In Conversation with Lindsay Johnson of LULUSIMONSTUDIO
Describe your business in a few words?
Apparel and accessories for the bold and witty.
What made you take the leap to start your own business?
After years of studying and practicing Interior Design I found new avenues to be creative. That included creating giclee prints that gained traction on Etsy, and evolved into putting that art onto tees, tanks, sweatshirts and more. After years of hand weaving and heat pressing designs I wanted to elevate my brand and the quality of my products. I taught myself how to screen print, and began wholesaling exclusive designs to a large e-commerce boutique, on top of launching my new online experience. I’ve always known I wanted to work for myself, and build a brand that expressed my personality and innate sass.
What was your background prior to starting your own business?
I was an Interior Designer.
Did you always know you wanted to be an entrepreneur?
YES! I learned early on I wanted to be my own boss.
Take us back to when you first launched your business, what was your marketing strategy to get the word out and did it go as planned?
When I was launching my brand and adding apparel to my art print business, Etsy was a great way to acquire new customers, and Instagram was just shifting from heavily filtered images to a more business and marketing focused platform. Social media REALLY helped grow my brand awareness.
We always learn the most from our mistakes, share a time with us that you made a mistake or had a challenging time in business and what you learned from it?
When I first started taking on larger orders for exclusive wholesale design projects I was producing hundreds of units a week by myself in my father’s garage. I would stay up for 24 hours or more ensuring I delivered any and all requests on time. Learning to grow my team and delegate enabled me to grow at a healthy pace.
What is the accomplishment you are the most proud of to date?
Growing my business to a stable state that enabled me to purchase my own home…IN THE BAY AREA!
When hiring for your team, what is your go-to interview question? Please share any hiring tips you can share from your experience?
We believe talent can be nurtured, but tenacity and the ability to be a good team member is innate. We always appreciate a positive, solution-oriented attitude as success comes from a combination of caring about what you do and the people you do it with.
How has your business or industry been impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic?
The first month and a half of Covid was beyond stressful! Thankfully, we don’t have a brick and mortar location, and the majority of our team can work from home. We had big plans for marketing campaigns, expanding our USA production capabilities, and partnering with new brands and celebrities. We had to put a lot of that on hold, but we have had a very healthy year of sales so far! We are grateful to all our customers, new and returning, for supporting us through this chaotic time.
What’s next for your business? What can we expect to see over the next few years?
I am SO excited to launch LULUSIMONSTUDIO Essentials in 2021! I’ve always wanted to design and manufacture the perfect tees, sweatshirts, and tanks that fit like a dream, feel like butter, and will last a lifetime without breaking the bank. What currently exists in the market seems to miss the mark time and time again. LULUSIMONSTUDIO Essentials is 100% made in the USA, pigment dyed, and hand finished to perfection.
What is the biggest lesson you have learned in 2020?
Flexibility and agility with the business and our team is the key to not only surviving, but success.
What do you know now that you wish you knew when you were first starting your business?
Releasing control of certain aspects of my business to trusted team members sooner than I did. Delegation is key to growth, especially when you hire a team whose skills and experience expand on my knowledge base and increase productivity and revenue.
How have you managed to stay grounded this year?
Let’s be real, a lot of mimosas!
Do you believe in work/life balance? What are some of your best tips?
I personally have the mentality that it’s my baby, and my business, so if I need to get something done, I do it. There is always time for work, and fun. Setting healthy boundaries for myself and my team, especially while working remotely, is key to keeping the energy high, and to continue to grow as a brand.
What’s something our audience would be surprised to learn about you?
I worked at a radio station in San Diego (91 X) for a year, and that I’m a total melophile!
What are your top 3 tips to stay productive each day?
Coffee, working out, and a great murder podcast.
What does being an Entreprenista mean to you?
Having the opportunity to fulfill all my creative visions.