This ode to Mother Nature tells the story of Leon Leonwood Bean, who went duck hunting, created a larger-than-life brand, and wrote a book.
We are headed up to vacationland. Yes, the great state of Maine. Let’s make a quick pitstop in a little town called Freeport. It’s 1911. Leon Leonwood Bean (you read that right) goes out shoot some duck and comes back with a problem. His feet are wet. Tragic.
Through the agony, he stumbled on an idea. He got creative and a year later, the “Maine Hunting Shoe” hit the shelf. His shoes were different because they were longer than your average hunting boot. Way longer. Those bad boys almost touched your knees. They were revolutionary. Well, not immediately. 90 out of 100 boots in the first batch were returned. Mr. Bean was not off to the best start.
Skip to 1933. It’s the end of the Great Depression. While FDR was in Washington rolling out the New Deal, his wife, Eleanor shows up at Mr. Bean’s store. Eleanor browses, but the first lady proves to be a tough sell. She doesn’t even buy a pair of boots for her hubby. But Mr. Bean wouldn’t let her leave empty handed so he gave her a trout knife to take back to the most powerful man in the world.
This is probably a good point to tell you what the name of the company is: Lean Leonwood Bean = L.L. Bean (mic drop).
After the depression, people started to value durable products and the L.L Bean brand caught fire. Those things last forever. To make the journey cooler, in 1944, L.L. Bean wrote a book. Why not, right? All in all, Hunting, Fishing, and Camping was a best-seller, his life was a roller coaster, and his company was a home run. At 94, L.L. Bean’s time came. Even though he’s no longer with us, millions around the world still sport his name.
I’ll leave you with this. L.L. Bean as a company has been in business for over a hundred years and the outdoors has always been at the center. Find your focal point and get after it.
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