Some LOLA Fashion

I’ve been lax in posting LOLA fashion stuff because I’ve been so busy writing!!

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You know what I’ve noticed?  I greet dogs before people! On the street, in stores… I go up to every dog, give a gushing hello and tell them how beautiful they are! I’m not sure if that is unnatural or unhealthy, but it feels really good.

I’ve spent the last four years deeply entrenched in the dog fashion world. So guess what I’m writing about? It’s a one hour black comedy, probably for a cable station. I tend to write black comedies. Occasionally I’ll write a drama, with tension-relieving comedic moments. I love to poke fun at human foibles, and I love to make people feel something true.  This particular series has a lot off fun poking, and a lot of something-true.  Think “Toddlers & Tiaras” meets “Desperate Housewives”, only with dogs.

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Anyway… back to the fashion stuff. I finally made my Darling Dolls & Dashing Dudes Video!  This was a campaign I ran, where I custom made for 18 people 22 original samples (some got two), for an insanely low price. On a private website I gave them a slew of fabric choices. They told me what they liked and we went from there. It was a lot of fun, and quite the learning experience. I’m doing it again in August.

Not everyone was able to send in footage, but what I got was GREAT!

I also made a whole line of human skirts!  I found myself constantly wanting a cute skirt. Little minis to toss on over a pair of leggings. I couldn’t find any I liked! They were all straight and tight. I wanted FLAIR! I wanted glistening confections to wear with t-shirts and boots — play clothes and date clothes bubbling with panache! I’ve been too busy to promote them, and too busy to date! It’s the writing. I’m finishing on the 4th of July. After that comes my anti-bullying campaign. Stay tuned!!

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These two skirts are my favorite. I wore the pink one to the A+D Museum gala and I felt so good in it! They each match a doggie outfit. That catches you up on all things dog fashion.  Now back to my script. Happy forth!

xoxo

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Bullies LOSE! My Anti-Bullying Campaign

I’ve been trapped in a situation where, for the past seven months, some people I know have been using the law to bully me. This is me, stepping out of that trap. Yaaaaay!

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I have no desire to harm anyone involved, so you won’t hear any personal attacks or nasty statements. That’s just not the way to win in life. What I want is to share my experience, and start a conversation about bullying—how it makes you feel and how to rise above it. Bullying doesn’t only happen to kids on the schoolyard. Bullies grow up and they find new ways to do what they do. Sometimes the bullied becomes the bully. I wrote a book about a bullied boy, and I told the young readers of that book to find their power and use it to rise above their circumstance.  There’s a million ways to find your power, and a million ways to rise above being the effect of someone/something else.picture-5

Never wait for your demise, take action — any action, even if it’s dumb!

Here is a cool story about not being the effect of a seemingly helpless situation. December 7th, 1941, Pearl Harbor. It was a horrible experience when, on that perfect sunny day, the boys on those boats suddenly found themselves watching bombs land on their brothers and on themselves. There was one captain who took control of the situation.  He told his crew to throw potatoes. Now, that might seem like a pointless waste of time, but the sailors who threw those potatoes were among the few survivors who didn’t have mental issues to deal with afterwards. They took action, even if it was pointless. During that moment they were busy doing something and not just waiting for their demise.  I believe that is the key surviving a bully.

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Here is a very important note. When you’re being bullied, never sink to their level. You’ll end up mad and your do stupid stuff.  There are laws for free speech, but there are also privacy laws, so you have to be careful what you write and say.  This is probably more applicable to adults involved in adult kinds of bullying. But it’s good advice for all.

So here is my situation is the vaguest of terms. It was a business situation that went bad. I survived, because that is what sane people do! I’m an artist, and my way of igniting my power when  life crashes into me is to make something beautiful, make something true; get lost in the aesthetic universe and just create, even if all I am creating is a sparkling clean apartment. Yes, I was financially devastated, but I was rebuilding. I’m tenacious, and a crazy-hard worker — I can do this, all is good—especially my Karma! Because, I got invited to be the featured designer of this really wonderful show; a show for a cause near and dear to my heart. Life was looking up! Living right was paying off! I rock!

