Okay. Itâ€™s not the catalog itself I envy itâ€™s the story being told inside the front and back covers. I can think of two catalogs that I admire far beyond the merchandise carried, and I like the merchandise. A lot.
Which two? Duluth Trading Company and Toms.
Duluth Trading Company often uses real women who do real â€œhands on workâ€ as their catalog models. I know this because my friend Amanda was one of them a few years ago. The company came out to shoot her workingâ€”in their durable clothesâ€”on the farm, and it was delightful to see her beautiful face beaming from within the catalog.
The cute part to the story starts before Amanda was selected to be one of their catalog models. A couple representatives from Duluth Trading came out to her parentâ€™s farm to meet Amanda and to look at how and where she worked. As Amanda showed them around the barn and fields they came upon a cow that had just given birth. Without a momentâ€™s thought Amanda said, â€œExcuse me,â€ scooped up the calf, and carried it into the barn. There was blood and glory all over her. The representatives looked at each other, whispered, â€œWow,â€ and offered her the job on the spot. Excellent choice Duluth Trading! Now thatâ€™s being real.
I also adore Toms. When Blake Mycoskie started his mission of giving a pair of shoes to someone in need for every pair sold from his company, I was hooked. Are they gorgeous shoes? No. Are they cute? I think so. Are they shoes with heart and sole? All of that, and them some.Â Â Blake has now expanded his â€œone for oneâ€ offerings to include coffee (for clean water), sunglasses (for prescription eyeglasses), and bags (to help with safe births).
The latest catalog (they call it a journal) talks about the work being done in Haiti. And while it could be a smarmy â€œlook at how wonderful we areâ€ sort of tribute, itâ€™s not. I loved the quotes and reactions the Toms’ crew had while being among the Haitian people. Their observations and ongoing efforts to make a difference have me wanting to try harder to be a better person too.
Catalogs that make a difference? The best part of my day.