Duluth entrepreneur Anna Bailey wears many hats: artist, furniture maker, singer-songwriter, hotelier. In February, she’ll be wearing a new one—professional model—along with selected pieces from working-guy clothing retailer Duluth Trading’s new Workday Warrior collection. She’ll appear in the company’s spring catalog.
Duluth Trading describes Workday Warrior as “designed for the professional modern woman and maker.” It’s a description that’s almost custom-made for Bailey. She founded her own company in 2011 to market her hand-built furniture and art from leftover wood scraps. As demand grew, her husband, Nathanael, joined full time in 2017. The couple runs Bailey Builds out of a former service station in West Duluth that they’ve renovated into the Makers Movement Collective Studio.
Bailey says she was surprised when Duluth Trading (founded in its namesake city but now based in Wisconsin) asked her this past fall to be a model. But it wasn’t a complete bolt from the blue. In mid-2018, she began giving some shout-outs to its clothing. The company found her and asked whether she would be interested in partnering with them, Bailey recalls. “They gifted me 10 items of my choice, and I gave my opinion of them on social media.”
While Duluth Trading often projects a “fashion-backward” sensibility (embodied by the burly cartoon who cavorts in his underwear), it has been steadily building its brand among women. Over the years, it has chosen women (none of them professional models) who engage in hardy, hands-on pursuits such as vehicle restoration, farming, and various outdoor sports.
“Anna is an ideal partner, not only because she wears our brand and resides in Duluth, but [because] she took a leap of faith in her career to start her own business,” says Ricker Schlecht, Duluth Trading vice president of product and creative. “Her entrepreneurial spirit, paired with her craft of refurbishing old materials into something new, made her a natural choice to represent Duluth Trading.”
Bailey describes Workday Warrior clothing as having “a lot of flexibility and stretch,” as well as being “super-durable.” The items also “can transition into everyday wear.” Sounds like quintessential Duluth style.