Getting Personalwith Morlee Griswold

Morlee Griswold is catalog director for Ventura, CA-based Patagonia, a cataloger/retailer of outdoor gear and apparel.

Where did you grow up?

Reno, the biggest little city in the world.

What was your first job out of college?

Ski bum. It was a great job being a delivery person on a ski mountain.

How did you get into the catalog business?

In graduate school, a professor and I came up with the idea to start a special-interest videotape catalog — the first one on the market. We actually did pretty well, but with no experience we thought a 2% response rate on prospecting was untenable and closed it down. But I’d fallen in love with the business and set out to learn it.

Other than your current job, what would your dream job be?

The owner of Patagonia. Yvon Chouinard, the owner, is a wonderful adventurer; when not dropping in on the company he’s off on one incredible adventure after another.

Whom in the catalog business do you most admire?

Joe Pickard, whom I worked for when he was CEO of the SelfCare catalog. He took a company that was limping along and turned it into a vibrant successful industry leader virtually overnight…all with a tremendous sense of humor and great respect for the business.

What is your favorite sport? Whitewater kayaking.

What is your favorite CD?

Anything Bjork has done. She’s amazing, and I would definitely put Dancer in the Dark in my top-10 movies.

Coffee or tea? Are margaritas an option?

Window or aisle seat? Window by the emergency exit!!

Cat or dog? Portuguese water dog, hands down.

What is the most interesting place you have visited?

Iran before the fall of the shah.

What is the strangest food you have tried?

Snake bile wine in Macao — seriously!

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