Getting Personal…with Fran Philip

Fran Philip is senior vice president of Freeport, ME-based L.L. Bean’s home goods catalog, L.L. Bean Home, and its women’s apparel title Freeport Studio.

Where did you grow up?
Woods Hole, MA, on Cape Cod.

What was your first job out of college?
Market research analyst for Star Market Supermarkets in Boston.

How did you get into the catalog business?
I worked for Williams-Sonoma in inventory management after I graduated from Harvard Business School. A classmate of mine did an internship there and raved about it.

Who has had the most influence on your career?
My mother and my stepmother. They both had successful careers and taught me that I could do anything I set my mind to.

Who in the catalog business do you most admire, and why?
Williams-Sonoma founder Chuck Williams and L.L. Bean chairman Leon Gorman. I feel privileged to have worked closely with both of these industry pioneers.

Other than your current job, what would your dream job be? This really is my dream job!

What is your favorite summer pastime?
Boating along the Maine coast and working in my garden.

Other than L.L. Bean, what are your favorite catalogs to shop from?
Williams-Sonoma, Bliss Spa, Soft Surroundings.

What is the best restaurant for lobster?
Harraseeket Lunch & Lobster in South Freeport, ME. It’s a favorite lunch spot for “Beaners” in the summer and conveniently a half-mile from my home.

What is the best book you’ve ever read?
Anything by Shakespeare.

What are you reading now?
A stack of books on home design and decorating — I’m in the throes of building a new house.

What destination that you have yet to visit would you most like to travel to?
Africa — I am an animal nut and would love to go on a photographic safari.

How do you take your coffee?
Black and very strong.

Window or aisle seat? Aisle.

Iced tea or lemonade? Iced tea — with lemon.

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