Do you remember Lisa Frank? I can never forget. She is a humungous, bright, part of my life! Today is story time, ladies and gentleman and it revolves around one of my favorite things ever – the Lisa Frank franchise.
Lisa Frank represents the one part of my brain that is glitter glued with rhinestones and has rainbow, neon feathers sticking out of the top of it. Everything with this part of my brain is shiny and magical – just as life should be! To me, Lisa Frank was seriously (and still is) such a gateway into a beautiful world of creativity that is always tied with a holographic ribbon. It’s a realm of fantasy and fun – and is ALWAYS super cute. It’s made to make you smile and to go against the norm of what you see every day.
Something really interesting about Lisa Frank is that each of the characters have individual names - usually based off of real people – and some even have extensive backstories. It’s truly fascinating to get lost in this world if you’re into the fantasy scene and escaping your life sometimes.
I remember my neighbor down the street from the house I grew up in had literally everything Lisa Frank: folders, stickers, lip gloss, Trapper Keepers, pencil cases, shoes, earrings, bags, necklaces, pencils, pens, …. EVERYTHING! I mean, that was what your goal in life was if you were a middle school girl in the 90's - to own all of the Lisa Frank - even Lisa Frank herself, if you could kidnap her.
My neighbor and I were kind of close so when her mother took her back to school shopping one year, (One of the most exciting times of the year!) my neighbor gave me some of her loot from the Kmart trip: folders, a mini gel backpack and some earrings. I had to have only been about seven or eight at the time, because I don’t remember fully what each item had on it. I remember that the mini gel backpack had whales on it and was dark blue with glitter everywhere and the earrings were yellow lab puppies that each had a rainbow bow collar. My story revolves around one of the folders my lovely friend gave me – it had three bears on the front in cheerleading costumes and they were decked out in rainbow uniforms, the typical Lisa Frank attire. Inside the folder on the pocket was a cheer that I’m assuming the three bear cheerleaders on the front would exclaim at unicorn football games or whatever. It was probably eight lines or so, nothing to brag about, but I memorized it. I really needed money for some necessities and was too young to be officially hired anywhere, obviously. For my whole childhood I was always looking for ways to earn money – I helped my lunch ladies with their orders every morning at school, I would garden for elderly neighbors, I’d babysit/pet-sit…. You get the idea. I saw some dollar signs associated with this cheer, for whatever reason, probably because I was such an oddball. I thought people would find it too cute if I interrupted what they were doing at home by cheering this cheer that wasn’t even for my elementary school – but for Lisa Frank! I dressed up in my craziest, most mismatched outfit that screamed, “I need help!” So there I was walking around the streets of Philly in a fairly trashy version of a Lisa Frank themed outfit I could muster from my very few pieces I owned. I even ripped up two plastic bags to resemble pom-poms. I went door to door and didn’t even introduce myself to whoever would answer but immediately threw myself into my cheerleader character by blurting out this cheer at the top of my lungs and with as much enthusiasm as a morbid eight year old can really have – which isn’t too much. It’s like a blend of Daria and Tina Belcher. I think I half smiled once in a while too? Actually, probably not.
Most times, with this being Philly, doors were just slammed in my face. Usually, when the door would shut, I would ring the bell again, persistent as anything, (Irish stubbornness) and would try to finish my cheer in hopes that this would change the homeowner’s mind of forking over some dollar bills. But usually it didn’t, it only pissed them off more. I stayed out all day, for probably ten hours or something like that, and made about $200! It was pretty cool, considering all I exerted into this project was memorizing a Lisa Frank cheer on the inside of a folder, throwing on a terribly uncoordinated mix of clothes and blindly walking around town knocking on doors to stranger’s homes. I was clearly smarter than your average eight year old, and by smarter, I definitely mean dumber. By a landslide. Why do I question how I was such a loner as a child? I really shouldn't anymore.
So that’s my biggest memory that incorporates Lisa Frank. It really shows how bizarre of a person I am that I trekked around the streets of Philly alone, at age 8, with pom-poms (plastic bag pom-poms...) in search to get some cash. I’m truly surprised I’m not a hooker, aren’t you? That basically sounds like the molding of a little hooker. I’m too awkward to be a decent paid woman of the night though, I think – not that I’ve researched it - but I just don’t read “hooker” when I look in the mirror – the lack of self-confidence and daddy issues are both present though – so hooray to me for being 2/3 hooker! The rest of my Lisa Frank memories are just owning as much as I could of the brand. I presently only have my keychains left of my Lisa Frank stash. I also may still have a dozen pencil top erasers that I religiously did NOT ever use. I still would try to live to this standard of all of my belongings being decked out in rainbows, but Lisa Frank is pretty hard to find outside of the occasional folder, pencil box or nail polish set. (At least where I’m living now) If you go on Ebay/Etsy/ect, Lisa Frank is going for lots of dough since it’s a “collector’s item” now……I don’t have the piggy bank for that lifestyle at this point in my life. Instead, on days where the Lisa Frank side of my mind is bursting to express itself, you’ll find me in shoes with sequins, bright colored skirts, and pastel tops with a unicorn printed on it.
Did you like Lisa Frank when you were younger? Do you still have anything Lisa Frank? Do you still buy Lisa Frank products – where do you find them?! Let me know your thoughts and remember to #staynerdy!
LISA FRANK MEMORIES
Did you know, originally, all art for Lisa Frank products were hand created by artists? None of this computer wish wash - but made with the heart and soul of actual artists with more then likely pink sweat and glitter tears sprinkled in. That's impressive.
Did you know, the headquarters for Lisa Frank Inc. is in Tucson, AZ?
Did you know, Lisa Frank was an art major and was gigantically inspired by her father to get into the artistic scene?
Did you know Frank founded this wonderful company at the same age as I am now, 24? And that makes me feel like a failure. But good for her, right? So far I've founded more ways to eat chicken nuggets then you can probably imagine.
Did you know Mrs. Frank created a special ink solely for the pieces created for Lisa Frank? It supposedly made the color muchmore vibrant - as if the pieces don't make you feel like you're on acid ENOUGH.
Did you know that the company currently only produces prints and sells them to other manufacturers?
Did you know Mila Kunis was in this Lisa Frank commercial when she was a wee little lass - for a while she was a spokesperson for the company.