Sneak Peek Into Lolita’s Design Studio!

Every artist has to have their own creative space- and I’m no exception!

 

I need my own design studio for my artists and myself to collaborate on new designs.

 

I have moved from state to state and studio to studio because of my family and also because of my company.

 

I am currently located in Rhode Island, in a beautiful renovated mill. I absolutely love it here. The contrast between the old mill bricks and my modern interior design sense is stunning and inspiring.

 

Here is a sneak peek into the place that I call my design home:

 

Lolita side view mill

Side view of the beautiful renovated mill I work at

 

Lolita Mill

The front of the mill. So beautiful!

Lolita Couch

The reception area, complete with Flirt pillows of course!

Lolita Couches

More of the reception area

Lolita showcase

Showcasing some of my glasses for visitors to see!

Lolita studio

Overall view of the studio!

Lolita conference room

My conference room

 

Lolita Office

A glimpse of my office!

Lolita office paint

Inside my office!

Lolita Panorama Office

Panorama of my office!

Lolita Panorama office 2

Another panorama of my office!

 

 

I absolutely love my design studio and the creative people I work with.

 

All creative and imaginative people need their own space to get away every once and awhile.

 

Do you have a creative space? I’d love to see it!!

 

Enter our photo contest and submit a picture of YOUR creative space to enter for a chance to win a very special gift and a hand-written message from yours truly… me, Lolita!

 

Enter here:

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I can’t wait to look at all the wonderful submissions I get!

 

Good luck! Cheers!

Lolita-Signature[2]

Impromptu Wednesday Cocktails

Last night I spontaneously decided to invite some close girlfriends over for some impromptu Wednesday night cocktails!
I broke out some of my acrylic wine glasses and made a cocktail called an “Angry Bear.”

Here’s the recipe:

Angry Bear Cocktail
2 oz. Tequila
0.5 oz. Honey Syrup
6-8 Raspberries
0.5 oz. Lime Juice
0.25 oz. Allspice Liqueur

Muddle the raspberries in the honey syrup until it makes a fresh, raw jam. Shake all ingredients over ice and double strain into a wine glass. Place a lime or orange slice and a couple raspberries into the glass and enjoy!

It was so yummy!
We gossiped and laughed over cocktails and some small appetizers.
It was a nice evening!
Cocktail nights are not just reserved for the weekend!

Cheers!

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Lolita’s Story

My story entails the birth of a brand that was inspired and shaped by passion. I can honestly say, at this point, I am living my dream.

From a young age, I knew that I wanted to be a designer. My teachers knew me as the girl who colored leaves blue to match the sky. I saw anything and everything from an artistic perspective. What I didn’t know then was that my innate creativity would lead me to my successful design career.

I was always the girl who loved friends, humor, and having a lot of silly fun. I found my voice in art and drama- I was always able to cry on cue! As I continued my creative journey, I began to see myself in a new light, beginning with an experience I had on my first day of Freshman English class at Mary Baldwin College. It was a day of “Getting to know you’s” and my professor wanted to know our middle names. I almost fell through the floor since I had always been made fun of for mine!! You know how kids can be! I could feel myself blushing as I said, “It’s Lolita…” My professor, knowing that I was mortified, told me, “You should never be ashamed of that name! It is the most beautiful and timeless piece of 20th century classic literature. You should be very proud.” From that moment on I knew that I would use the name someday; and I did. I used it to create a lifestyle brand, targeted to women and men of every personality for every special moment. I have never looked back.

The beginning of my brand stems from just a normal girls’ night out! I was handed a pretty pink Cosmo in a naked glass. I saw potential in the clear glass. My imagination kicked in and I could see myself uniquely painting each glass to match the drink. I knew I could create a winning line out of this idea. It was a light bulb moment.

In the beginning, I started my business with just this light bulb moment! I was a stay at home mom at the time, after almost 10 years of work experience in the fashion industry, working for Christian Dior and Donna Karan. I also kept my creativity flowing by painting wall murals, while still toting my beautiful baby girls around everywhere! Those days were hard, but I kept my dream alive. I sat down and painted my first martini glass- The Cosmopolitan. I wanted the design to enhance the look and taste of the drink. Then came The Metropolitan, then more and more. I put drink recipes on the bottom of each glass to make them extra unique. I watched as each of my friends quickly picked a martini glass that fit their personality. Before I knew it, the glasses were becoming collectables and I started the hard work of manufacturing, marketing, and selling at national tradeshows.

However, success didn’t come easily, nor did it happen over night. Starting out, I painted the glasses myself in my basement and sold them to friends.  I started with about 12 designs, sometimes working until 2 in the morning painting glasses over and over again. I was completely overwhelmed. The little money I made went right back into the business. It took up to 2 years to have a positive cash flow.

