Eric Rego stitches boots in the facility where L.L. Bean boots are assembled in Brunswick, Maine – in 2011: Photo, Wellenbach / AP
In the last line of my last post, I reference my L.L.Bean boots. These boots are my tried-and-true go to’s. I have owned them for so long that I can’t even remember how old they actually are. Long enough though for me to take them for granted. These odd-looking but classic “duck” shoes that have gotten me through cold, rain, sleet, snow, and everything in between are now in high demand. Who knew that these very boots, synonymous with outdoor practicality, are enjoying a surge of popularity! It started in 2011; the L.L. Bean boot that has been selling for over a century since 1912 suddenly became trendy. That’s when the duck-boot shortage first began and consumers were heartbroken when retailers ran out. Last year in fact the Bean boot became a holiday sensation.
The company continues to make boots in its Brunswick, Maine facility (where they pump out up to 3,000 Bean boots a day) rather than export operations, to preserve its brand. And its materials are primarily sourced in the United States. “There is a significant sense of pride associated with actually making something here in Maine, with Maine employees, and producing something that customers love,” says Donna Lamberth, Director of Manufacturing for L.L. Bean.
Today L.L. Bean is proactive, producing even more boots to stay ahead of the demand and prevent potential heartbreak for this year’s holiday shoppers.
This is the time of year I love to pull out my heavy-duty, cozy Rebecca Taylor sweater – too bulky to wear with a jacket but warm enough to wear on its own. I love Rebecca Taylor’s feminine designs. The story of this sweater? Several years ago I noticed it in a fashion blog, loved it, and tracked it down – to a single remaining sweater in Atlanta! I knew I had to have it so I purchased it over the phone and had it shipped. In other words, I worked hard to get this sweater. But it was unique and I was willing to make it happen. Today, it is holding up so well that I don’t regret my decision at all. In fact, it was well worth the effort!
Sweater, Rebecca Taylor; jeans Frame Denim; hat Misaharada Millinery; shoes L.L.Bean
Photos by Sophie MacMillan
As a mother, I understand the frenzy associated with back to school; yes, it has to do with books and supplies and lunch boxes and forms to fill out – but mostly, it has to do with clothes. Getting new sneakers (I have boys), tops, pants, etc. But as a woman, I am never far away from the back to school feeling of shopping for new clothes and the tease of a new season on the horizon. What is it about this time of year that calls to mind fresh starts and new beginnings? Even though the weather on the East Coast is as warm now as a mid-August day and even though I soak in the warmth of the sun for as long as I can, there is something about the clothing of fall that inspires and motivates me to dress-it-up a notch. I trace it back to my school days and the start of a new year.
Although I have already helped my college student shop for his back to school attire, and I am now preparing my high school student for his second year, I am secretly shopping for myself. Or maybe I am shopping for the little girl who never forgot what it is like on her first day of school!
backpack: L.L. Bean
… and into a New Year. I often find myself walking in the woods to clear my mind and open my heart. I guess you could say that I am trying literally, to set the path for my life. Here I am again, thinking good thoughts and wishing everyone a very Happy New Year! Here’s to the brightest 2015!
Outfit: Rebecca Taylor sweater, Frame Denim jeans, L.L. Bean shoes, Misaharada cap
Photos by Sophie MacMillan Continue reading