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A couple of months later, the world smashed into my joy.  I’m going to backtrack. At the time when myself and this individual parted ways, she was mad.  I mean steam-coming-out-of-your-head mad. In my analysis at the time, the emotions of this situation were similar to those of a 20 year marriage where the old wife is replaced with the younger second wife, and she’s out for blood. I knew I had to be extremely ethical in my every action. That’s not hard for me, but like everyone, I have been known to backslide on occasion. I knew this couldn’t be one of those occasions or it would come back to bite me in the ass.

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Here is where the using-the-law-to-bully-me began. A letter was sent to the producer of this wonderful show, and it was a horrible letter! It painted me as everything that I am not — irresponsible, unethical, untrustworthy, incapable, dishonest… I think the producer of the show might still believe some of that. I delivered a fantastic show, and she never even thanked me. I guess I don’t blame her,  She went through hell, too.  She even ended up in the emergency ward from the effect of the threats! I will always adore her because she believed in me, at great cost to herself. Not many people in this world have that level of integrity. 1394575946

Anyway, I have spent close to $8,000 trying to reach a settlement. It won’t go away.  I can’t even express the feeling I get each time either a legal threat arrives in my inbox or a piece of slander/libel from the community comes my way. I had a dream once that a plane crashed on my neighbor’s house. The feeling is like that, only it’s crashing on me. My stomach tightens into a knot. I can’t sleep. I can’t eat. I can’t breathe. A person can’t live like that. I’m guessing all the little kids out there being bullied feel just like me, only worse, because they don’t have an adult brain or the tenacity of a tardigrade to get through it.

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(Tardinrades are Earth’s most tenacious creature, able to live in boiling water, solid ice, and the intense radiation of space. They can survive a decade in a desert, without a drop of water to drink, or in the deepest trenches of the sea. They rock.)

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So I’m starting this campaign. It will help me to stop my bully so I can get back to creating my life without torment. And I really hope it helps the little kids going through this, too.  I hope my book helps.

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Hey, if you’re a kid being bullied, post your story in the comments. I’ll give you some good support. Every adult knows that years K through 12 are a blink of our existence, and to every kid, they are the universe. But trust me, better times lie ahead, just find what you’re good at. I want to stand beside you while you do that, while you find your power.  There is always power in whatever you are good at. All you need is someone to tell you how good you are. Get your parents to help! I’m good at creating powerful truths and turning them into beauty. I’m good at working hard. I’m good at organizing stuff. I’m good at being a friend. And I’m great at binge-watching TV — a whole other discussion. :)

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Dignity

MY MUSEUM PIECE! It’s for the Architecture + Design Museum’s Yearly gala: Celebrate 2015: SHELTER. We had to create an interpretation of “shelter”. This is my take on it. It’s called DIGNITY.

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“DIGNITY” the thing that makes life beautiful.

Dignity is shelter for the soul. I amplify the dignity of dogs.

Not all dogs have perfect lives. Some of that comes from hard luck circumstances. Much of it comes from the fact that dogs are still seen by many as property. History demonstrates that when living beings are seen as property, bad things happen to them.

But dogs are so good at rising above those bad things. I think all greatness, all heroism, all victories of any size, come from one’s ability to rise above that which wants to tear you down. It is so easy to get trapped in the mud of it all. Dogs just don’t do that. Some people say they are dumb, they don’t understand, they just want food, they forget… I say their ”forgetting” is a kind of brilliance that humans could benefit greatly from.

The gala is on June 27th, at the museum’s new address in the Downtown arts district.  Here is a link to their site: https://aplusd.org/

Dignity will be on display in the museum for the month of July, then donated to their auction.

xoxo

LOLA

Branding… what is it?

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My old logo, revised.

I’m teaching myself more about branding. It’s one of those buzzwords that everyone uses. What does it really mean?

