Behind The Brand: Friendship
Mix work, fun, and friendship and you get a brand with heart and soul.
"Winner winner chicken dinner”. A funny text that means we’re on the same page and both loving a new print our designer just sent over. It’s a great feeling when our vision has been achieved in a pattern, colour, or product. I sent a screenshot to Dawn on Friday evening because, in our world, what better way to kick off the weekend.
For those new to Lulujo, Dawn is the founder and CEO who started the brand 11 years ago. My role is product development which involves working with our manufacturers and designers to create products and packaging based on current trends. I also oversee anything brand related like photography, social media, trade shows, or our catalog.
Seven years ago, after a serendipitous introduction, Dawn and I had our first meeting at a sushi restaurant, just a few doors down from our now hq and flagship store. The business was growing and she needed some help...had I ever designed, coordinated, and set up a booth for a baby brand at an international industry trade show? I had not, BUT, from that one conversation I knew we could hit it out of the park together. Eight weeks later we were on our way to Las Vegas. After a roller coaster of stress and excitement, our “just go for it and figure it out” attitude led the way to an amazing show and the beginning of a friendship that crosses lines of work, play, and family.
What we do doesn't feel like work; it's an extension of who we are both creatively and as reflected in the core values of the company. Our friendship thrives in celebrating every goal reached and envisioning the milestones ahead. We share excitement in the small wins along the way; every order, new follower, thoughtful review, and mom who tells us how much their Lulujo products mean to them.
Lulujo has taken us on adventures around the world, from New York to Beijing, Cologne to Boston. On our off time we squeeze in every free minute to explore on the Hop On Hop Off, find an exquisite dessert bar, try to end the night with a much needed foot massage, and then back to the hotel to watch Jimmy Fallon. We live a few streets apart in a beautiful, dynamic city and take advantage of walks to work to chat about new product ideas, sales strategy, or to get some comic relief in a story often involving Dawn’s kids, Emily and Jack, or, as you know them, Lulu and Jo. The mountain bike community has become a big part of both of our families' lives and we’re all chomping at the bit to get back out and enjoy all our home in Atlantic Canada has to offer.
Throughout the years, celebrated moments like proms, graduations, new homes, cottages, Christmases, and vacations have been met with losses, struggles, and uncertainties. With every up and down, Dawn has been one of my greatest supporters and cheerleaders. She is a mentor and an example in how to approach family, friendship and leadership with tremendous generosity that makes people feel loved and valued.
Behind the brand there are many wonderful stories of relationships with great partners, awesome employees, and incredible supporters over the years. But, I'll dare to say our friendship is a winner winner chicken dinner.
~ Alicia, brand & product development for Lulujo