If you happened to read my last blog “Christmas at the Welch House”, maybe you remember my “Buy Local, Give Global” statement. In the same vein, let’s talk about L.L. Bean.
L.L. Bean was founded by, well, Leon Leonwood Bean in 1912 and this boot design, “The Maine Hunting Boot” was his first product.
The often imitated, never duplicated Bean Boot.
He was an outdoorsman himself, and was sick and tired having nasty, wet and cold feet when he went hunting.So he got the idea of attaching leather uppers to rubber work boots. Enlisting the aid of a local cobbler for production and mounting an out-of-state mailing campaign, he received orders for 100 pair of boots. After fulfilling the order, 90 pair were returned as defective. He made good on each and every pair, and he vowed to ensure the customer was pleased with the product, no matter what. That exists to this day.
In 1951, he had a friend that was going fishing early in the morning and was in need of important tackle. L.L. took him to the store and opened it up in the middle of the night, and the next morning proclaimed “we have thrown away the keys” and from then on, the flagship store has been open 365/24. The doors don’t even have a provision for locks.
So why am I crowing about L.L. Bean? Well, they are a company that not only talks about their values, but demonstrates these values every day. You see, the equipment for manufacturing Bean Boots is still in Brunswick, Maine. While Converse Shoes (2001), Hathaway Shirts (2002), and Canned Sardines (2010) have all left New England, L.L. Bean takes on what other companies feel is a burden; making many their products in the US. Because of their commitment both to customers and Maine workers, L.L. Bean stands out as a model for micro-economies to come.
Freeport, where the L.L. Bean main store is located, is just 40 miles from the Welch House. There is a hundred or so outlet stores in the vicinity, so the Christmas shopping there should be special. Stay at the Welch House Inn with our “90 years, 90 dollars” special. Click Here to check our specials.
Thanks to L.L. Bean for the image of their Bean Boots.