We met Lisa (of “Lisa Says Gah”) at her beautiful showroom in San Francisco. LSG is a company made with care and consideration. Each dress, top, accessory, and woman featured is selected with intention. The people that pull and shoot for the company do so through a detail and big picture oriented eye, creating a wonderfully curated hub for the conscious consumer.
Emma and I we’re running late, a delayed flight and long ride on BART. We walked up a tree lined block, past coffee shops and the Castro Theater, up the steps of a townhouse where a handful of ladies spend their days working alongside Lisa. The air got brighter and windows larger as we reached the main room. A rack of texture rich, vibrantly pigmented clothing hung towards one wall, a line of shoes in similar tones off on another side, and even the chair fit the color scheme and feel. We snapped shots on disposables and chatted the group up before letting them get back to work.
Here’s what Lisa has to say:
Rapid Fire Questions
1. Favorite coffee place in San Francisco?
I make coffee at home but do love Samovar Tea lounge. The Iced Chai or Turmeric coconut latte. Yum!
2. Colors you’re drawn to this spring?
Peach. Chartreuse. Creams. Pale Blue. Pinks.
3. Dream lady to shoot with?
Obviously, Michelle Obama. In reality, I don’t have a dream lady. I like shooting with unknown women who possess a strength and genuine characteristics- are beautiful in a real way.
1. Tell us about Lisa Says Gah and how it came into fruition?
I got started on the wholesale side of the business. I was a sales rep for designers selling to buyers. I worked with Nasty Gal as their rep and was eager to get into buying. When Nasty Gal moved to LA from SF, I got a job on their buying team. I was a buyer and worked in product development for Nasty Gal for about 4 years before moving to San Francisco and starting Lisa Says Gah. I also had a side business producing lookbooks when I was in sales. One thing leads to the next.
I launched Lisa Says Gah in early 2015 after moving from Los Angeles to San Francisco. I started with an inspirational blog, now called “Look.” I then began reaching out to independent designers that were carving their unique path. I took it a step further with interviews, to connect the consumer with the product. I started Lisa Says Gah because I wanted to create a space that went beyond just “shop” – I wanted a shop that used fashion to build a community of creative, insightful women.
2. Most rewarding and most difficult aspects of being an entrepreneur?
The creating and the people are most rewarding. The balancing act of it all (all the moving parts to keep it running) are most difficult.
3. What does your favorite type of work day look like?
Clearing my inbox by noon, a lunch meeting, a shoot near the office, meetings at the office with my team, getting photos back from a shoot (the absolute best!), working on an upload from home with a glass of wine in the evening. This is a typical day minus step one ;).
5. How has the world of fashion/style changed and stayed the same since you started your company?
I’m happy to say that customers and brands alike are being more responsible and more transparent with design and production.
6. How does being located in San Francisco impact your creative work?
I like the value of quality over quantity and the open-mindedness of SF. Being out of the “scene”, it’s a peaceful place to work. I have an incredible focus here.
7. How would you describe the aspects of your personal style/taste that remains the same as that of Lisa Says Gah shifts with the seasons?
The importance of the brand itself, the story, the quality, how the design inspires us- these factors are constant.
8. Tips for women trying to come into their own and be self-assured enough to put themselves out there creatively?
Keep focus, grow your contacts, get experience, give yourself time to learn from yourself and others.
9. How do you hope Lisa Says Gah impacts women around the world?
LSG is for women who love fashion but also a lot more. My hope is that wearing LSG makes women feel that much better (because they know what goes into each design they are wearing- it’s not junk) and they can just get on with their day feeling strong and beautiful. Simple as that.
10. Best advice you have for young female entrepreneurs?
One experience informs the next. My advice is to get experience and learn what you enjoy and was your strengths are. Give yourself enough time in one place to grow. One job does not equal one experience. I believe you can have many experiences in one place over time if you’re pushing yourself to grow and learn from yourself and others.