Born and raised in LA, fashion retailer icon and branding consultant Lisa Kline joins host Dani Behr and opens up about her cool childhood and realizing her dreams of owning a store at the age of nine. Her work in branding is a web of fascinating knowledge and experiences. They also chat about the demise of retail stores, the death of Lisa’s husband, and being a 50-year-old single working mom trying to have her best years yet! Listen to this episode and discover Lisa’s insights on living in the present and looking ahead to the future with hope.
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Conversations With A Fashion Icon and La Resident
Living The Dream With Fashion/Brand Icon Lisa Kline
I have someone that I love a lot with. She’s become one of my closest friends. We’re now neighbors for the second time in a row. She’s an LA resident. She’s about as LA as it gets. She’s the queen of LA fashion, that is for sure. The one and only, incomparable, Lisa Kline. You are the queen of LA. To get straight into it. Very few people I know were born and raised in LA. Most people come from somewhere else. How was childhood? How was growing up in LA for all us non-LA, shall I say people that have been residents for a short period of time?
That’s a good question because growing up in LA, I feel very proud of the fact that I loved growing up here. It was like the coolest thing in the world because I don’t think anything’s better. It is the land of dreams and you can do whatever you want. LA has no rules and it’s a much laid back city and there’s just so many cool cities within the city. Being from here, you could dress how you want, do what you want, and say what you want. It’s just an easy lifestyle probably due to weather. It’s a cool vibe. It’s Hollywood. It is a magical place. My dreams have come true. Living here I was able to do cool things with my career being born and raised in LA because I created and established the LA Style here for folks.
We’ll get into the career, but as a British girl growing up with all things very British and in my little London village in cobblestone streets and school uniform in the white, long knee, high socks. We used to look at places like LA, it’s like the movies. It’s so glamorous. Rock and roll and anything can happen there. Did you get a sense of that being an LA girl? How the rest of the world perceived LA? Did you feel that being here and being an LA resident?
Not when I was younger, but once I did have a career and I was older, people would always come. I had a lot of staff from everywhere and people would come to visit everywhere. I realized how cool it was. Growing up here, I knew it was cool. I didn’t think in those terms as a child. Now, that I look back, I’m like, “It was very cool.” Once I went away to college and I went away and I saw other places, I was like, “LA is the best.”
When you’re at your high school, LA girl living in the Valley, what were the Lisa Kline dreams when you’re like twelve? What did you want to be when you grow up? Did you always know you wanted to be in fashion or was it something that just happened to you?
No, I always knew I wanted to have a store since I was very young. I probably was about nine.
It’s quite unusual to know what you want from such a young age.
It’s lucky because I think when you know what you wanted a young age, it comes true. You can bring it to fruition when you have that vision for such a long time. It was the same vision. It always was. Since I was little, when I opened the store, it looked exactly I thought it was going to look when I was nine years old. It was a dream, but I always was going after it the whole time.
What happened then? You go to college, you come back. How do you put the dream into action? How do you make it a reality? I think for a lot of people and a lot of people have dreams turning into reality is the hotpot. What do you do? Your parents weren’t in fashion. Larry Kline, your dad, is a CPA. You couldn’t get further away from fashion if you tried. Was mom in the fashion industry?
No. That’s why I was successful is because it was pure because no one told me what to do because no one knew what to do. I did everything on my own and I was meeting with a vendor, a friend of mine who I was picking up some jewelry for my friend’s birthday and she’s like, “I want to open a store. She has a beautiful jewelry line.” I said, “You should do it.” I rattled off the whole thing in two minutes and she goes, “I’m so nervous. I can’t do it.” I’m like, “Okay,” but I already had it done. For me it was easy to do. It wasn’t a big deal. I wanted it for so long. I was hysterically crying when my dad goes on the lease and it was bringing the dream to life. It wasn’t this big deal. It was a big deal because I was excited, but it wasn’t scary. I couldn’t wait to do it and it kept evolving and evolving.
It’s a hard question to ask me because it’s something that I could it’s easy for me. I like to open things. I like to do new stores, new concepts. I’m a mother of many things. I like things from inception, to a vision. For me, it’s rewarding and it’s not scary. I want to do it. I don’t feel held back. If you start worrying about what’s going to go wrong, you fail. If you have a pure optimistic entrepreneurial vision of what you’re going to do and you can execute it, then you can’t worry about it. You’ll just fail.
