Saturday, June 11, 2005

100 Years of Boots

“First in 100 Years Warehouse Sale or Once in 100 Years Sale is how we are going to promote it,” is how Marcy Dowse of Integreat explained to me how she is promoting Red Wing Shoes 100 year celebration July 28th to 31st. The company is a family business, still owned and run by the Sweasy family.

Bill Sweasy, Jr., 3rd generation CEO continues to reinvest in Red Wing, MN and to fly in the face of conventional wisdom by continuing to make its world famous boots in the USA. The company, which has over 700 employees in Red Wing, also has done major redevelopment in the downtown area. Not only is its headquarters located in a set of historical buildings on the riverfront, but the company purchased and completely remodeled the historic St. James Hotel. Their original shoe factory, a block down the street will be redeveloped into a company museum.

As part of their 100 anniversary celebration Red Wing Shoes has supported a boot design competition that will have supersized Red Wing boots designed by local artists decorating the town. The first ones were being installed on my visit there this week. I’m on the road without any tech help, but I hope to post some pictures of these boots on my blogspot.

If you need boots and even if you don’t, Red Wing is going to be hopping in late July.

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