Lavli was founded in 2012 and has already gone through many changes in its short lifetime. The name 'Lavli' comes from the English word, 'Lovely'. This is simply because its mission is to provide customers with everything lovely.
The story of Lavli began on the opposite side of the world, in Australia, long before (in a way) the company was founded. After experiencing some serious health issues, I had to make big changes in my life. Holistic wellbeing got an entirely new meaning. While living in in Australia I discovered the brand, Lorna Jane, which had taken sports fashion to a new level. But it was the brand's 'MOVE, NOURISH, BELIEVE' lifestyle concept that inspired me the most. A few years later, in 2012, Lorna Jane had started to expand the market outside Australia. Lavli was one of the first LJ distributors with exclusive rights to Finland.
During its first years, Lavli focused on launching the Lorna Jane brand in Finland. I was running an online store and organised a lot of pop up shops and wellness events. A few years later, when Lavli already had a loyal customer community, the idea of opening Lavli's own lifestyle concept store was born.
In 2016, my big dream "Lavli living room" opened its doors in downtown Helsinki.
Lavli living room concept store combined shopping, training & events. It included a Lorna Jane shop, boutique training classes, inspiring lectures, wellness events, functions for customers and private functions, temporary art exhibitions, tea bar, work space and lounge to chill out and gather.
As well as consumers, Lavli living room also offered companies wellness services and spaces for rent. For entrepreneurs, it offered a market place to sell their products or services.
The concept was absolutely loved by the customers and collaborators. Lavli living room was creating a real buzz in media and social media. The store WOWED customers and it actually generated happiness and good feelings. I consider that to be my biggest WIN & REWARD ever.
Unfortunately Lavli Living Room had to be closed after just one year. Even if the customers love your product or concept, it is sometimes not enough. I made a huge mistake with the location and my budget and timeframe were too optimistic. I had no other option than to close the store. I experienced a breakdown in all three areas of my life: financially, emotionally and physically.
To come back has required STRENGTH, PERSEVERANCE and a LOT OF PATIENCE – and most of all, SUPPORT from my family and friends, something I will never forget.
Entrepreneurs are all too often left alone when times get tough. Most people disappear. Banks and society "abandon" the entrepreneur in trouble. This happened to me.
Against all odds, Lavli and I are both still up and running, yay💪 Lavli still has a long way to go to get its head back above the surface. But now that I have charged my batteries, I know I can make it happen.
Now, after 2.5 years of the closing of Lavli living room, I am stronger than ever – and maybe a bit smarter too. I have learned a lot about people, business and about myself.
During these years, I couldn't afford to just rest and recover. After all, I had (and still have) bank loans to pay. I have worked hard; done several marketing projects and worked as an outsourced CMO and consultant. Lavli's online store served its Lorna Jane customers until the end of 2018 and I also opened retail channels for Gaiam, an American yoga brand. Additionally, I completed a Masters in Digital Specialist Studies, complementing my skills in strategic change management, customer experience and digital marketing.
It is time to start a fresh new chapter. The collaboration with Lorna Jane and Gaiam has ended. Instead, I will now focus on offering my core professional expertise, entrepreneurial knowledge and compassionate support.
I am so excited to get started with this NEW LAVLI CHAPTER. Time will tell what kind of story it will be. What I do know is, that more than ever, I want to do my share to make the journey of other entrepreneurs easier and more successful. We need to cheer those willing to take risks and encourage their dreams and visions, despite the obstacles that get in their way.
Many times during the last few years I have asked myself, what is my purpose? How can I be of service to others? Why has all this happened to me?
I believe that everything we experience (both the good and the ugly) has a meaning and a life lesson. This experience has definitely demonstrated that - and in so many ways. I have learned so much, not only about business but also about myself. I will turn these setbacks into strengths to benefit others, which I hope will support other entrepreneurs and colleagues in the growth and success of their own businesses.
So, let the new LAVLI chapter begin. You are most welcome to join the ride!
"Sometimes on the entrepreneurial journey chapter number nine ends up being just the beginning. And your hero product turns out to just be a sidekick, paving the way for a stronger, bigger, braver world –changer." (Risk & Resilience, Lisa Messenger)