Do you think fundamentally that that’s your personality, that’s why you’re a big success? As a child you were determined, you had the vision, you knew what you wanted. Do you think just your personality traits completely contributed to your success or did you learn how to be successful over time?
I was lucky. I was successful at a young age and I think it was just a combination of personality. I always call myself a social genius. I wasn’t good at school. I’d fail many tests. I always felt not smart growing up because everyone judged back then, the ’80s, at school. I didn’t get good grades on tests. It was hard to get into college, but once I opened, all of a sudden I was so smart because I had this business and I was doing well and everybody was always asking me in the dressing room, “How are you so lucky?” I’m not lucky? I worked 24 hours a day. I was lucky because my parents believed in me and they co-signed on my credit and the lease. I was able to do what I wanted to do freely. It was a lot of things in combination. A combination of being lucky, the timing, picking the right street, parents that were supportive and not being scared. That’s how everything happens. A lot of things have to work at the same time.
I think to have the parents you had, your dad was all about business. I think having supportive parents that get that and understand the entrepreneurial spirit definitely helps. Don’t you think?
Yeah and my dad and I always connect on business and they trusted me and I said to them back then, “I will be the next Fred Segal.” He was a little nervous and his friends were like, “You’re so stupid, you’re going to co-sign a credit for her. She’s 25.” Later he laughed at them and he was like, “She’s making more money than you.” They trusted me and they both weren’t allowed to do what they wanted to do growing up. Because of that, they were very into letting me do what I want to do. It worked in my favor. My mom wanted to be a hairdresser and her mom made her be a teacher. My dad’s a CPA and he still hates it. He would have preferred something greater. They were into doing what we wanted to do. I’m lucky. I have great parents.
You find this lease, you sign the lease, and you create this sort of retail visual experience of what you’ve been dreaming about and those were the retail heydays when you opened. Give us the timeline of events you’ve now opened. You’ve got your lease signed; you’ve now created this retail vision that you’ve had since your kid. You opened the doors and what happened? Retail back then was obviously very different than it is now. Retail is very difficult now. How was it then compared to somebody doing something similar now? What was the experience?
You can’t do something similar now. Back in the day, only the people who did it back then, almost 25 years ago, know what I’m talking about. People that worked for me, people that shop there and people that had stores know the heyday as we call it. I started the heyday and I was the heyday. It’ll never be that way because people cared about the brand. We built every brand from scratch. People came from all over the world to see everything we had at Lisa Kline to copy, to create their own store with it to go downtown and buy the same exact things. We were kind of a platform for brands and an incubator for new brands. We birthed all these brands because I tried everything.
I was into helping and I like finding the talent I loved and everyone thought everything in the store was mine because my name was on the awning. The truth is it was a multi-branded store and it was hundreds of brands all the time. It was a weird misconception. If I put my name on it and I said this is good and all of a sudden it became Lisa Kline, but it wasn’t. It was labels and labels of all these brands. Even though people came for the brands too. It’s hard to explain. A lot of the brands had real estate. I had a store now I’d be charging for the real estate, but then brands had twelve-foot tables.
That’s why we sold so much was the way I merchandise. Back then you would come in and shop and you would shop around the store for two hours and look at every rack and it was like my color and the experience. Now, no one has time. People shop in a different way. It’s quick. Everything’s online, they’re picking, “I want a black. It’s size two, tight and skinny.” You pick exactly what you want now and it gets delivered to your door. The experience of shopping has gone. It’s past time. When we opened, there was nowhere else to shop. There were department stores, which were gross and then there was no H&M, Forever 21 or Zara. Those stores didn’t exist. The fast fashion stores were not in existence. There was nowhere else to shop. Stores like mine, which were cool and people would go to lunch and shop. That’s what they did. It was very strange. It was an activity.
They would have come from New York. They would come with a list. I saw a list after the list. They hop on the plane from LA and they’d show me from New York. People came from all over the world to shop and they’d say, “It’s Lisa Kline.” They’d get off a plane and come to the store. It was insane. It was a very magical experience. The people that worked there, the stuff we sold, the parties we had. It was filmed every day in there. It was always on camera. It was just a scene all the time. We had a paparazzi curtain. We created, we always had celebrities in there. I grew the street and now the streets are awful, but retail sucks. I was the first store there and I was pretty much the first one to leave. It had its day and I miss it. It was the best thing in the world. Too much to even explain here, but I have to write a book. It was a retail genius and we are to this day very iconic and we’re in college books and as a retailer, it’s just the way the model was that I created. Not that it can be recreated, but I still do it at other stores now just in a different way. I’m still using all the experience, but it’s a different way to shop now.
