Words that strike fear into the hearts of all men: “I was at Bloomingdale’s today and I found the most amazing [insert product here].” This time, it was towels. Or rather, Towels, with a capital T and a big price tag to match. It not being pay-day, I stalled the conversation just long enough until we moved on to something else.
Then a month or so later Terry, my wife, and I found ourselves visiting some members of the extended inGamba family in Portland, when she came running out of the bathroom.
“Oh my God,” she exclaimed. “Your towels are amazing.”
“I know,” said Ann. “I love them and they last forever.”
“Guess what, Jim,” said Terry. “They’re the same towels from Bloomingdales.”
And thus, the desire, nah the need, for some Abyss and Habidecor towels was solidified in my life. Being the good little internet nerd that I am, I started my research in earnest, discovering that Abyss and Habidecor is a Portuguese company based just outside of Porto in the town of Viseu. And since I was going to be in Porto anyway, I decided we needed to sneak over to the towel factory to find out what all the fuss was about.
Celso de Lemos started his fledgling towel company in his basement over 30 years ago and has now grown the brand to include towels, rugs, linens and even his own wine, Quinta de Lemos. What started from those humble origins all those years ago is now a booming business with a fully modern factory, filled with machines hacked to meet their needs and a team of artisans ready to help you realize all of your decor needs. On top of the almost endless array of “standard” colors and sizes immediately available the design team at Abyss and Habidecor are ready, willing and able to make you a bathroom set matching your spouse’s eye color, your dog’s coat or just about any other thing you can imagine, even if white, unsurprisingly, is by far the biggest seller.
Laden down with the spoils of my trip to the factory store, I returned to California a hero. A soft, absorbent one. And now, as I towel off after my morning shower and the puppy, Ms. Carter, stretches out on the new rug, I can be proud of the fact that my towels are made in Portugal, by Portuguese, with Portuguese pride. They make me feel like I’m staying at the Four Seasons – and best of all, I dodged the Bloomingdale’s shake down. This time, at least.