suites with a practical amenity that’s a little more unusual—a Freeman rain jacket.
It all goes back to the inspiration for crafting Hotel Theodore, which draws upon the city’s history of makers and doers. The hotel also took into account that it rains frequently in Seattle—44.7 inches of rain between this past October and April alone, according to the National Weather Service.
“When the hotel was first built in 1929, it was celebrated as a bastion of Washington labor, innovation and craft. We want to honor this beautiful part of the hotel’s history through partnerships with local companies who continue to put Seattle on the map as a frontier for design, invention and locally made goods,” said Jennifer Cole, area director of sales, Hotel Theodore. “Freeman was born right here, in a small apartment in the heart of Seattle, and their products just scream quality and passion with a start-up like mentality that this city is known for. Our goal in teaming up with Freeman was to go outside the box of what hotels typically offer their guests, and by doing so, introduce them to one of the many local makers who make us so proud of our hometown.”
Launched in 2010 with the initial goal of making one simple raincoat, Freeman is inspired by simplicity and the city itself. The product is made in the United States and the co-founders Scott and Brittany Freeman say they’re committed to being involved in each step of the process from design to fabric procurement to production.
“We’re no strangers to rain here in Seattle. The team at Hotel Theodore wanted to offer travelers a rain jacket they could borrow or keep during their stay that not only helped them stay dry, but also introduced them to a local Seattle company,” said Brittany Freeman. “Like us, they’re passionate about supporting locally made goods, and we were excited to share the Freeman story with their guests.”
The need in the marketplace was obvious: It’s a good bet that there will be rain here, and an upscale rain jacket is one way to surprise and delight guests, while meeting a basic need.
“Hotels have a long tradition of offering robes in the guestrooms as a creature comfort on the road. Given the climate of Seattle, making rain jackets available to borrow or for purchase felt like a fun take on the classic hotel robe concept,” Cole said. “It’s a practical amenity for our travelers and it lets us show off one of our favorite Seattle brands.”
When the team at Hotel Theodore entered the partnership with Freeman, it drilled down its needs and expectations—one of which was to provide a sense of luxury. Guests who want to take home a little bit of Seattle have the option to buy a Freeman rain jacket from the hotel for $325 along with the ability to pick the size and color. In addition, hotel staff will coordinate directly with Freeman on the delivery of the new jackets to customers during their stay.
“We want our guests to stay warm in the rain, but we also want them to feel a little spoiled wearing these jackets. The quality of the Freeman rain jackets really speaks for themselves and whether or not the guest decides to purchase it at the end of their stay, we want them to feel taken care of during their visit,” Cole said. “Whether they came to Seattle and forgot a raincoat or just wanted to explore the city in something new, it’s a unique experience for our guests that’s truly inspired at a local level.”