For all the readers that have never been to LA or never made it to LA during that time period, what were the kind of celebrities that were always coming in and always getting paparazzi snapped? Give them a feel of the type of people that were always in and out.
Back then at that time, it was a Lindsay Lohan, Paris Hilton and Nicole Richie. The Newlyweds and Punk’d were being filmed. E! News was in. We’re always on E! filming a lot and Fox News. The expert staff would come in and film and I would say the trends. It was crazy. Everyone came in, Paris Hilton and all those celebrities. These young girls at the time we come in and they were doing so much filming. What happened that the paparazzi crew will go, but every celebrity came in. I don’t even know. The list is so long. It’s almost like who didn’t come in. You could always see a celebrity in the store. We dressed in Melrose Place, we dressed Friends and 90210. We had all the costumers, all the stylists come in.
It was a destination. It was a destination and an experience. You weren’t just coming in necessarily to shop, but you were coming and probably to see who else was there.
People got married who met in the store. People who became best friends with people. These crazy things happening in the store. This dynamic chemistry and weird, crazy and amazing things came out of the store. I have so many levels for so many people and I supported a lot of people, too. We did women in 1995 then I opened the men’s in 1999 because I was bored and everybody was asking me for a men’s store and I thought never and then I did. I had a bug in my left ear when I woke up at Christmas one day it was 1998. I had a bug to do a men’s store. I found the place across from the other store, the women’s store. I opened a men’s store across and there was nothing to buy at the time, zero. I would come home from the shows crying with nothing.
I grew all the brands there. There’s a lot of the brands that we carried at the women’s store started doing men’s lines. I did the men’s store and then we had to expand because it was too small. Once things started rolling. I took my favorite store down the street and then I opened a kids’ store in that men’s store. There were three on Robertson, it was like a triangle. You would find me running all day in the triangle at Robertson, but I was always in the men’s store or the women’s. The kids’ store wasn’t in that much. It wasn’t my favorite store.
Were you married to Robert at that time?
I met Robert in 2000, but I opened the store in 1998. When I met him, I had two stores already.
Did he help with the stores? Did he ever come in? Was he more on the sidelines?When you know what you want from a young age, it comes true. You can bring it to fruition when you have that vision for such a long time. Click To Tweet
He was very involved. He did all the dirty jobs and he did all the computers and the security and everyone loved him and he ran around and dealt with everyone. We did separate things. He was kind of the VP of security and it’s a lot. He just said, “You buy clothes and look pretty.” That’s what he’s telling me to do. “I need this and I need that,” and he would just do all the other stuff. It was good. It was helpful. We got a lot done.
How was it working with your husband in that capacity? How did he take you being the boss of the whole thing?
He loved it and he didn’t care. He was very proud and he was living the Lisa Kline dream. We traveled in first class and he was Mr. Kline. It was not a good thing, but he enjoyed the success of the store and he was able to buy all the best cameras that you wanted and the best computer. Lisa Kline was like his showroom for other clients. He did everything cool at my store and then everyone used to come in and copy. He would help other people. It was fun working together because we got along well and we had a great time and he let me do my thing and he wasn’t jealous. I was always with guys, always pinning guys on the floor under their legs and everyone’s like, “Your wife’s so hot.” and he’s like, “I know. I married her.” It worked out well.
He wasn’t jealous. That probably wouldn’t have worked out well.
He wasn’t jealous at all. He was at every party. He set up every party. He was the life of the party. He was so jumped on the bandwagon. It was like he married me and adopted my two kids into it. We expanded and opened a lot. We had six stores in the end.
You had two real children, not just baby stores.
We had two children in between. It’s been a very fun life.
How was it when Dylan, your first child, came along being this retail magnate and jumping between all the different stores? How do you handle that? For all the working moms out there who are trying to juggle and we all juggle and we all try and multitask. You have a lot of people looking up to you in that scenario. How did you handle that? Was Robert quite a good house dad in a way at times?
