Sunday, June 5, 2016

Piecing Together a Past | Bath and Body Works

I am not sure if you're like me, but when I really like a brand so much that I follow it, I like to know all I can about the brand; from its past to its present. 

When I started collecting Hallmark Ornaments years ago as a family tradition, I kept track of my purchases as well as kept a copy of the little books that would showcase the new products every year for a reference.  People would chat in groups online hoping that the company would hear their requests for a grand book of sorts...that place where we could see all that was available, from the beginning for every year while allowing us to keep an archive of what we owned.  Hallmark heard the requests and created a compendium of sorts that was well worth the few dollars it cost to own it.

Now my current obsession with the Bath and Body Works brand leaves me questioning many things when it comes to its thoughts on the past, the products it offered then, and their customer requests now.

From what I know, you will not find a "compendium" of sorts with a total history accounting of this brand from day one anywhere for customers to read.  And that is why I try to keep as much information and photographs current for every collection we have seen over the past few years.

If you ask for information from B&BW, your request goes unanswered.  You will see tidbits here and there where bloggers and fans try to piece together the puzzle of the early years offerings from what they have seen, heard about, and purchased themselves.  Ah, the excitement of those newly discovered treasures lurking in the darkest corners of our closets and cabinets now popular once more. And how silly was I to toss out some of the used collection pieces I no longer wanted. *facepalm*

It seems to me that the company directs its energy in only of moving forward.  The next thing to come in the next month... Without homage to what got them to where they are.

I would LOVE to see MARKETING photos store wide and behind the cash wrap of the products from the 90's. It is where it all began.

Yes, moving forward is important and necessary in an ever changing market, but I suppose for some of us interested in the history of the product, we want to know it All.

Okay, yes, I am a list maker.

And yes we know the basic history-

Bath and Body Works didn't get its start coming from a farm in New Albany Ohio when in fact there were a few products originally sold in an Express Store in a mall back in the 80's until The Limited (Limited Brands now) gave them their own place to sell. 

I wasn't paying attention to Express or Bath and Body Works items then, sadly. I was busy I guess.

September 1990 in a mall in Cambridge MA we saw the beginning of their own store experience where you could shop to your delight for these, what I now call quaint in comparison to what we currently, items.

I do remember my shopping experiences in later years and the feel that was inside of the store then was incredible.  You weren't an apparent sales goal...you were a customer who could try every item if you wished while you patiently wandered from scent to scent, one product filled basket at a time. The scents were new to you and different than what you found elsewhere making you want to come back for more. And you did.

The collections offered were varied to meet different tastes of the customers and you seemed to use them, and enjoy them to the bottom of the bottle.  I can't remember ever returning anything then.

I say that because in my new mission to find out more about the past of Bath and Body Works, the photos I find on Ebay and Pinterest are of products almost completely used up.

Lately, I  have been adding more Bath and Body Works specific sections to my Pinterest Page and I am organizing them more to the time period they came out as the company evolved. The Heritage Era. I am so very grateful to those who share their photos on Pinterest and who sell the products on Ebay because it enables us to get a broader view of the past.

The company is launching its flashback fragrances now for Semi Annual Sale and in their own press release they stated some original release dates of items that when shared on my Facebook page immediately caught the attention of  few fragrance fans who knew something may be askew...and called me out on it.

Personally, I can't remember with extreme clarity what year a scent launched back then.  I know it, used it...but to say with certainty "this month and this year" it was out....hmmm, I can't swear to it.  And one would think that a press release from the brand would be spot on...correct. Right?  Some one there...looked it up. No?

When I was shopping in an area out of town, I think it was at the time Forever Red was to launch,  the manager there had met her sales goals and was rewarded with a trip to Colorado, and then was also allowed to visit home office.  And there she told me was an area (a million dollar room?)  where every item ever made was kept. No photos were allowed, of course, but those touring were shown something she called beyond amazing.  I can only imagine...and they would still be looking for me among the racks had I been invited. :)

I am not sure of when that collection of everything began, but I would think it may be from day one. How fun is that?

My next few posts are going to be information filled for those who are interested in scent names and collections from yesteryear matching what we are seeing via social media posts.  And again, I will try to keep my Pinterest Page filled with interesting glimpses as well. I welcome you to check them out, as I piece together a B&BW past.

Also please note, nothing shared is affiliated, connected to or endorsed by Bath and Body Works or any other company. The products names are trademarks of the owners and are used for editorial purposes only. I cant verify the complete authenticity but from what I am finding it seems to be true.

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