With the Chicago springtime in full swing and the summer fast approaching, it is never too early for the active woman to start thinking about summer fashion! When searching for a new, well-being inspired look for this summer, Lolë’s new Southport location is a one-stop destination for dresses, swimwear, and active wear to cater to the Chicago woman who not only wants to feel good while actively enjoying the summer sun, but look good doing it!
Located at 3434 N. Southport Ave., just steps away from the Chicago Brown Line’s Southport station, Lolë, or “Live Out Loud Everyday”, is a Montréal-based women’s active wear company founded in 2002 by Evelyne Trempe dedicated to providing the latest fashion to the active urban woman searching for the means of instantly transitioning from studio to street, and provide long-lasting comfort, style, and versatility. To quote Lolë, “We’re committed to getting women moving every day,” a mission consistently met through an ever-changing lineup of clothing suited to match the desires of Lolë’s dedicated clientele.
The Québec Delegation recently had the opportunity to sit down with Janet Nadal, store manager of the new Southport location, as well as Angela Blunden, sales associate, and Tammy Bierk, the regional sales director in the Midwest. The store, which opened a little over a month ago, has already made its mark on the Southport corridor, providing an excellent catalogue of clothing to a dedicated consumer base, as well as opening its door to the community as a space for coming together and living an active, well-being inspired lifestyle.
We sat down and chatted at a large kitchen table located in an open area in the middle of the store, which Tammy explained to us was another aspect of the Lolë philosophy—the kitchen table philosophy is all about coming together, planning, and meeting other like-minded active women in the community, and having the kitchen table located warmly in the middle of the store encourages a homely feel, and invites women to participate in shaping a well-being inspired lifestyle with others in the community.
The loyal, involved community of Lolë is a large part of what sets the company apart from other active wear competitors. From the kitchen table philosophy to the “Meet-Ups Program”, the community is always invited (and always growing) thanks in part to the versatility and fashionableness of Lolë’s line, as well as the warm and eager invitation to all women wishing to lead a healthy, active lifestyle. Lolë Southport’s Meet-Ups program roster currently includes a free, open-to-all yoga session and “Mamas Who Move” as part as semi-weekly events, and hopes to add a detox and well-being workshop and Zumba sessions to their list of programs as well.
Operating at a local level, Lolë currently hopes to expand its retail market to other areas in the Midwest, thanks to a corporate initiative to partner themselves with retailers who embody and uphold the Lolë mantra to its fullest. Currently in the Midwest is one retail store in Minnesota, two in Michigan, and one in Illinois, with plans to expand to more markets located in the region in the near future.
We asked about the Québec roots of the company and how that has played into the success of the line in the Midwest region, which Janet and Tammy explained as playing very well into the vibrancy and diversity of the customer base as well as the fashionable quality of the clothing. Because Lolë is a Montréal-based company, it is unique amongst other active wear competitors because it embodies an east-coast, classically European approach towards fashion and active wear, as opposed to the West-coast oriented styles of other labels.
In expanding to the Midwest, this has proven most successful financial, as well as commercially, thanks to the understanding of the climate changes throughout the year which are more typical in these two regions of North America as opposed to the West. The Montréal roots of the company have proved invaluable in the success of the Lolë line, both in the hospitality of the Lolë community as well as the quality, durability and versatility of the line.
“It’s always nice to have fabulous clothing which caters to everyone,” says Angela, “and we’ve had more than one person come into the shop looking for active wear who stop and say, ‘Oh, you sell clothes too!’, and they realize we’re more than just a yoga studio and active wear shop, we’re a community serving to all women who want to embrace a well-being inspired lifestyle.”
For more information about Lolë Southport, contact the store at (773) 880-9642, or at firstname.lastname@example.org. A full catalogue, as well as online shipping options, can be found at http://www.lolewomen.com/atelier/chicago-southport.
About the Quebec Business Spotted in the Midwest (QBSM) Series
The QBSM series is a simple and informal way to talk about Québec’s presence in the Midwest. By taking pictures of Québec’s goods and services whenever we see them, we, at the Québec office in Chicago, are able to tell you a story about Quebec’s economy, creativity, talent, and perhaps even its history. Though it would be impossible to give you an exhaustive list of all the Québec products in the Midwest (we export more than $8 billion of goods to the Midwest per year!) the QBSM series seeks to provide a small but informative window into Québec’s economic scene. If you know of a Québec product, store, technology or even an artist or a show in the Midwest that we should include in this series, please let us know about it by contacting Kerith Iverson