a company with personality

I love Boden.   My friend Trena introduced me to Johnnie Boden in college, and I’ve fallen more in love with his company over the past few years.  At times, their clothes are a bit wild for me — I feel inadequate to wear their prints and I don’t have the guts to walk out of my apartment in some of the styles.  But I’ve been happy with almost every single thing I’ve ever ordered from them, and lately … they’ve had free return shipping!  That means no risk ordering!

The thing I love most about Boden is the personality that oozes out of everything– from every page of their catalouge, to their website, to the package that’s delivered to your door.

See– from the very beginning, you know there’s something different about what you’re about to see.  This is a clothing catalogue… but there are no pictures of clothes on the cover.  Hm.  Perhaps they’re too cool for that…

Inside, you’ll find cute details, like each model’s name next to his or her picture and an answer to various different questions they’ve been asked.  For example, favorite food, dream vacation, favorite childhood memory, favorite date location — stuff like that.  Since the company is from England, you’ll find great English expressions and English quirkiness in the descriptions of the clothing, too.

Their website has cute flowered background, as if you’re on a friend’s blog.  When you go to request a catalogue, you’ll find your “title” choices include things like Admiral, Dame, Earl, Prince, The Duchess of ____,  Viscount, etc.  You’ll stumble upon pages like the one dedicated to Johnny Boden’s favorite things (which include things like Earl Gray tea, Parmesan Cheese, and Middlemarch by George Eliot).

And the personality continues to shine through when you receive your package.  When you go to rip into it, you’ll see this:

EASY DOES IT.  This bag is resealable, but if you rip into the crinkly part above here, it won’t work.  Well, not properly anyway.

Am I the only one that thinks this is hilarious?  And how about these return directions?

1. Try everything on, and admire yourself in a mirror.

2. In the unlikely event you don’t look great, decide what you want to return.

3. Fill in the returns form attached to the enclosed despatch note.

4. Place the items to be returned and the returns form in the bag.

5. Slap the returns label on the bag (covering the original address label).

6. Re-seal the bag and stick on the correct postage.

7. Go to the Post Office and make their day.

And if those directions aren’t good enough, the ones on the “returns form” are pretty great too:

Personality is in the details.  And Boden’s have won my heart.

Note: After re-reading this, I realized it sounds like Trena actually introduced me to Johnnie Boden himself.  But that made me laugh, and I liked that thought, so I kept the sentence the way it was. : )

Second Note: I just read a quick article about Johnnie Boden, and found that he uses the word “frumpy” a lot.  I thought we’d be friends if we ever met!  Now I know we would! (“Johnnie hums, thinking carefully. ‘Our customers like our brand ­because it’s quite real, but, equally, there’s a fine line between real and frumpy.'”)

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