No, I tell everyone because people ask like, “I’m so scared of having kids.” The thing is I don’t worry about anything. I do things and figure it out as they get them thrown in front of me. If I worried about anything, I would’ve done nothing. I don’t worry. I just do. I figure it out as it comes. When I had babies, I hired people. I had a nanny, I had two nannies and two housekeepers around the clock. It wasn’t ever an issue. The babies were always taken care of and I worked. They were born when I was working. They would come to work with me. I always said about the shows. They went everywhere, the kids. Dylan went everywhere with me. We took her to Dantanna’s, she’d sit in the back. We took her everywhere out and Robert was working with me. He didn’t take care of the kids. We have a housekeeper and a nanny. I worked and when you work, you have help. Because I have my own store, we had our babies. I was breastfeeding, we had a whole set at my office and everything was like first-class baller dialed in.
The glamorous pump stations.
I only breastfed for a second, but the point is that I had it all set up. It wasn’t a big deal. To all the working moms, a lot of moms don’t want to leave their babies. They don’t trust anyone. I’m very trusting and I had no option. For me, it wasn’t even a thing. Other people who I talked to who are working moms, they don’t want to hire someone, they don’t trust anyone. They don’t want to spend the money. My nanny is one of my closest friends to this day and she worked for me. She’s the most special person in my life. I trust people and we spend a lot of great times together. She helped me raise my kids. I didn’t know to change the diaper. I’m a working woman. I didn’t know what was going on. I was totally freaked out. I was scared. It’s easier working than I am being a mom.
I can’t imagine you’re around babies. It doesn’t seem rock and roll enough. It seems mundane.
Everybody remembers me at the shows walking with the kids. It was funny. It was all good. Everything’s good. It all worked out.
Take us through what happened after that. What year was it when you started to feel like retail was not going to be where you’ve had your heyday as you like to say? When is it the right time to make those big decisions to close down a store or redirect your brand or make those big decisions within a company? Tell the readers how you get to those decisions and your life events that have happened to you to show everyone that you can get through anything with time.
Time heals all wounds, but the thing is in order to get through, from my experience, because I lost everything. I lost the stores, my husband and I lost it all. I have a lot of friends going through a lot of stuff now, but the difference between me and them that I see is I’m very good at making decisions quickly. When you’re in a situation and if it’s your own company, you’re in tune with it. You have to react very quickly and make decisions and jump on things. I was very intuitive. I started the company when I was 25 years old and I closed it in 2011. It was when I was in my 40s. It was a very sad time. It was the hardest decision I ever have to make closing one at a time over and over. It was done. The model was done and our volume dropped 90%. What happened was the writer’s strike happened in November of 2007 and then business froze from there before in LA only. It wasn’t a problem anywhere else at that time. In September 2008, everything crashed.
I was still having a whole bad year and trying to explain like no one was on Robertson, no one was shopping, our volume was dropping. We were doing $500,000 at women’s store like it was no big deal. It started going to $475,000 and I was like, what the hell? At $450,000 I’m like, “I can’t.” At $420,000 I was like freaking out. It went down and down, but I’m saying it started plummeting quickly. I had done half the store and I had to make moves quick and I had to get out of leases so I closed the Malibu store when Robert was still alive because the lease was up. I gave it away to Frederick. He’s still in part of that space in Malibu. I saw the writing on the wall.
You could see everything was going digital and everything was moving online?
I don’t say that because everyone says, “It’s online.” It wasn’t because it was online. It says no one had any money. It had nothing to do with online. That’s now, but then it was people who didn’t have money to shop.
After the big crash and everyone was keeping tight to the purse strings and not spending frivolously anymore.
No, there was no money to shop. It was a very sad, depressing time and scary time and people were scared. To be wasteful wasn’t a good idea. It looks stupid to show off and have fancy things. It wasn’t important at that time. We closed a bunch of stores. I closed the women’s, then I closed Beverly, I closed Malibu, then I closed Beverly Hills. In 2008, everything crashed and then Robert died January 2009. I have four or five stores, an eCommerce site that we just spent a load of money redoing that wasn’t working. I had to get out of every lease by myself alone and fight. I became this warrior. I had no control over anything. I sold everything. I could tell you the number, every store would do, like give everyone a goal. They did it to the penny out at the time. It was bizarre. After everything just blew up, I thought to myself, “I have no control of anything,” except getting dressed at this point and taking a shower. That was what I did. I didn’t go to work every day after he died and everyone would be looking at me. It was very public. It was on the news.
Can you tell what happened? Are you happy to talk about it?
