I’m in a Duluth Trading TV Commercial!

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I’m so excited to be a part of the Duluth Trading Company’s “No-Yank Tank” national commercial! Here’s how it happened:

The evening chill had settled in, and the glow of lights lit up the fields. Bob Marley was crooning over the speakers while the sweat of a cold beer trickled down my glass, wetting my hand.

Sunset after filming

I looked around at the glow of the setting sun, listening to the excited chatter of the crew with whom I had just spent the last five days shooting a national TV commercial as a Duluth Trading Company Woman.

Silently I muttered to myself with a squeal of excitement and gratefulness, “Thank you, God.”

While I’m not wildly religious, how could I not thank the universe for bringing into existence a life that has afforded me the opportunity to travel and see places I had never seen before?

On the road

The location was absolutely beautiful…


Gorgeous location where we shot

How could I not thank the universe for yanking me from a “day job” that sucked me into the fear of ever venturing out on my own?

When did these beautiful fields and fun locations become my “office”?

I sipped my beer, enjoying the pizza, and watched the laughing faces around me rewarding themselves for a job well done, celebrating the success of shooting an amazing commercial.

Picture of crew - 3

Earlier in the week, I had been comparing myself to the other two models, apprehensive that I was a third wheel that didn’t really belong.

After all, they were tall and thin. And I, dear readers, am tall but curvy with a mom-gut.

They had straight hair. And I, curly hair.

Their pictures graced the pages of the catalog, and mine had barely graced the bottom of their promotional emails.

The models and makeup artist

Their smiling pretty faces hung in the store, inviting customers to be beautiful, strong, and confident. And my pictures were likely stashed in a “Can’t Use These” folder on someone’s over-crowded external hard drive.

I didn’t want to feel like an insecure teenager, but I couldn’t help but feel like the new kid on the block that had to prove herself worthy of being included with the in-crowd.

We were all three model winners, yet they’d come so far and were clearly photogenic favorites. (And rightly so. Their pictures were amazing!).

But during that week, as we dined together, laughed together, joked about taking care of our “lady business,” shared our families, our thoughts, and our opinions on hot topics in current events….it became clear on why we were all there.

On break for lunch

The quaint restaurant where the crew dined!

We were there because we were beautiful, yes, but because we are bad-asses. We’re strong women, physically and mentally, in careers that are both physically and mentally demanding. We’re building things, creating things, digging up things, working in fields, yet still feminine and soft and pretty. We’re not afraid to work hard and look good while doing it.

We’re women that go for seconds, who say “yes” to junk food, who love a good beer.

We’re not fussy and pretentious.

We’re tomboys at heart who know how to pull our weight, yet are beautiful, inside and out.

And I, power tool and paintbrush in her hand, am one of them.

Picture of the crew - 2

Photo courtesy of David Nevala

It didn’t matter that they’re hanging in stores and I’m not.

It no longer mattered that I haven’t yet been in the catalog. (They earned it, after all).

What mattered is that I was there.

I was included. I was asked.

Someone saw value and potential in me and this blog and what I could bring to the image of being a strong woman.

Yes—beauty is a woman, tall and thin, with pretty side braids and tendrils framing her face as she sweats it out in the field.

But a beautiful woman also has a mop of curls, a curvy butt, and a power tool and paintbrush in her hand. (She may even have a mom-gut from birthing a litter of kids. HA!)

Picture of crew - 3

So I let go of my insecurities this week in trying to find where I belonged and determined that I was now creating a new standard of what strong and beautiful is for a brand that is just beginning to show that side of other types of women.

And as I boarded the plane to head back to Maryland, thoughts of their compliments drift through my mind (“You’re a natural on camera”….”You take direction in front of the camera so well”…”The camera loves you!”) and I feel so  blessed to have been given this opportunity to be such a trailblazer.

Picture of the crew

Photo courtesy of David Nevala

Yes, this is my life now.

This is what I’m meant to be doing.

There’s no turning back now.

Here’s the Duluth Trading Company “No-Yank” Commercial!

So excited that this commercial has aired on DIY Network, HGTV, MSNBC, OWN Network, Lifetime, and more!

Thanks for following along on this journey!






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  1. Isabel Puertas says:

    I saw the commercial, and my husband thought I was nuts because I was screaming “hey that’s Serena from thriftdiving”. I loved the commercial, and you were amazing!!! Why wouldn’t you fit in, you’re gorgeous!!! Now I need to try those shirts for myself, because I too hate the tug!!! Keep rocking!!!

  2. Love this! I can’t wait to see the final pictures/commercial.

  3. Serena, you rock! You are an amazing woman, beautiful, confident and more importantly to me, caring. Caring about yourself and your family, caring about women in general and individually, caring about your home, environment, and life in general. You are out there DOING what you can to make the best of what you have and what is available in your world. And you are doing an awesome job! So please keep your confidence and keep on keeping on. You are making a difference–one post at a time, one opportunity at a time, one woman (person) at a time, inspiring, encouraging and helping us to be our best selves and make the best of our worlds, too! We see you as beautiful because you are beautiful!

  4. Elizabeth Cornelisse says:

    This has been your best post yet (and no before or after pictures!) I, too, can see how lovely you are and am so glad you have been recognized for you talent and grit. I remember being very young and seeing only men doing the news on TV. All were white men. ( I was a crazy political junkie even at 4.) Now, I get to see women of all ages and color doing national news, war reporting, as well as the “Hollywood” gossip pieces along side their male counterparts. Thank God the world is starting to see that everyone (even a mom with a tiny post-baby bump) is worth listening to.
    Congrats for representing a changing world. I hope it never stops. (I just wish it would go faster for everyone.)

  5. Wow, congratulations! How awesome and appreciated you must feel. I will keep watch for your commercial. This is only the beginning!

  6. WOW, how exciting, can’t wait to see you in the commercial!! WaHOOOO for you!! Fantastic accomplishment, see told ya you were a natural in front of the camera. Congratulations on job well done!

  7. Carol Preston says:

    Hey Serena,

    Your journey has been amazing. Congratulations on a job well done!

  8. Katherine Cruz says:

    Woohoo! Congratulations, Serena! Thanks for sharing your journey with us. Your posts are such a treat! -Kat Cruz

  9. I am so happy for you! YES, you are a beautiful person…inside & out! Congrats on a new career!!

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