The Martinsville-Henry County EDC's Tourism and Film Division is pleased to announce that Martinsville-Henry County and Patrick County have been featured in the Spring 2013 Wrangler Rugged Wear and Wrangler Pro Gear Catalog for VF Jeanswear. The catalog features a full page spread of The Smith River inside the front cover and several area locations are shown throughout the catalog including, Fairy Stone State Park, The Smith River, the home of Ricky Keeton of Bassett and the historic Fred Stanley Barn in Henry County.
The North Carolina company, which manufactures Wrangler Jeans was searching for a location to shoot images for their upcoming spring catalog. The project called for rugged locations for activities such as camping, hiking, hunting and boating. According to Larry Clapp, creative director of the design firm Austin, Li & Clapp, "Years ago, I had visited Philpott Lake and remembered how striking and undeveloped it was. So I decided to revisit the area for more information. While talking with the authorities at Philpott, I received the most important bit of information I could hope for. The Ranger gave contact info for the EDC's Tourism & Film Division and told me that they would be able to help me with additional location needs. I contacted them and described our project and needs. The EDC immediately provided a wealth of information, options and suggestions that were right on target."
Clapp decided that Fairy Stone State Park and neighboring rental cabins at The Reserve would be the best operations base for the two-day photo shoot. The EDC's Tourism & Film Division assisted by securing permission from land owners, lining up additional props and ensuring that the 18 visiting crew members were aware of area opportunities for dining, night life, shopping and attractions. According to Clapp, "The services they [the EDC's Tourism & Film Division] provide are critical to the success of many projects and is a primary reason that I plan to schedule more work for that area."
Fairy Stone State Park provided canoes and use of park facilities such as the beach and boat dock for various scenes. According to John Grooms, Park manager, "Fairy Stone State Park is happy to partner with the EDC to promote the area's natural resources and tourist attractions." Additional community members also participated in the shoot. Dan Baptist of Martinsville provided use of a whitewater raft, Darrin Doss of Henry provided fly fishing equipment and Ben Davenport of Chatham brought his Golden Retrievers "Governor" and "Bay" to model in some of the scenes.
Joanna Bragdon, Marketing Communications Coordinator for VF Jeanswear, explained that the catalog is a sales tool used by retailers and features clothing from the Wrangler Rugged Wear and Wrangler Pro Gear lines that are sold in specialty outdoor and farm supply stores such as Tractor Supply. This line of clothing is different from the mass market styles available for purchase at Wal-Mart, K-Mart and Target. In addition to the catalog, the photos will be used on the Wrangler website this spring and video footage recorded during the photo shoot will also be used for marketing.
According to Jennifer Doss, Director of Tourism for Martinsville-Henry County, "It was very exciting to work with both Wrangler and Austin, Li & Clapp on this project. The natural scenery that our area has to offer made a perfect backdrop for the photo shoot and we are looking forward to working with VF Jeanswear and Austin, Li & Clapp again in the future."
The mission of the Martinsville-Henry County Economic Development Corporation is to create new job opportunities and expand the tax base for the area. The organization strives to support and develop local industry, as well as market Martinsville-Henry County globally as an exceptional place to live, work and play.
The EDC is a public-private partnership between the City of Martinsville, Henry County, the Martinsville-Henry County Chamber of Commerce, the Martinsville-Henry County Chamber's Partnership for Economic Growth (C-PEG) and the Harvest Foundation of the Piedmont.