Lisa O’Hurley, the wife of Seinfeld actor John O’Hurley, has launched premium golf apparel for women … [+]
Do you remember the pants you wore when you first broke 80 or won the club championship? Lisa O’Hurley hopes to ensure this is the case with her new premium women’s golf apparel company, LOHLA.
O’Hurley has been golfing his entire life. Her father was the general manager of several ClubCorp facilities and, despite being home to numerous states as a teenager, attended a prep school in Texas that had the nation’s No. 1 girls’ golf team. Former LPGA Major Master Grace Park attended school, where a nun ran the girls’ program and players like O’Hurley spent half of their time in class and the second half of the day on the golf course. It was “a breeding ground for golf,” she says, noting that she nearly zeroed her handicap before playing collegially at Baylor University. One of the original employees at Golf Channel, where she was a favorite of co-founder Arnold Palmer, O’Hurley spent 10 years on the network doing sponsorship sales and helping negotiate tour television deals. She later joined the German golf apparel brand Golfino and started the company’s US business. O’Hurley even got engaged to her husband, actor John O’Hurley of “Seinfeld” at Pebble Beach Golf Links in California.
In fact, Lisa O’Hurley has a longstanding love of golf, not to mention a passion for fashion. And while starting a business during the pandemic might not seem like the happiest time, it was ideal for O’Hurley and LOHLA, who describe it as trendy European design with a Los Angeles flair. When the coronavirus first hit, Golfino sold its brand to a London retailer called American Golf, which ironically had no interest in the US market, and O’Hurley saw the writing on the wall.
“I had built a really solid business for Golfino in the US and now I had to call all of these customers and say there will be no product,” she said. “I started talking to clients and hearing from members how upset they were about it, and then our biggest competitor in the industry, Tory Burch, decided to pull out of the green as well. So our customers were left with almost no choice. It took me about 48 hours to come to the conclusion that I had to save the ship. “
LOHLA mixes European design with a flair from Los Angeles.
O’Hurley first called her favorite Golfino designer, Paul Rees, who had also worked with brands like Burberry, Louis Feraud, and Aquascutum. She had a ready-to-use sales team, had a production facility in Portugal, and kept a loyal list of customers. In August and September 2020, O’Hurley reached 80 of their top US Golfino customers, and although they had no samples and a limited collection of string bows, 61 of them bought unseen.
“What Golfino gave up during their sale, I kind of snuck in and took it,” said O’Hurley. “We have a very similar style to Golfino, but it’s decidedly more American.”
Lisa O’Hurley with the LOHLA car in front of the Indianapolis 500 2021. The possibility that … [+]
LOHLA, which recently made an unusual appearance on a racing car at the Indianapolis 500, has a modern, contemporary look with streamlined silhouettes that, according to O’Hurley, are supposed to flatter the figure, although they are not close to the body. The company is currently selling five complete collections for the fall. While O’Hurley has the fashion background, her husband has some background too. For four seasons, John O’Hurley played the memorable role of J. Peterman, who sold clothes with a unique literary style through a catalog.
And there is a definite allusion to Seinfeld with LOHLA’s best-selling product “The Very Pant”, which has been joking in the O’Hurley household for years.
“There was an elaborate story and he always had a funny way of talking, so he joked about the ‘exact pants’ I wore while trekking in the Himalayas or meeting the Queen,” said Lisa O’Hurley. “We took that and decided to make the basic pants our best-selling item and it will be a marketing tactic that we will use for years. Whether you crack 80, win the club championship, or are on vacation in Newport, part of the appeal of LOHLA is that you can wear it to work, to cocktails, to yoga … they’re stretchy and suitable for transition. The ‘Very Pants’ is John’s own note. ”
Right now, O’Hurley is focused on streamlining business and spending money and time efficiently. LOHLA is mainly sold in pro shops and a few boutiques in upscale, golf-rich markets like Arizona, California, Colorado, Florida, Texas, and a bit in New York and the Carolinas. Sales for 2021 have already exceeded expectations and the company has yet to delve into the online business that is to come.
Even with John’s support, men’s clothing for LOHLA is out of the question, although O’Hurley strives to venture into girls’ clothing.
LOHLA clothing is initially on pro shops and boutiques in Gulf states such as Arizona, … [+]
They say timing is everything. And while 2020 was an unlikely time to start a business, it turned out to be an ideal time for O’Hurley, whose charming run in golf once included a hole-in-one on a par four.
“I couldn’t have done it without the designer, the local customers, and the sales team,” said O’Hurley. “As terrible as the pandemic was, it gave me a little time to work on it. I worked from sunrise to sunset to prepare for this – how we would do this and how we would attract investors. It took me this time to prepare. And without the pandemic, I wouldn’t have realized the need for it. It helped that I was also dealing with an industry that was considered safe. People were shopping at their country club and the members want to support that club. So talk about happiness in terms of where your customers are. ”
In the years to come, some of them may even look back and remember the very pants they bought during the pandemic.
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