A Lifestyle blog based in Sonoma County, in the heart of Wine Country. Amber is an outspoken voice for local activism, local wine tourism, and more.

Interview with Colleen of Lulu*s.com & Discount Code!!

I have been tweeting and dropping hints on Facebook for a while now, and I am so excited that this day has finally arrived! My dearest readers, I have snagged an interview with Colleen Winters, (co) owner of Lulu*s.com! The daughter half of the mother-daughter team of our favorite online shop graciously agreed to a telephone interview with me. Below she shares some really exciting news about what's in store for Lulu*s.com, what her days are like, and an inside look to the Lulu*s Exclusive label. Also, she's provided a 15% discount code for all of you!

Amber:  Colleen, thank you so much for taking the time to do an interview with you! I know that my readers are really  going to enjoy this!

Colleen: Oh of course, of course. Where are you located out of? I'm curious.

Amber: Oh! I'm actually in the Bay Area. I saw that Lulu*s is located in Chico?

Colleen: Yeah we're about 2.5 hours away.

Amber: Are you from California?

Colleen: Yep!

Amber: Born and raised or...?

Colleen: Born and raised. Actually born and raised here in Chico, California. I left for college, and I traveled quite a bit and then decided to come home, and that's when my mom and I started the business.

Amber: Awesome! Yes, I was reading online that Lulu*s is a mother/daughter company. I love that.

Colleen: Yes, it's nice to work with family. It's worked for us. We're actually really good - we balance each other out. We have different roles to compliment each other.

: And you're the marketing director for Lulu*s as well?

: I actually gave myself that title. I head all the marketing - it just felt kinda weird to put "owner" as the signature. [laughs]

Amber: Did you always know that you wanted to go into retail?

Colleen: No, but I had always been a thrift store junkie, vintage clothing has always been a passion of mine - I walked graduation in a vintage dress. My mother and I had always bonded over shopping,  so we decided to take the next step. So that was kind of the pathway for that. And then my nickname is Lulu so...

Amber: So, tell us what an average day is like for you.
Colleen: Well I wake up very early because I do all the marketing, and we work very heavily with the magazines, like the editorials. I usually wake up around 5am, because a lot of our contacts are in New York. I get like 600 e-mails a day -

Amber: WOW

Colleen: Which is absolutely insane. It's kinda like the whole day trying to keep track on those, keep on track of the sample requests coming in. I have a really good assistant who helps me. And, I am a mom  - I have two kids, so I am always on my Blackberry, running around, running them to school, coming into work, working, setting up contests with blogs, checking in on how Lulu*s is portrayed out and about via Twitter, or Tumblr, or our Facebook where we do lots of contests. We're working on a new website right now, that's close to being finished. It's going to have a lot more bells and whistles, which is very exciting.

This morning I worked directly with the buyer here. And then I also work directly with the graphic designer, and with the photo shoots, and we also have a buyer in LA and an art director there as well. We did a big photo shoot this week, so taking pictures, figuring out which ones are going to be up, communicating through e-mails, and then again working here with the buyer in our office.

Amber: Wow..

Colleen: So, that's mostly my day.

Amber: That is fascinating. And pretty amazing too. What time do you get to go home, and kick up your feet so to speak?

Colleen: I never kick up my feet, it's very sad. [laughs] I'm kind of a workaholic. But you know, you get really passionate about your business. Both my mother and I are very involved owners.  You know you see other businesses where the owners aren't totally there, and it just doesn't run as well.I don't watch TV. I'm not one to just hang out - I would rather be spending that time with friends or family.

Amber:When is the last time you went to bed thinking "Wow, I can't wait to do that again tomorrow"?

Colleen: Well that's the cool thing about being in business, because I really love what I do, and I have always been passionate, and I have always loved what I do. I can't imagine myself doing anything else.

Amber: You know, I have been blogging for about three years now, and I was writing a post the other week where I saying how I honestly can't imagine my life now without my blog. I love it - it's something that's always on my mind. I'm always looking for new ways to bring something new to my readers. It's really awesome when I talk others like you, who say the same thing: "I can't imagine doing anything else".

Colleen: Right! Because you're passionate. We're passionate. And you know it's funny that you mention it, because I think one day when I don't have Lulu*s, I think I'd like to be a blogger. I think it seems cool. I hope that my passion goes that way next. 

Amber: Are there any perks that come with being the co-owner of Lulu*s? Any free Jeffrey Campbell's, or tickets to Fashion Week for you?

: Yes, there are! You know it's kind of funny because I'm not usually the one to take them. I mean I do own Jeffrey Campbell's, and I have gone to shows, and then of course owning your own store you always have access to anything. It's funny though, because when you're in it, you don't want it as much. Of course when you are outside looking in you are insatiable. You know what I'm saying? It's interesting. It's a different perspective. But there are lots of perks!

: I think it would be like Christmas for me in your warehouse or sample room! I'd probably go completely crazy.

[Puppy barks]

Colleen: We brought in our puppy today, and my son is just going crazy.

Amber: Awe how cute!

Colleen: Yeah it's fun.

Amber: So what are some of your goals for Lulu*s?

Colleen: We're working on really building up Lulu*s and building up the brand. We're going to expand the Lulu*s label, we're making our own cuts, having a manufacture, creating our own designs, exclusive pieces, that kind of thing. Also as we get bigger we're able to have better buying power, and get better cuts. We also are looking into making our shopping more of social experience.

Amber: And for your exclusive pieces, are those items that you actually have someone designing for you, in house?

Colleen: Usually we design them in house, yes. My buyer that we have here, and then myself we come up with the designs, and  then we send the designs to LA, then my buyer there puts together swatches, and then the sample itself. We then have a model physically try it on to make sure the length and the fit is right. Then we pick colors. So it's done by us in house.

Amber: So is it some what of a group effort with everyone there in house? Working on the design together?

Colleen: Yes. It definitely a group effort on the designs, and on the buying as well.

Amber: Well, this is really amazing to hear! I am really going to be keeping an eye out for your exclusive pieces, and for your your in-house designs as well. I am going to be keeping a very close eye for those! I know my readers will be very excited to learn about this as well.

Colleen: Yes, it's very exciting. And we have already designs out, but we haven't really been letting people know that they are exclusive.

Amber: Well thank you so much for taking time out of your schedule to do an interview with me Colleen! I know that my readers are going to absolutely love this.

Colleen: Thank you so much Amber.

SHOP LULU*S.COM with Amber's Mouthwash own personal DISCOUNT CODE!
Just type in: 
at your checkout for a 15% off your entire purchase!!

Discount is good now through Oct 4th!

PS A big warm welcome to my newest readers Vale of Fashion and Cookies (soo cute!!),  and Diretodacozinha . Thank you for being readers! 

Psst!! Check out my guest post on Stephanie's site, La Belle in France! There I delve into the French influence on American culture - you might be surprised on what you learn!  

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A Mused Blog | A Northern California Sonoma County Blog