I read some articles on the subject.  I found the comments to be more enlightening than the articles.  I especially liked this one:

Branding really starts with self discovery. In it’s most basic form it’s simply an extension of you. Think of yourself as the nucleus of your brand. It’s not to say that it’s all about you, it’s not – it’s about your customer in many ways. BUT, it is about you in the way that it’s the specific combination of your approach, method, voice, story, style and personality that builds a unique brand. It’s about defining what you want your brand to look like and sound like for your audience and staying true to that in everything you do. When done right your brand will resonate with the right audience and attract the right people.  ~DreBeltrami

So, if I apply that to myself and my brand, I would say the qualities at the core of me that resonate in my work are authenticity, integrity, whimsy, humor and rockstar glam. Giving back is hugely important to me. Offering high value for the price is hugely important.  I’m a storyteller, who works in many mediums, with a bold voice. I want my brand to look, sound and feel like all that.

Here is another comment that I liked:

I would say that the foundation of your brand is your USP (Unique Selling Proposition) and the ability for your customers to experience it in a tangible way. Your logo, website, packaging, collateral, etc. are a reflection of your brand and your visual identity, they do not form your foundation. Branding is strategic. Think of it as who you are going to be. Marketing is tactical and it is what you do with who you are.  ~Bronson Ma

That makes sense. Your USP should be a strategic decision.  I want it to be rockstar glam for dogs.  I want to be style for a price.  I want to bring Seventh Avenue quality to the world of pet fashion. And I want the rescue message to spread with the line.

This comment is good. I think a lot of people forget this:

Branding is consumer driven.  The “branding” occurs when the consumer, identifies and puts all the pieces together to form that company “brand”.  The company marketing strategies, artwork, media buys, the company’s actual product — all of these factors play an important role in the “consumer” identifying the “brand”.  Marketing, advertising and branding are all 3 very different animals. The first 2 drive the consumer to hopefully use the product repeatedly over a long period of time….thus the magic of “branding” occurs.  Company=Marketing & Advertising. Branding=Consumer Satisfaction.  ~KMNetterville

So we build, in a clear and concise manner, what we want to be seen as. But the thing that actually makes us a brand is the consumer identifying us as such. That means the marketing strategy is really important. I need to work on that. I need to organize my clever bits and pieces into something that will create a big effect. I need a well-formed, interlinked, dynamic, boldly inventive plan that you can put on a to-do list and complete.  I’ll have to get back to you on this.

But to end, I really liked this summation:

Small business branding is the art of becoming knowable, likable and trustable. Every small business has a brand – either by accident or (as we like) on purpose, because it’s a lot like a personality – everyone has one, like it or not. ~Indispensable Marketing

 

 

Beverly Hills Pupscouts Earn their Fire Safety Badge

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Sookie, Anabella, Woofie, Bear and Coco Puffz on Engine #5.

We had magic on our side from the get-go, and the day continued on that wave of enchantment, with 5 magic moments.

Moment #1:  Woofie, Bear and myself parked in the Canon Drive lot and headed for the elevator.  A lovely couple admired the boys from afar, and when we reached the elevator we got to talking. Turns out they were rescue advocates who work with Wings of Rescue, lending their plane to the cause! I did a rescue event called “Saving 70 Dogs”, and 46 of those dogs that we saved were flown to points north through Wings of Rescue. I gave the couple my card. I would love for the pupscouts to help promote Wings of Rescue.  They are a fabulous organization.

Moment #2: We met a woman on the street who works with the local shelter.  She’s going to join our troop. We actually met lots of people who want to join the troop.   This woman expressed a need that I would love to build an event around — a kitty “got milk” campaign. Apparently the shelter has run out of money so they can’t pay for the bottle-kitty’s formula, leaving the financial burden on the foster families.  What that means is a lot of foster families are dropping out, and the kitties are being put to sleep.

Moment #3:  Deedee was talking to another lovely couple (Beverly Hills has so many wonderful people who live here). The gentleman was so taken with our efforts, he gave us a donation.  We expected $10, maybe $20.  He gave us $100! It will help fund an event that promotes a rescue effort.

Moment #4:  Coco Puffz posted a pix on Instagram about the Pupscouts being at the BHFD fire safety event, and a fireman came and found us!  He helped us get on a fire truck for a pix. He shared that picture and a lot of infrmation, then he hooked us up with the person in charge of pet oxygen masks. We hope to do something to raise money to help the fire dept get those masks.

