Monday, July 30, 2012

Someone Interviewed Reclusive Tucson Genius Lisa Frank

Posted By on Mon, Jul 30, 2012 at 11:12 AM


Here at the Weekly World Offices, we have a constant reminder of the glory days of Lisa Frank here in town: the street our building is on turns into Lisa Frank Drive on the other side of Valencia, although sadly, my window doesn't provide a view of the unicorns and dolphins painted on the side of her giant half-empty building south of us. However, the world hasn't heard too much from Frank herself since her heyday, but somehow The Daily got an interview with Frank, in which she compares herself to Michael Jackson and discusses her latest plan for pink-painted world domination:

“In my own little way, I understood Michael Jackson,” Frank told The Daily in a rare interview, conducted by phone from her company’s sprawling heart-and-star-plastered headquarters in Tucson, Ariz. “I feel really bad for people who’ve had to live under so much paparazzi. We think about it a lot, how well known the name is, but I’m very, very low-key.”

A fifty-something divorcee and mother of two teenage sons, Frank has largely shut out the media since launching her eponymous line of stickers in 1979. Those stickers eventually became an empire of unnaturally hued, surreally adorable school supplies, novelties and crafts. In 2005, Lisa Frank Inc., a private company, declared revenues topping $1 billion over 15 years. “If I use my credit card... and they go, ‘Oh my gosh, there’s Lisa Frank who makes the stickers! I go, ‘Isn’t that the craziest thing that I have the same name?’” she giggled.


To the delight of fans (see: LisaFrankParty), she broke into apparel last year, selling airbrushed denim skirts and pom-pom sweaters priced under $20. But after a kindred-spirits collaboration with tattoo-print enthusiast Ed Hardy, Frank dreams of affordable partnerships with more formidable fashion figures like Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen, or Missoni.

“America likes black,” Frank lamented, pretending to cry. “The only one that I see that’s really doing color is Missoni and, yes, I’m fortunate enough to be able to afford it, but what about the normal working woman?”

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