PORTLAND to PORTLAND
You may have seen that we’re on an epic cross country road trip from Portland, Oregon to Portland, Maine. You may have also heard a lot about Duluth Trading Company on our social media channels. What’s it all about, you ask? Stellar question. Let us elaborate.
The Brain Child Is Born
We’ve known about Duluth Trading Company for a long time. They’re local legends back where we’re from. In fact, I (Pete) grew up just down the road from their headquarters – a small town just south of Madison, Wisconsin. You might know them best from their amazing marketing campaigns (hilarious TV commercials and billboards), or their “buck-naked” underwear that’s worn by just about every dude living in the continental U.S. If you’re not wearing them, you need to order a few pairs promptly after reading this blog post. No if, ands, or butts about it.
We wore Duluth Trading gear throughout our second van conversion earlier this year and not only fell in love with their clothing, but their company culture also aligned perfectly with our beliefs and values. It’s rare to find a company these days that puts the customer first and genuinely has fun doing so. After meeting with a couple members of their team, a beautiful brain child had been born – Portland to Portland. It was a match made in heaven. Duluth Trading Company is opening stores like crazy around the country and since we live on the road, we decided that a coast to coast road trip stopping at various Duluth Stores would be an epic way to see the country while experiencing and sharing the Duluth Trading Company culture. And the last stop, Portland, Maine, is the grand finale – a Grand Store Opening!
So, here’s the deal. We planned a route from Portland, Oregon to Portland, Maine that we’re going to be making over roughly five weeks. That’s right. Coast to Coast in five weeks. This journey requires us to travel faster than we usually do, but we’re taking this opportunity to seek out epic hikes, landmarks we’ve never seen, cities we haven’t yet explored, and anything else that excites us along the way.
On the Road in Full Force
Although we live on the road, we’ve been spending a good amount of time working in various locations the past six months. We spent a chunk of time working with an amazing group of people in California and shortly after spent a few months converting another van that we handed off to an amazing couple to start their own vanlife adventures (@theopenroadtrip).
Generally, our travels are guided by where we can find and/or create work. Since we’ve spent so much time working this past year to fund this lifestyle, we’re so excited to spend five weeks driving across the country working on a passion project with one of our favorite companies. We were both ready to hit the road in full force and this road trip spawned the perfect opportunity to go big. Portland to Portland, baby!
Customer First, No Nonsense Mentality
Duluth Trading Company is a Midwest born and bred company and they’re opening stores coast-to-coast, spreading their “Customer First, No Nonsense” mentality across the country. The Grand Opening in Portland, Maine (the grand finale of our trip) will be store #45 in the United States.
And throughout our experiences at different Duluth Trading stores, we’ve noticed something extremely unique about them; their stores are much more of a destination than an average retail store. They literally have a team in charge of making their retail stores a great experience for the shopper. For example, in each Duluth store they have a room that acts as a “break” room for customers to enjoy free coffee, bottled water, and a comfortable place to relax. The store we visited in Portland even had leather couches with a TV screen in front of it…yes, at a retail store! They also have “point of interests” at a lot of their locations, adding to the uniqueness of each Duluth Trading store.
Duluth Trading Gear
Living on the road means minimalism and functionality, there’s no question about it. We can’t have a closet full of clothes that we might wear sometime. Our life revolves around functionality, necessity, and lately, staying warm (we have no heat in the van). It’s crucial for us to have clothes that keep up with our lifestyle, whether that’s hiking through snow covered mountains, getting dirty working on the van, camping in below freezing temps, or simply staying comfortable on long drives…which we do A LOT of! Duluth Trading gear blends perfectly into our life on the road.
Okay, by now you’re probably thinking, “Dang, Duluth Trading sounds like an amazing company…but what kind of clothes do they make and sell?”. Great question.
Duluth Trading Company clothing is built on a few fundamental (yet crucial) qualities: functionality, comfort, durability, warmth, and of course, fashion. It’d be wrong to start explaining “who” Duluth Trading company makes clothes for because they have such a diverse selection of clothing and styles. Whether you’re an active outdoor enthusiast, a tradesperson, a passionate gardener, or just someone who appreciates quality (and functional) clothing, they’ve got your back…literally. From epic flannels to warm down-jackets, business attire to Alaskan Hardgear, comfortable leggings to “buck-naked” men’s underwear, Duluth Trading has it all.
But don’t take our internet spoken word for it. Head over to their site and check out their amazing selection of gear and accessories. Click below to check out Men’s, Women’s, or Alaskan Hardgear. Beware, you might spend hours on their site looking at their creative graphics and watching their hilarious TV commercials. Consider that a fair warning.
Keep up with Duluth Trading Company on Instagram @duluthtradingcompany
The journey continues…
We’re stoked to make this journey from coast to coast. If you have any recommendations of places to stop and see along the way, leave us a comment below!