Moment #5: The gentleman in charge of BH public works approached us asking for information.  We want to integrate ourselves with our namesake community — the community some of us live in. We want to make a difference, and nothing promotes a cause better than a team of darling donation dogs.

All in all, the day was a fabulous success.  We ended it with a yummy meal and some good conversation. We gave out lots of cards to lots of people who loved what we are doing.  It’s never the case where everyone who shows interest actually responds, but it sure was nice to feel such a warm welcome from the community on our first official outing.  I’m so happy to be the troop leader of the Beverly Hills Pupscouts!  The best is yet to come.

Elmore Buttercup Bear, Modeling a BHPD tee.

Elmore Buttercup Bear, Modeling a BHPD tee.

Sookie Smallpaw, Anabella, Woofie Sweet-thing, Elmore Buttercup Bear, and Miss Coco Puffz on the front bumper of engine #5.

Sookie Smallpaw, Anabella, Woofie Sweet-thing, Elmore Buttercup Bear, and Miss Coco Puffz on the front bumper of engine #5.

Junior firefighter, Elmore Buttercup Bear.

Junior firefighter, Elmore Buttercup Bear.

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Woofie, Bear, and our newest Pupscout, Teddi.

 

 

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Miss Coco Puffz and Sookie Smallpaw

Today ten pupscouts earned their fire safety badge.  

We were so lucky that the BHFD was hosting this event. We got to see a firman climb to great heights on the ladder then repel down, we got to see a jaws of life demonstration, and we got to see a car catch on fire, with the BHFD putting out the fire.600_437077014

The requirements for the badge are as follows:

1. Tour the firehouse.

2. Get a photo with a fireman or fire truck.

3.  Find out at least one fact that you can share with your fellow Pupscouts about the Fire House or about Fire Safety. Each pupscout should have a different fact that they’d like to share with us. Or tell us about your favorite part of the tour.

4. Post your photo and fact on the Beverly Hills Troop 12 Meet-up page and on a thread we start on my FB page, for everyone to see.  One of the National Troop Leaders will approve the badge.

 

Follow this link to see the postings by the doggies of what they learned.

LOLA’s Facebook post where the Pupscouts tell all about the event.

Hers & Furs — a Pet / Person Photography Event

This project is temporarily on hold. We’ll get back to it someday… :)

 

We are celebrating the beauty of dogs.

My name is Lola Teigland, and my creative partner in this is Cindy Quick. We are taking a series of art/editorial fashion photographs of celebrities and their pets in matching outfits, each telling a story of their choice. Amanda Syfried and several Disney starlets have already volunteered to be a part of the project. The photos will be displayed in a gallery showing, where the pictures will be on the wall and the stories will be walking around the room.

We want 3,000 donors. Small donations are fine! We want volume in the number of donors, for the power that statement will make. So please donate what you can and share with your friends! For the larger donations, our benefactor, the American Holistic Veterinary Medical Foundation, is a 501c3.

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I will be creating one-of-a-kind works of art, amplifying the relationship between person and pet.

I’m a writer who entered the world of canine couture to help save dogs. I have big skills in this area. I went to school for fine art/design, won some big contest, and immediately scored a job on Seventh Avenue designing first for Albert Nipon, then for Christian Dior. Hollywood came calling, and I left the fashion world. Then, three years ago, I rescued my 2 dogs. I saw shelters filled with the sweetest animals, each abandoned, tossed aside like an old sofa.

I believe that, by harnessing the power of fashion and entertainment, we can do for dogs as PETA did for fur, making a universal shift in perception so that dogs (and cats, too) are seen as the living beings that they are and not as disposable property. That kind of shift takes passion, power, talent and drive.