He had a freak accident and he fell off the house in Malibu and he hit a table and he died blunt trauma in the middle of the night. I found him and he was already dead. I tried to do mouth to mouth, but it didn’t work. It was a nightmare. His heart stopped and he was 40. He left me at a time where I had a lot on my plate and I needed help. I had two babies. My kids were two and four, my company was imploding and I was the only one to do anything. He left me and I’m not good at cleanup. LK doesn’t clean up anything and I had to clean up the whole thing and it was not fun. It was like I was fighting a war by myself. I was in like World War III. It felt very much like a war. It was a fight and it was hard and I had to be hardcore and face everyone and be in front of everyone and gracefully close the store and get out of this lease. I’m like, “I got to get rid of this.” Unravel and gracefully close one location at a time. It took me a long time and the last store closed 2011 at the end, December. For 2007, 2008, 2009 and 2010. It was four years it was a four-year slow torture.
Did you feel like at some point this is so overwhelming? This is too much for one person? How do I deal with this? Everybody goes through moments where it just becomes too much. How did you pull yourself off from that? How did you find the strength? Each one of those events is a life event in themselves, but it seems like you had three things happening all at once. How do you get through that? How did you find the strength? Did you almost see it as like, this is a major sign from above or the universe, whatever you believe in of there’s got to be a reason behind all of this craziness?
I was chosen for greatness. I had to use the strength that I have as a Scorpio and rise to the ashes and just put my warrior outfit on and go. I did everyday whatever I had to do. There was no time to break down and sit on the couch and pop pills and there wasn’t about that. I’m not a depressed person. I have the ability to be rational and make decisions that I didn’t want to do whether I had to do them or not. I didn’t want to be a mom. I didn’t want to close the stores. I didn’t want to do anything, but I had to do everything. All of a sudden, my identity became all of a sudden now, I’m a widow. I’m a single mom. I don’t have my stories anymore. My identity was just taken from me and it was very hard. I lost my confidence, but I had to just do everything. No one would do it. I could’ve walked away and said, “My husband died. I’m done and close everything.” There was no way I would never do that. That’s not who I am. I had to unravel everything and it was a full circle. That was a learning process, too. As grueling as it was, it was part of the full circle of the life cycle of the business. I learned and I’m very smart now, even smarter. I know a lot more than I did before when I was successful.
They say what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger.
It’s hard because I know a lot of people who can’t be all and everyone’s different. If you need to take medication or you need to seek help, I saw a lot of healers. I saw a therapist. I was almost too much for everyone. I knew what got me through is I knew that it was going to take a decade and I’m going to be 50. I’m very excited because I knew my 50s are going to be great. My 40 sucks, because Robert died when I was 39 and I closed the stores not early 40s. The 40s were grueling and they’re sad and they were lonely and they were awful. I wasn’t stimulated and satisfied. I was scared and I wasn’t doing what I love. I wasn’t making any money and no one would hire me. It was a very hard time.
Now, it’s been a decade since he died. I’m almost 50. Those benchmarks for me are huge. It was like I was in jail counting the days because I knew it was going to take that long and I used to look up and see stares of darkness. I knew I’d get out, but it took a decade to get out. That’s what I’m saying is that it does take time. When someone goes to something gnarly, one thing, not even all the things that I went through, you have to give it time, you have to be strong, you have to be a leader and figure out the right thing to do and act appropriately for what’s happening.
You can take your days off and do whatever. I didn’t do a lot of that. I didn’t have time to do anything except do whatever was important. Be a mom, you close the store, it didn’t work, then try to find new work. I cry when I could and grieve. It was too much. It was a lot, but I tried martinis and I would take Xanax at night to calm down. I took Ambien, I couldn’t sleep, I still can’t sleep, but I never did any way. I’d smoke weed. I had the vices that helped me get through. It was my own thing and that was it. It was what it was. It was a long time. It was a period of hell.Life is short. Don't waste time on things that are not working. Click To Tweet
You broke through it. You got through to the other end. What’s on the horizon for Lisa Kline now? I want to go into and talk about to help people who all thinking about launching fashion brands or a fashion product, the advice that you can give people. Let’s start with what are you doing now. That will probably segue nicely into it.
