Stray Dog Designs Namesakes:The Mother’s Day Edition - Blum Wood

Posted by William Pritchard on

 Stephanie Wood and I met, I think, in 1983 in a dorm room at Duke University when I was visiting one of my best friends, Noel Hunt. Stephanie went on to graduate in religion and psychology, then on to a masters in theology from Vanderbilt. After that she gave in and married that old friend of mine…where I served as groomsman. Jane and I just returned from Charleston where her eldest daughter wed. What a gorgeous affair in a gorgeous city.

I asked Steph to write this Namesake piece for Mother’s Day since both her mother and herself have been product namesakes on two long term selling lamps AND because she is a writer. You might have run across one of her many freelance articles in dozens of national magazines (including one Coastal Living article earlier this year that happened to have a Stray Dog lamp in it--complete happenstance!). Currently she is  Editor at Large for Charleston Magazine and President of the IBU Foundation (who we will need to feature in a future blog!). We love Steph Wood (Hunt), you will see she how she loved and admired her mother...

 Blum Wood

 {Nancy Blum Wood}

Tall, striking and down-to-earth elegant – the Blum Wood floor lamp pays homage to Nancy Blum Wood, a mother of three, just like those three little branches leading off her artsy faux bois trunk. But there wasn’t much faux about our Blum Wood.


Born and raised in North Carolina, a Moravian and Blum of the Old Salem craftsman family (who made light fixtures too, btw), she was a Salem College beauty queen who fell for Tom Wood, a handsome Duke football star soon to become a surgeon. They emanated that made-for-black-and-white-photography glamour of the 1950s and early 60s. But we all know a picture can be deceiving.


Steph Hunt with mom and sisters
{Stephanie and her two sisters with their mother Blum Wood}

After their divorce, though, Blum Wood showed the non-faux bois she was really made of—supporting herself and her young three daughters in High Point, NC, (home of many of Stray Dog market booths), by selling women’s clothing and later furniture, and basically bringing her impeccable eye and classic good taste to making other people’s surroundings beautiful. Mostly however, she raised her three daughters to be strong women and mothers themselves.

One of those daughters (me) married one of  Billy’s best friends (Noel). I too am a mother of three daughters, as is my sister Wendell (younger sis Courtney birthed the only brave boy in the brood) and so the forest aglow with Blum Wood’s lamp light just keeps on growing.

Blum Wood with grandchildren
{Nancy Blum Wood with her grandchildren}

Nancy Blum Wood died of ALS eight years ago this May 11, then, as now, just before Mother’s Day. We raised a glass and toasted her two weeks ago, when Billy and Jane came to Charleston, SC, to celebrate her first granddaughter getting married. The bride was everything her Nanny would have dreamed of: a classic beauty, but more importantly, a strong, radiant woman stepping into a bright new life of her own.

So here’s to mothers everywhere, the lights they bear and the beauty they uphold. And here’s to Blum Wood, a blooming bois if ever there was one.

Hayley and Matthew
{Stephanie's daughter Hayley with husband Matthew on their wedding day.}

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