Getting Personal with Jean O. Geismann

Jean O. Giesmann is vice president of creative services for Madison, VA-based Plow & Hearth, a cataloger of “products for country living.”

Where did you grow up? Boston.

What was your first job out of college?

Driving transit buses.

Which catalogs do you most admire?

Restoration Hardware for its beautiful layouts and design, New Pig because of its ability to carry off humor and sell, and Harry and David for its delicious job of photography.

What sites do you have bookmarked?, Travelocity,, Yahoo, Mapquest,, The New York Times, and, to name just a few.

What is your most embarrassing moment in the catalog industry?

I was asked to moderate a panel of international direct marketers. Since English was not the first language of any of the panelists, we couldn’t carry off the fast pace of the “60 tips in 60 minutes” type of format.

What is your dream job?

Designing catalogs, but having the time to travel whenever and wherever I want for as long as I want!

What is your favorite color?

The deep cobalt blue the sky gets after sunset in late summer.

Who is your favorite artist?

There’s never just one — Georgia O’Keefe, Paul Gauguin, any of the Impressionists.

If you could have dinner with any three people, living or dead, who would they be?

Caroline Kennedy, Maya Angelou, and I never miss an opportunity to have dinner with my Dad.

Best meal you’ve ever had?

Smoked salmon in a cream sauce over angel-hair pasta.

Mac or PC? Both.

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