I’m a visionary. My vision was gone and I thought it was lost forever. My mom was like, “It’s lying dormant. You don’t lose your vision.” I was very sure it was gone because in my third eye, everything was black. After ten years, all of a sudden, I started getting a little bit better after the eight-year mark, but it was so bad that I was so excited. I thought it was like I could tell things were getting better. It’s still wasn’t good though, but anything was better than what was happening. The white canvas that was always there is now starting. All the little flowers are starting to sprout. Everything is starting to grow. It was bare and it was like being burned for so long it was black. Now, it’s white. I see where everything’s going. I’m seeing this vision, I’m doing what I love again, which is retail. I’m helping other people now who have stores who don’t know what they’re doing. Using my credibility, experience, knowledge and relationships you can never make it unless you’ve had them for 25 years and the trust factor. I’m doing it for so long and also with what’s happening now. I’m combining anything that’s going on now and what we need to do. I also do a ton of brand placement so I have all these. The universe even reaching out to me on a daily basis for help. The job thing is working out.
It’s turned itself around and I see where my career is going. Brand placement is almost been organic. A lot of stuff is happening and I’m going with the stuff that’s been thrown at me. You have to pay attention to the signs. Don’t go against the grain. You have to go with the grain and you have to do things that feel right. Things that are happening. If it’s not working, life is short, you don’t have time to waste. It’s very important to make money and use your time wisely. In the future, I’m trying to hopefully fall in love again. It’s been twenty years.
How’s dating in LA? Let’s touch on that because you and I have both been there.
It’s been interesting. I’ve had fun. There are not many dates that happened. Just one or two.
You’re too much of a woman for most of these men here.
I’m too much for everybody. Yeah, I do and I’m too wild. These guys are going to bed at 10:00. I eat dinner at 10:00.
You’re very European like that.
I work, they don’t. I’m too much for most of the guys. It’s been hard to find a match, but I don’t even care. I’m so busy. I have a ton of great friends. Being a widow, now that I can look back on it, there was a lot of things that were so bad. There were a million things that were bad. When you lose one thing, you lose a million things. Now, I’m starting to see the benefit of the other side of the coin of my life that I might not have a husband and family and all these things, but I’ve got freedom and I can do whatever I want whenever I want. I don’t have to worry about asking permission to do anything. I’m free to work and play.
I have a ton of friends that I would probably never had and relationships I would have never been able to have if I was married. It’s a different life than being married with a family that I wanted, but I didn’t get what I wanted. It got that taken away. You have to learn how to make the best of your situation and live in the present. I learned quite a bit about how to live in the present and now, I do. I’m very focused on what I’m doing at the time, which back in the day I wasn’t. I was worried about everything. It all turned out okay. It is a life’s journey and everyone I know goes through stuff, so it’s hard. You got to figure out how to deal with it and be strong and be rational and just look forward to the next day.
You are definitely one of the strongest people I know. Whenever I need motivation or inspiration or words of wisdom, you have become my go-to person whether you like it or not.
Thank you. I’m here to inspire and help others. I feel like I can because so much has happened to me that people do gravitate to tell me of people are going through stuff now. That’s what I do is try to help people.
We’ve only known each other since like 2014. I loved you immediately. I was like, “Who is this crazy neighbor I have?” I loved the fact that we were both like this single mom with two kids at the same age. The kids were driving us absolutely crazy. She would look at me like, “Have you gotten any wine?” I would look at her like, “Do you have any wine?” We kept meeting in the garage or out front. I think we were put there together for each other at the right moment in time.
It was great. No, it was amazing to have another single mom and you’re amazing and so much fun. We had the best times and I could tell you anything. We used to have the doors open and the kids would go back and forth and it was fun. That was the best part of living there.
Those were great memories. What I did was I moved out of the area and I moved into another area and there was this house that came for availability right next to mine. I was like, “It would be great to have Lisa back as my neighbor. I missed her as my neighbor.” I called her and said, “Thinking of moving?” She went, “Not really, but I guess I’m going to have to at some point.” I said, “Come. My next door is opened up. Come on, come be my neighbor again.” She fought me now into, “No, I want to live in the Hills, I want to live here.” I said, “You don’t want to live in the hills. You do not want to be schlepping your kids up and down the hill.” Eventually after quite a few months of resilience from her, she finally made the decision and we got a good place.
