I10054 - Leon Leonwood Bean
"Sell good merchandise at a reasonable profit, treat your customers like human beings, and they will always come back for more."- Leon L. Bean
For the first 40 years of his life L. L. Bean was an entrepreneur looking for his niche. Bean funded his first year of college by selling soap to housewives and grocery stores, convincing the regional soap distributor to order an extra boxcar of the product. During his second year of deer hunting, he met some unsuccessful hunters in the forest and sold them his freshly shot deer for $12.
Tired of cold, wet feet from hunting deer in the bogs of Maine, Bean created his famous Duck Boots. He had a tailor sew together leather uppers with the rubber bottoms from ordinary galoshes. Bean soon would have 100 pairs made and sold them through the mail. Ninety pairs were later returned.
Not willing to give up, Bean convinced U.S. Rubber to mold a heavier bottom for the boots and never looked back as his business took off.