J L LOlly my thoughts

JL: Lolly: From Fishing to Fashion Reeling in an Unlikely Fashion Success

By author: Jeff Stewart


Author Jeff Stewart is given a unique and unusual opportunity to discover the history and rebirth of Lolly Clothing. Imagine being in a pub having a drink and meeting the owners of this company. Coming to an unusual agreement to write a novel focusing on the fashion industry and dedicated Lolly herself. Jeff Stewart the March of Time and Skin Author  and enters a world unknown to him along with readers learning about the rebirth of Lolly Clothing. From start to finish from hard times to success, this story is told straight from the hip or the heart. Lolly: From Fishing to Fashion, Reeing in an Unlikely Fashion Success is the story of two brothers who decided to revamp and old business and turned it into a success. But, this fashionista decided to take a look at the fashions, the website and get to know Lolly before completing her initial review of the book. The collections are outstanding very unique and different from many others that I have bought or seen and the color palettes fit my taste to a T. Entering the world of fashion and learning the ropes from the bottom up let’s take the journey with our author and laugh, cry, pray and become more attuned to the fashion industry, the processes involved in creating collections, keeping this business afloat.


Jeff Stewart and his dog Chico who never leaves his side enter help tell the story of Lolly Clothing. He writes about his experiences, the many company people that he met, the two brothers, Todd and Chad running the company and the change from OGear to Obvious Clothing to Lolly. First we meet the man who helped Todd and Chad, S fisherman named Scott whose investment acumen and business sense encouraged many other fisherman to invest in Lolly. Taking a half a million dollars of his life savings, and getting 17 others to invest at least 50 thousand dollars each this company was on its way to success. Lolly sounds like a company that everyone would love to be affiliated with. Getting to know the fisherman and understanding his rationale for becoming involved you learn that not only is this a solid company but one that cares about its clients. Imagine calling your client making sure that they are happy with your services and your products. Allowing someone to handle so much of his money and that of others required an instant bond or trust from the start. Caring about their employees, making sure they get paid understanding the challenges involved and creating a sense of oneness within the company. Imagine wanting to come to work and enjoying what you do. The Kimball brothers treat their employees as family. After we learn about Scott we meet the company’s accountant who takes readers into the financial end of Lolly, explains why she left a well paying job to become their financial accountant and why her decision was right for her.

The relaxed conversations he has with the investors, the employees and both Todd and Chad enlighten readers as to the origins of the company, the struggles they faced when deciding how to begin and the positive light in which they are regarded by everyone working for Lolly. There is Scott Schoenfeld who talks and deals with numerous retailers, boutiques and follows up with clients to make sure they are happy with the collection and their services. How rare is that! Amy Romer is the company’s accountant and as I stated before she left her position at another company to work for Lolly full time. Her reasons and their conversation, how she met both Todd and Chad are the prime focus of pages 38- 46. Next we meet Todd’s wife Lori who is not only beautiful on the outside but on the inside too.


The original name for the company was Obvious Gear which was later shortened to O’Gear. But, this company began and the idea came from a young girl walking on 65th and 17th on Ballard wearing a simple green tee-shirt. Using that premise Todd decided to start his own tee-shirt business with simple sayings and ideas. Learning from the beginning, researching how to start a business and buying several titles in Barnes and Noble he got the ball rolling. Everyone has t-shirts but thinking positively and out of the box he stated: They don’t have his or our t-shirts. So from a small beginning the business bloomed online. Next we learn about the heart of Lolly and listen to an interview Jeff has with a man named Matt starting his own magazine. Since this was an exclusive on the phone in order to find out what they talked about I suggest you read it for yourself. But, within his busy schedule writing this interesting and, entertaining and informative book he managed to finish his other title: Flotsam for Jetsam.


Sergio Jimenez is really quite interesting when he tells readers and Jeff how he wanted to become a marine biologist and instead works for Lolly where he shares with readers the inside scoop on how he learned to issue trims to contractors and explaining that once the garments are created and the samples sent to the sales reps and they sell a certain amount of each style he takes over and predicts how much fabric and more need to be purchased as we learn the inside scoop about what keeps this business thriving.


Named for their grandmother, Eleanor, nicknamed Lolly, Todd, and Chad would make her proud. With his wife Lori at his side and support from his actor brother Chad, the foundation they received from their parents and their support these two are a total success. Imagine having a brother nominated for a Tony Award. The final or second section relates the true history of Lolly told by Todd and Chad. Discussing that they really did not know just how expensive this industry is and the products made have so much that go into them needing the right team to create the line. They tell the author about hiring a designer on a contractor basis and then realizing what they wanted to do and change about Obvious which is what the company was called at first. As you read this chapter you will learn more about how they got started and when and how Lolly took off beyond business. Imagine having a passion for fashion and a wife that supports you in every way. You can hear their words, feel the energy and the passion that is ignited in them. Success comes when you are truly committed as they were and still are. Within this section you learn about the materials, the cashmere line and transition to Lolly. The final story about meeting the first lady and the President and remembering where and when it all started rounds out this very interesting and informative book. But, before I complete my review I have to relate that I checked out the collection which includes: Opposites Attract: the sporty side, The Gypsy Angel Line with soft pastels and earth tones plus Eyes Wide Shut: Hot fashions for a great night out. There are many more collections but I have to say regardless of which one you choose Lolly has something for everyone especially me. A true success story told through the eyes of an observer who takes the journey from past to present, enters the cutting rooms, meets the designers and learns just why Lolly is such a success and even more why Todd and Chad are brothers the same yet so different and how each of their special personalities blend together to create Lolly.


Fran Lewis: Reviewer





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