Meet Cindy Quick, our Photographer

11061203_10206495256650626_1291917459123686218_nI am so lucky to have partnered with Cindy on this project. Cindy’s work is incredible. She has garnered critical acclaim, winning both Commercial Photographer of the Year and the Award for Excellence for the State of California. She’s been a professional photographer for over 15 years, having shot numerous magazine covers and spreads, including dozens of covers for BYOU magazine, a magazine dedicated exclusively to building self-esteem and empowerment for tween girls. You might say she’s the go-to photographer for Disney’s young starlets, having shot Olivia Holt from “I Didn’t Do It” and “Kickin It”, G. Hannelius from “Dog with a Blog”, and Madison Pettis, who played the daughter of Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson in Disney’s hit film “The Game Plan”.

Some of the recent covers shot by Cindy Quick.

Some of the recent covers shot by Cindy Quick.

What I personally love about Cindy is that she has the heart and eye of an artist, with the discipline and technical skills of a true master, and she delivers with a smile.

The photographs will be displayed at a gallery event, benefitting the American Holistic Veterinary Medical Foundation

sm2015AHVMFlogotransBGAHVMF’s mission is to fund humane research and education in holistic and integrative veterinary medicine. Combining holistic methods with conventional medicine provides the maximum benefit for all our animal friends. This foundation is the only organization to bring this knowledge to everyone, improving the health possibilities for people and animals.

The Gallery event will be hosted by my pupscout troop.

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Pupscouts are dogs and their people who like to earn badges while doing things to help their community. We have chosen the American Holistic Veterinary Medical Foundation as our beneficiary for this event. We chose this foundation because it is a prolific and reputable foundation, doing great things for the health and well-being of all animals.

We did a practice shoot!

We wanted to show you what we are doing! We got a volunteer crew, I made some dresses, Cindy got some props, and we all headed out to a farm in Banning. Makenzi Hughes and the darling Miss Coco Puffz volunteered to help, along withHair by Natalie Marie and Rose Ledgerwood, make-up.

If you like what we are doing, please donate and share.  Effecting big change takes a tremendous power.  Let’s join together and make it happen.

~ LOLA

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How will we spend the money?

The money raIsed will cover the cost of the photo shoots: the costumes, the locations / permits / studio space, props, hair, make-up & other celeb needs. In addition, it will cover the editing, the printing the photos for the gallery event, and the event itself.

We set a bare minimum goal of $3,000, but we hope to get more. The more we get, the more photos we can take, and the better everything will be.

My blog on World-of-Dog.com will document the entire process.

The gallery event will take place three months after we are funded, in Los Angeles. All monies donated beyond the costs of doing this will go to the American Holistic Veterinary Medical Foundation.

Le Chien: Fashion Week El Paseo 2015!

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What a fabulous experience, for all involved! I could write 10,000 words describing each and every detail. Instead, I’ll do my best to let the pictures tell the story.

Anticipation grew as twenty-two dogs prepared to strut their stuff of the finest runway known to dog fashion. Tasha and ZZ flew in from NYC.  Hemi and Lulu flew in from Tennessee. Coco Puff Pomeranian, P-nut and Dia joined us from Scottsdale, AZ. Seven Palm Springs dogs made their Le Chien debut and eight LA dogs jumped in their cars and drove out for a day of desert fun.

The venue was incredible. A grand entrance, two large beautifully appointed tents, with a garden area in between.  And the runway…. 100 feet of glistening white, surrounded by rows and rows of chairs. I don’t know the exact count.  Someone said it seats 1000 — and we practically sold out!

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Entrance to the lounge tent.

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The lounge, where the silent auction was held.

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The gorgeous 100 foot runway.

The nearly sold-out house!

The nearly sold-out house!

I drove my brand new Fiat 500 sport in Saturday morning and immediately went from house to house for last minute fittings. I was too tired to make the Saturday night party, so I had a quiet dinner with my two best friends. The show put me up at the Viceroy in a lovely room! Sunday morning I arrived at the venue with all of the clothes. The dressing room was a large area, but it filled up fast with both dogs and human models. We had seven tables, each held three dogs. The clothes were all numbered and labeled, so I hung them on the racks and the production staff went to work.

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Our first models arrive! Dia and P-nut, From AZ.

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The lovely little angel making her runway debut.

Racks of clothes, all numbered and labeled.

Racks of clothes, all numbered and labeled.

Clothes...