Thank you for that and I appreciate it. I’m going to say another thing I can give as the last tip is that everyone has angels in their life that comes through and after Robert died and I lost the stores and all is lost, I knew when the angels were coming through and you have to get those messages from the people. It could be literally a moment in time. It could be night; it could be your life when you meet these people. I had so much advice throughout the years and I knew I could document who they were, but you’re an angel too and someone that’s permanent. Having me move into Beverly Hills and where I live now next to you again, it changed my life. I fought you tooth and nail for three months. I tried to get out of every reason, including everything. I was so annoyed. I have to stop living here.
She was a stuff of mofo.
I was so mad. Every day I think when I’m here with my wine, walking around the house like, “I do like it here.” I have to tell myself because I do and I think I feel like I’m in a little villa or as a hotel. I feel like I live in a hotel in a cute little villa and everyone has their own room and all the kids come and go and it’s a very easy life. Thanks to you, you’re one of my angels who put me in a much better place. You have to listen though, too. I did listen to you anyway, but I fought. You have to listen to what your angels and your guides are telling you. Some were real and some were on the other side and stuff like that. I’m very in tune with that, too. That’s something important. When you’re going through something hard, it’s hard to listen, but you need to listen to people that are out of it. When you’re in your own black hole of stuff, you can’t see. People that are close to you or you can see how bad it is and you have to trust people that they’re trying to pull you out. Once you get out of it, you look back. Now, I’d see things much differently and I could write a book even better because things are making sense now that I’m not in the black hole, not in the gutter anymore. I’m cleaned off and I’m ready to go. Things are much clearer.
I think we were angels for each other for many reasons. I think we both came into each other’s life to help each other and inspire, motivate, whether it just be for a small change or a big change. I see you as the big sister I never had. Let me tell you about the Kline and we try to do some workouts together sometimes. You said you’re approaching 50. She looks amazing, people. You are my inspiration and I love it when Larry and Nancy come over. These are Lisa’s parents who are the funniest people and my parents were totally in love with you as well. We have mutual admiration society going on between us.
You’re like hot and gorgeous and you work every day for the best body. You’ve taught me how to be a good friend. You’re a great friend. You’ve taught me how to be a neighbor and a friend and great things that I would’ve never been if it wasn’t for you. You take the lead on all of that. I just follow.
What advice can you give to young people who are trying to get into, whether it’s retail, fashion or branding? Lisa Kline is a curator and a consultant. You can hire her for any new endeavor depending on you, if you’re available here. I’m selling you for everyone.
I am a consultant. I am always available because I hire people to help me. There’s always time to help everyone.
Why don’t you tell what services you can offer? Promote your business.
Now I’m a retail consultant and I get hired by the month, on a monthly retainer. I’d get hired by the hour to go people reach out all the time. It’s weird because when I was looking and looking for work, I couldn’t find any. Now, I get calls and emails and people reach out every day asking for help. I have to learn how to charge and work in that way when I used to get paid for buying and selling. It’s different. Now, I’m helping people in everything that has to do with lifestyle and curating. My favorite thing to do is to curate. I live to curate and find talent and bring it to market. That’s my favorite thing to do. Go to the shows. I’m placing brands.
I work with brands every day, all day. I help a lot of brands that are brand new. These brands that are brand new, there’s a lot to do to bring a brand to market and it’s very difficult and you need a lot of money and you need probably investors at this point. There’s Instagram. You need all the social media. Those things didn’t exist back in the day. There’s a new way to promote and build your brand. As much as it’s easier from social media, it’s in sense harder because there’s so much competition. The pictures have to be beautiful. What you say as right and you have to pay all these people. It’s not possible to do anything yourself.
The problem that I’m seeing with all these new brands that I do meet with, they can’t afford to hire me for any rate. It doesn’t matter. The problem is they have these ideas that they can’t execute it because they need to work. They don’t know how. They don’t have the skillset. They’re in their twenties. They’re young. They’ve never been in the business world. They don’t know what’s going on out in the world. Los Angeles is a different place than New York. Europe and everywhere is different. To build a brand and grow, I think it’s important to have a partner. Even though I’d never had a partner, in most of my businesses until now, I have one in brand placement it’s a lot easier. I think its important to work in a team to have help. That’s what I’ve noticed over the years. You need more support. It is big.
More people are better with social media and promoting and building, growing. One person on their own, it’s very difficult and it’s very scary to do. It’s a very scary world out there right now with the brand. Even though stores aren’t working, there’s nowhere to sell. The problem is there’s no one to sell the brand. There are no stores left. You have to be direct to consumers, but how do you get the people to come to your sites? There’s a lot of obstacles. It’s for a whole another time. It’s not free, it’s too much, but to get into now, it’s very complicated and people should err with caution and you need amazing branding. The logo has to be off the charts. Everything you do has to be in sync and in line with what you’re vision is.
