Emerson once said that “All life is an experiment. The more experiments you make the better.” From 2014 through 2016, experimentation took the form of LOLA Lifestyle Boutique for creative local businesswoman, Stevie Olson.
But like many journeys, this one comes to an end with the arrival of the New Year. Olson has decided, after much careful thought, to close the downtown Olympia store on January 1. “Closing LOLA was not an easy decision for me,” she explains. “I am so grateful to all of our lovely customers who supported us and there are many things I will miss.”
Much more than simply a shopping outlet, LOLA is a destination for community events and activities. They hosted Sip & Shop events with Marchetti Wines and Grand Vin Wine Merchants and were eager participants in the annual Small Business Saturday and Girls Night Out festivities. LOLA was also a popular stop on the spring and fall Arts Walk map, featuring Debra Van Tuinen as their exclusive artist.
Olson also loves showcasing and spotlighting local talent. She utilized the skilled lens of Kristina Wunsch, owner of Poppi Photography, for her stunning website and marketing photos. “I would like to thank LOLA Lifestyle Boutique for the wonderful opportunities provided by being a customer and fellow business owner,” says Wunsch. “Poppi Photography moved to Olympia near the time LOLA opened its doors in 2014. New to the community, Poppi partnered with LOLA and welcomed immediate growth in her thriving portrait and lifestyle marketing business. LOLA not only provided job opportunities but connections, friendships and ways to give to those in need. Poppi Photography echoes a sign found in one of LOLA’s dressing rooms, ‘Being yourself is the prettiest thing a person can be.’ Thank you, LOLA Lifestyle Boutique!”
The two often partnered outside of work as well, once bringing pups Lulu, Lola and Kora to the shop for a photo-shoot after a fundraiser for Purple Heart Animal Rescue.
Like many small businesses, LOLA evolved with its founder. The birth of Olson’s daughter Stella added new lines to their collection. “She spent a lot of time with me there,” she says. “We began carrying a large selection of clothing for kids and babies when I was pregnant with her.”
Current inventory and fixtures are all on sale, though quantities are limited. Brands include Amuse Society, Rails LA, Fifteen Twenty, Citizens of Humanity, Matisse Footwear, Matt & Natt Shoes, Fortress of Inca, Toms, and Yerse.
Don’t worry that your favorite items are leaving, Compass Rose Olympia will pick-up skincare and candle lines previously only offered through LOLA. Downtown’s Captain Little will begin carrying some of the kids brands and Fleurae Floral Design will also carry-over a few of LOLA’s decorative, gift and stationery vendors.
Overall this voyage has been an exciting one for Olson. “I am so grateful for all of the wonderful people that I got to know in the process of creating and operating LOLA. I feel so good about my time spent here and the opportunities to support other small businesses and entrepreneurs, as well as non-profits in the community like Big Brothers Big Sisters, Boys and Girls Club, Purple Heart Animal Rescue, and Lucky Paws Rescue,” says Olson. “I experienced an incredible amount of growth both professionally and personally, it served me well. Now it is time for the next!”
As to thoughts for budding entrepreneurs, Olson offers this encouragement: “There is an incredible community that exists within the small businesses of our city. Embracing one another and lifting each other up creates growth for everyone. If you love what you do and it is driven by your passion, the opportunity is limitless.”
“There are always challenges and a business owner must forever be adapting to a changing marketplace,” she continues. “I applaud all of the small business owners in our community – an immense amount of energy and innovation is poured into what they do. They are the life-blood of our community and deserve all of our support.”
LOLA Lifestyle Boutique is located at 522 Capitol Way South and open Tuesday through Saturday from noon until 6:00 p.m. Drop by to visit, shop, and wish the team well on their future adventures…what- and where-ever they may be.