Accounts at small retail stores got me on my way while I was coming up with my own hand tags, pricing, wholesale sheets, order forms, and brochures. I was succeeding locally, so, I decided it was worth the investment of doing my first tradeshow in Atlanta in 2001. I broke even the first show, and for the second show I was thrilled to net $3,000. This allowed me to invest in shows in California, Dallas, and New York. This success brought me to my next task- licensing the line.

Once I became licensed in 2004, my life changed. I went from having a half a million dollar business to a million and a half dollar business in only a year. By 2008, I had sold $24 million dollars in retail sales. After getting licensed I also realized I needed some serious help when I got an order for 1,200 glasses! The first 200 were easy, but I thought to myself, “How am I going to do 1,000 more?”  I now have several extremely talented artists helping me design the glasses. We are constantly coming up with new designs. It’s a very exciting, creative atmosphere.

I have realized it is a 10 second world- you have but 10 seconds to say everything about yourself and your products. I have to understand my consumer in order for my line to be successful. I still know that each design I create is as unique as the person buying it. That philosophy has worked and I take pride in knowing how unique each design is. Now my products are in over 6,000 stores in the US and 10,000 stores worldwide. I also have 5 manufacturers in 23 countries for a variety of products, so I’d say the hard work has definitely paid off! Looking back on my early story, it was not easy, but it was certainly worth it.

Humor and whimsy are reflected in each of my designs. We create each design with a certain personality in mind. I know my fans! You are my friends. And from my work, well, you know me too!

Cheers to all my wonderful fans!!

xo Lolita

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A Couple Days in Paradise…

I recently returned from a place, far away but yet so close, called Little Palm Island in the Florida Keys to celebrate my 5th anniversary. To say the least, rustic elegance is the only way to describe it.

We got there by boat (the island is only accessible via water) and docked our boat at the marina and were soon whisked to our glorious bungalow, complete with bamboo shower, mosquito netting, hardwood floors, slatted windows, champagne waiting….and tropical vegetation and parrots all around us. Quite possibly the nicest place I have ever stayed. No attention to detail was missed! From dinners on the beach to snacks by the pool, you never felt the presence of the servers but everything was done in an instant, from spreading your towel after a dip to housekeeping 24 hours. And everything was immaculate. To top it off, the charming miniature Key Deer roam freely on the island, enchanting the guests. During our anniversary dinner, they ate the rose petals that were scattered on the beach! An element that was so quaint it warrants a picture or two.

Close by is a famous diving spot, Looe Key, but not for the faint of heart! We went snorkeling off of our boat and as soon as I jumped in, lo and behold a huge reef shark right was right below me and floating Moon Jellyfish were everywhere we turned. Needless to say, we didn’t stay in long. Turns out we were on the wrong side of the key…sharks and bigger fish stay on the outside of key walls, not the side closest to shore!

All in all, a fantastic trip.

So my husband loved this drink…the Gumby Slumber:

Gumby Slumber Cocktail

1 part pineapple juice
1 part cranberry juice
1 part orange juice
1 part Captain Morgan Spiced Rum
1 part Parrot Bay Rum
Mix and serve chilled. Garnish with fresh coconut.

I preferred the Jamaican Me Crazy:

1 part white rum
1 part coconut rum
1 part banana liqueur
1 splash cranberry juice
1 splash pineapple juice
Mix in a shaker and serve chilled

The Awesome Omelet!

Omelets tend to be a family thing, or a French thing. I am voting for the family thing…. a regular, and I’ll say it…an American omelet.

My girls, who are now teens, seem to think I have a major secret to making them. However, my only wish is to keep them from being the thick, I HOP version that Americans are used to, and using Julia Child’s nice recipe, but with a twist, because hey, none of us has time but God bless you Julia.

Get your rubber spatula out and a small non-stick skillet.

The omelets I am talking about come out so slim, and so delicious…. any filling is okay.

Heat a non-stick omelet or frying pan with a spray if possible.

Ingredients:
2 eggs + 1 ice cube in a bowl
Wisk…. and then…Magic starts to happen!

I do believe that the ice cubes make the eggs thinner…which is what you want for omelets. Chilling the egg mixture and the added element of ice water creates what you want…thin and delicious omelets! You will notice, if whisked enough, a light, frothy look to your eggs.

Keep the heat on low. Pour your egg mixture into skillet, then take the spatula around the skillet, pushing egg back from the sides, and let the egg gather to the spots it has not cooked before. Practice, it is fun.

Fillings? As the omelet is firming up, you can add all of your favorite ingredients.

SOME OF THE BEST COMBOS ARE:

Feta and Spinach
Ham and Cheese (any kind will do)
Swiss and mushrooms
Veggies (some tomatoes, etc) If you are using veggies, I like to saute’ these prior to filling.

KEEP THINGS SIMPLE!

Even the pickiest eaters can be persuaded to eat omelets if they get to help make them.