Morlee Griswold

From starting a mail-order video company when she was in graduate school to running the catalog business for $250 million outdoor gear multichannel marketer Patagonia, Morlee Griswold has had plenty of experience selling direct. Following are her tips on how to get started, and succeed, in the catalog business: For new catalogers: Work with the best vendors available. “Network ahead of time, get good recommendations and really do your homework before you choose your vendors,” Griswold says. Since each piece of the direct marketing puzzle has become so specialized, it’s likely that a small catalog startup will need to rely heavily on vendors and/or partners. “If

In some respects, Patagonia marches to the beat of its own drum. The Ventura, Calif.-based marketer of rugged mountain climbing and backpacking apparel marketer adheres to strict product quality, catalog style and lifestyle values, all keys to its raison d’être that it never compromises. In other respects, Patagonia’s multichannel approach -- including not only catalog, Web and retail, but also wholesale -- represents something of a textbook model of today’s multichannel retail business model. Putting both elements together, two Patagonia executives -- Morlee Griswold and Chris Todd -- delivered a session at this week’s DMA06 Conference in San Francisco on how they compile and evaluate

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