Ask a Lands’ End employee to define the company in a single word, and an answer you’ll often hear is family.
In the literal sense, it’s not unusual here in Dodgeville to find mom answering the phone in customer service, her son packing orders in the warehouse and dad designing catalog layouts.
But the branches of our family tree extend further, to encompass everyone who loves and wears this great brand.
You. Us. Our families. And, we discovered recently, many of our models.
We sat down to talk with them at our Spring 2013 photo shoot, set on the grounds of an elegant home in Santa Monica.
Lorie, front row right in this photo, with the blonde hair, told us she grew up milking cows on a dairy farm in the south. (Many at our Wisconsin headquarters can relate to that.)
She’s married to Swedish native Berthil, also shown here, standing, in the navy sweater.
They were joined on this photo shoot by their little boy, Beckett. And by Berthil’s father, Berthold, seated. (He’s not a pro model – too busy helping save lives in emergency rooms in Sweden.)
Ella, standing left, with the dark, curly hair, introduced Lorie and Berthil years ago. She learned during this shoot that she’d landed a role in a new film about the life of the great singer Nina Simone. She also holds a degree in biology and is fluent in three languages. (There’s one in every family…)
Ella’s partner is Ryan, shown standing beside her. Kneeling in front of them is their good friend Anouk, a native of Holland.
These folks have traveled the world as friends and family for 15 years.
Cindy, standing at far right, with gray hair (like ours!) was once a makeup artist. She runs a cosmetics company called BOOM! (for boomers) that is not anti-age, but – imagine this – pro-age. Beautifying and moisturizing the real you.
Isn’t that refreshing?
After spending two days together, we can testify that the people in these photos are, well, nice. They are smart. Friendly and warm, they look you in the eye, not over your shoulder, when talking to you. They listen.
In short, they treat people like family. Just as we do.
One thing, though…there was a catering table at the photo shoot. We watched one model walk past steaming trays of turkey, beef and casseroles. Past the desserts. She made herself a piece of toast, indulging in just a dime-size pat of butter.
We loaded up potatoes drenched in melted cheddar until our paper plate nearly folded itself in half. It was a feast that would put the comfort waistband in our chinos to the test.
Sure, we consider these models part of the Lands’ End family now. But that doesn’t mean we’re giving up a hearty Wisconsin meal for them!