We’ll do a whole another one on branding itself because that’s a whole another chit-chat. For now, I just want to say thank you so much to the Lisa Kline for joining me on The Behr Essentials with me Dani Behr. I love you. You are very special person. For anybody that needs to hire or get some consulting advice or curation from the Lisa Kline, go to LisaKline.com.
Otherwise, you can just email me at Info@LaLaLanded.com and we’ll forward it to Lisa. Everybody please check out our website, LaLaLanded.com for all information you may need. Check us out on Instagram @LaLaLandedPodcast and on Facebook at La La Landed. Join me again in another episode. Thank you to the one and only Lisa Kline.
Thank you, Babe. Love you.
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About Lisa Kline
Lisa is revered in the fashion industry as an innovative clothing retailer, merchandiser, and designer. She has established herself as a trusted style source for many actors, recording artists and celebrity clients. People have come to Lisa Kline from all over the country and world to get the hottest trends, latest brands, and coolest clothing in the marketplace. In her stores she offered a VIP shopping experience, while personally styling her celebrity clientele in the top trends away from the prying eye of the paparazzi. Celebrities that frequented Lisa Kline were Jennifer Aniston, Brittney Spears, Halle Berry, Jessica Biel, Reese Witherspoon, Lisa Rinna, Kate Hudson, Christopher Lloyd, Lori Loughlin, Kate Beckinsale, Jessica Alba, Julianna Margulies, Courtney Love, Jennifer Lopez, Brenden Frasier, Paris Hilton, Jessica Simpson, LeAnn Rimes, Faith Hill, Carla Gugino, Jeremy Piven, Tori Spelling and Amy Adams just to name a few.
Over the past 19 years Lisa has put several brands on the map including Joeâ€™s Jeans, Juicy, Rebecca Taylor, Rory Beca, King Baby, LNA, Goddis, Inhabit, Howe, True Religion, Kinetix, Nightcap, Citizens of Humanity, James Perse, Theory, Vince, AG, 7 For all Mankind, Ella Moss, Ari Soffer, Tailgate, Only Hearts, Cynthia Vincent, Splendid, Gypsy 05, Michael Stars, Cosabella, Free People and many more.
Her expertise in fashion has been showcased on television shows like MTV, VH1, Fox 11 News, Style File, TV Guide Network, E! News and she appeared as 1 of 4 panel judges on the popular Bravo TV Show, Launch my Line. Additionally Lisa has lectured at major universities including CSUN, USC, FIDM and Woodbury.
Lisa and her Iconic clothing stores have graced the pages of numerous magazines such as Elle, In Style, Vogue and Lucky. In 2007 Lisa was nominated for Retailer of the Year, as well as presented a Vision Award from the Friendly House. Cosmopolitan voted Lisa Fun Fearless Female, Forbes voted her Top Ten Menâ€™s Stores in the country, and MR Magazine awarded Lisa the Fearless Leader award for the menâ€™s store.
Lisa co-founded www.ShopVault.com in 2011. As their Chief Fashion Officer she was an integral part of curating all categories and brands across the platform.
Recently Lisa spoke at the EDENS Smart Retail Conference, (The Art of Retail) as well as judged the EDENS Retail Challenge. She was invited to speak on a panel for Cotton Inc. at the MAGIC Show discussing denim, she hosted the 50th Annual Woodbury University Fashion Show, judged the Raw Artists Awards and has made numerous television appearances as a fashion expert.
Lisa just successfully launched her exclusive Loungewear Collection on HSN February 2015, shop the collection on HSN.COM/Lisakline or hit the shop HSN tab on her blog to take you into her store.
Now as a consultant, Lisa continues to build brands with her 20+ years of retail, buying, merchandising and design experience. Be it companies, brands, retailers or wholesalers, Lisaâ€™s vast knowledge of the industry makes her an expert in all things fashion related. Some of her services include brand development, styling, brand ambassador, buying, curating, designing, merchandising, E Commerce, operations, and management.
Lisa lives in Los Angeles with her two children and her Mollucan Cockatoo, Vargas named after the sexy pin up girls that inspired her logo.