Case Study: Sundance Catalog
Nestled at the base of Utah’s Mount Timpanogos, among the giant pine trees lies a small 6,000-acre village. Established in 1969 by Robert Redford, the area has become an educational resource for artists and a place of recreation that fosters social and environmental responsibility. The resort area was purchased by Redford with his earnings from the 1967 film “Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid,” from which the village gets its name.
In the past 30 years, Sundance has become more than a tiny village of beauty. It is now home to a host of non-profit organizations founded by Redford, including The Sundance Film Festival, one of the largest and most prestigious film festivals in the world; The Sundance Institute, which operates educational programs on every creative aspect of the film-making process; and summer theatres. The Sundance Resort, a recreational lodge featuring skiing and equestrian sports, as well as an organic farm, are also located in the village and serve as primary funding sources for the non-profit ventures.
But a place so wonderful could not be expected to stay within its natural confines.
Today, the spirit and brand of Sundance are carried around the world through the Sundance Channel, a cable station that shows award-winning independent films, and the mail order catalogs, Sundance Catalog, Jewelry and Rural Route 3.
Sundance Catalog’s spirit is largely embodied in Redford, who founded the catalog in 1989. It is a direct outgrowth of the Sundance Village general store, which resort guests visit during their stays. The catalog was created to respond to hundreds of letters the general store received every year requesting its products. A percentage of its sales now support the film festival and The Sundance Institute. But what began as simple customer fulfillment has grown into a multiple catalog, 16-million-circulation mail order business.