Clothes…

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Me with producer, Susan Stein.

By one o’clock, all of the dogs were there, except for little Jade Belmont! A lady hit their car on the way there, so they got held up. She looked darling in her pink ruffled confection (picture to follow).  We did some final fittings, then had a run-through.  Later the human models arrived. Each came to meet the dogs they would be handling. We had another quick run through. Backstage was abuzz with excitement.

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Mariah White, one of our LA doggie friends and a professional model, handled her new Puppy, Coco Chanel.

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Doggie Mamas, getting their babies used to the runway.

Jade and the pretty models.

Jade and the pretty models.

P-nut and Dia, backstage.

P-nut and Dia, backstage.

ZZ, waiting backstage.

ZZ, waiting backstage.

Teddy in his boy boxers.

Teddy in his boy boxers.

Jade in her pink parry dress.

Jade in her pink parry dress.

Lulu, waiting for her entrance.

Lulu, waiting for her entrance.

Tasha and ZZ, hanging out on the runway.

Tasha and ZZ, hanging out on the runway.

Coco Puffz, relaxing before her entrance.

Coco Puffz, relaxing before her entrance.

Hemi, backstage.

Hemi, backstage.

Mack and Jay waiting backstage.  As with anything in show business, there isa a lot of waiting!

Mack and Jay waiting backstage. As with anything in show business, there isa a lot of waiting!

Tyson, in his little man-suit.

Tyson, in his little man-suit.

Bunny, with His proud daddy.

Bunny, with His proud daddy.

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Tasha, basking in the glamour.

Gaby Garland, practicing her moves.

Gaby Garland, practicing her moves.

Coco PuffPom, soaking up the atmosphere while waiting for her moment to shine.

Coco PuffPom, soaking up the atmosphere while waiting for her moment to shine.

And then… showtime! Some dogs walked, some walked part way and then the models picked them up.  A few got shy and glammed it up in the model’s arms. All enjoyed the enthusiastic cheering crowd.

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Nella went first.

Next were Coco Puffz and Rizzo.

Next were Coco Puffz and Rizzo.

Lulu, strutting her stuff.

Lulu, strutting her stuff.

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Rizzo in her steampunk coat.

 

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Hemi, in his boy boxers and muscle tee.

Rizzo in her pink party dress with matching panties.

Rizzo in her pink party dress with matching panties.

The two whippets, Maks & Jay were the last dogs out, followed my me, with Woofie and Bear.  This picture of me is not flattering at all, but I like it because it reminds me of myself as a kid, because I’m all distorted in it.  I was born painfully shy, dyslexic, pigeon-toed and with scoliosis. All of that made me the artist that I am, because it is where my heart came from. So I find the shot to be complete.

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Maks and Jay, the gorgeous whippet twins.

Me, looking deformed.

Me, looking deformed.

The show ended and we all came back to our lives with lots of joy in our hearts and a lot of great memories.  It’s the people and the dogs that made this such a successful event. I hope to work with each and every one of you again!  Thank you for all that you contributed. You guys ROCK!!!

xox
LOLA

 

 

One Month to Go!

Match 23 the entire collection will be revealed. stay tuned!!

Le Chien is March 22. March 23 the entire collection will be revealed. Stay tuned!!

Tomorrow we will be showing a preview of items to be revealed at Le Chien, along with our project with AHVMF, at the Oscar’s gifting suite!

It has been one of the most difficult times of my life. My mother fell and had to have surgery. She was under the knife when I was flying home. As the plane landed, I didn’t know if she was dead or alive. She pulled through both surgery and recovery with flying colors. That was followed by some rather debilitating business issues. One day I will talk about all of that. For two months, I barely ate and barely slept. The thing that kept me going, the thing that kept me in an aesthetic universe, above all the drama, was creating magnificent little works of art while making plans to change the world.

I’m a writer. There is a guy named Joseph Campbell. He who wrote a book, “The Hero’s Journey”. It tracks the stages a hero goes through as he gains the strength to slay his dragons and reap the rewards. Around the end of act two, he enters the inmost cave where he comes face to face with all that is holding him back. I spent January in that cave. It was harsh. I think I aged ten years! But I came out with no hesitation. No fear. No weakness. Pure intent.

