A View From the Other Side
When I was 14, my mother helped me redecorate my bedroom. That spring, we picked out a paint color, new curtains and new wall decor.
When it came time to select a new bedspread, Mom—a savvy American consumer if there ever was one—gave me a Spiegel catalog and showed me how to navigate through it to find just the right color, size and material. When the bedspread arrived, it was like opening a Christmas present in the middle of May.
And so began a lifetime of catalog shopping.
Through the years, I’ve discovered some wonderful products through catalogs: durable and comfortable fitness wear from Title Nine Sports; innovative gadgets and gear from The Sharper Image; cotton sweaters from Lands’ End; unusual home decor from Domestications and Home Decorator Collection; and much more.
Even my husband is hooked. A hard-working logistics director who wears whatever I hand him from his closet at 6 a.m., he likes L.L. Bean’s Easy-Care Oxford shirts. I discovered that one recent morning when I tried to hand him an expensive dress shirt I had bought for him from a department store. He peered around me and into his closet. “Aren’t there any more Bean shirts in there?” he asked. Trust me, there could be no higher compliment to a merchant.
Like most catalog customers, I buy from a book because it’s convenient. At 9 p.m. when I finally stop rushing through the day, I can relax and shop. I particuarly like those pull-out flags or tabs that some catalogers offer in their books. They help me find the page again when I have the phone and my credit card in hand. Mom trained me well.
So when Alicia Orr, founding editor of Catalog Success, asked me to move up from managing editor to editor of this publication, I jumped at the opportunity to further assist catalogers. Alicia will remain our editor in chief, so you will continue see her outstanding editorial contributions in these pages.