EMORY, Va. (WJHL) – Representatives from the Freeport, Maine-based company L.L. Bean made their way down to Southwest Virginia on Wednesday and offered their winter gear alongside a massive model boot known as the “Bootmobile.”
The vehicle is a size-708 rendition of the company’s “Bean Boot,” which launched the brand in the early 1900s as a hunting shoe. Now, the Bootmobile serves as an outdoors ambassador across the country.
“We believe in the restorative power of the outdoors,” Bob York, experiential marketing specialist for L.L. Bean, said. “We believe helping people get outside with the right gear is important. That’s why we do this.”
Alongside the boot, a pop-up shop offered cold-weather gear for students, staff and visitors to purchase. The whole setup was placed across from the campus’s duck pond.
“It’s really more about outreach,” York said. “We see a lot of engagement from students typically, wherever we go.”
E&H marked the boot’s 12th appearance on a college campus this year. For York, who has worked for L.L. Bean for decades, the opportunity to represent the company’s mission is an honor.
“It’s such a privilege to drive that thing,” York said. “Because no matter where you are, you’ll be going down the road at 65 miles an hour and somebody’s holding a pair of Bean Boots out their window.”
Small towns are York’s favorite because nothing lights up Main Street, USA like a 13-foot tall boot cruising through downtown.
“You’ve got people that will step out and take pictures,” York said. “Sometimes they’ll even get out in the road to take pictures. So wherever you go, you’re always bringing a smile to someone’s face and bringing joy to someone.”