I’m here to live my artistry; to make my voice heard, to bring empathy and understanding to all places of loneliness, to make people smile, laugh, think. To live my dream out loud. MY dream, specific to my talents. I have always been a square peg that has never fully fit in a round hole, and who has never completely had the balls to carve out my own place. I do now. I’m carving as we speak.

Some wonderful people are taking the journey with me. Tomorrow we will begin our promotional drive at the Oscar’s gifting suite. Victoria Burrows, Hollywood casting director and owner of Starpaws Rescue, is bringing a sweet little white chihuahua rescue named Daisy.  Laura Nativo of “The Home & Family Show” is bringing the fabulous Preston Casanova and his mini piano. And my dear friend, Julia, is bringing the darlingly sassy Miss Coco Puffz. Petbox donated 50 swag bags. Sylva Kelegian contributed 50 copies of her book, “God Spelled Backwards”, which is presently over at Oprah and Ellen Degeneres’ company right now.  Stay tuned for pictures and big announcements!

xoxo
LOLA

 

 

Week #19: How do You Stand Out in a Sea of Millions?

Technology has made it possible to build your own dream without the need of your industry’s gate-keepers giving you the key.

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If you are a musician there is software available for you to record your own album. If you are a writer, there are platforms where you can self-publish. If you want to sell something there are templates and hosting sites where you can open up your own store. As the younger generations grab hold of all of this, we will have a new world of creators and pioneers. But it creates a new problem. How do you stand out from all the millions of other people doing the same thing?

I get dozens of emails daily from people promising me a better website with SEO that will take me to the top of the search engines. And then there is adwords, which I see as a total waste of money except in a few rare instances.  I think the whole social media thing is a farce. I see people post the same thing every day to the same people. Unless a celeb or opinion leader in your field picks it up and endorses your product / service / event, your posts simply float around is a silent sea. People collect followers and likes as if they actually mean something, and they spend a lot of time doing this! I follow and like a lot of pages, and I never go to look at any of them. I don’t think I’m alone in that.

So what succeeds? Lots of people think you gotta have a gimmick.  Gimmicks can work if it is a really good gimmick, but for me, authenticity is the thing that will make you shine, especially in a world lacking in authenticity. I had an acting teacher say that tenacity will always win. I personally love tenacity, as long as it is a tenacity to create instead of a tenacity to destroy. With tenacity, talent grows, skills are gained, connections develop, wisdom sprouts. It is a process, a very special forward motion. It’s active. It involves choices and new roads to follow, and seeing your failures as steps toward victory instead of bitter defeats. You act as a warrior in your own life.

Another important thing is to be true to who you are and know specifically what you do. The only thing that makes you different from the other guy is you, so don’t try to be someone else. I had a writing teacher who would say that you have to write what you want to write, what you are passionate about. Maybe you will be lucky and it will be what the world wants to read-see-touch, and maybe it won’t. That doesn’t mean there isn’t a niche market somewhere for what you do. Find your niche market and become valuable to it! If you write historical drama, you probably will have a tough time getting a screenplay made into as movie, but you can easily dominate the market of that niche in the self-publishing field.

So what do I do? I do a lot of things. I used to fear that was my fatal flaw, but I’m starting to see that maybe it is the thing that makes me uniquely me. The place that I have failed has been in my use of power. I have given mine away a lot, mostly out of fear — fear that I wasn’t enough, fear that I was too much, fear that I didn’t want to do it alone, fear of some invisible reprisal. That last part was extremely real and extremely vague. I’m a big believer that we are all shaped by the lives we lived before this one, so my guess is it stems from something back there. It doesn’t matter. I no longer give it any power.  Again, the word power. It really is at the core of everything, the engine of life, so it is important to look at how you greet it, manage it, honor it, use or abuse it…

I think it is good to think about these sorts of things from time to time, so you understand your own journey, and so you can frame it to be one that you love. Really I wrote this for me, but if it helps anyone else, that’s good too.

xoxo
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