Posted by Lauren Sager
On Wednesday, Feb. 9 the Department of Management and Business hosted an-all day event with two Lilly Pulitzer executives and Kim Burton, owner of the Pink Paddock, a Lilly Pulitzer retail outlet on Broadway.
Joanna Lee, director for merchandising and marketing, and Jennifer Raines, business development manager, gave students insight into marketing a high-end brand.
The event was coordinated by management and business lecturer Laura Finnerty Paul.
Lilly Pulitzer is a high-end brand, known for playful prints and bright colors. The brand was launched in 1959 when 21-year old Lilly Pulitzer eloped with her husband Peter Pulitzer to Palm Beach.
While Peter ran the orange groves, Lilly opened a juice stand to occupy herself. To conceal juice stains, Lilly had dresses made for her in flamboyantly patterned dresses.
The brand really took off when Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis was seen wearing Lilly Pulitzer in the 1960s. Today, the company features dresses, sportswear, accessories, home goods, men's clothing and children's clothing.
Throughout the day, Raines, Lee and Burton spoke to students in marketing classes and had lunch with about a dozen students. At 6:30 p.m. the department hosted "Learning Lilly: An Insider's Look at Managing a Compelling and Creative Brand and Career."
At the event, both executives shared their experiences working with Lilly Pulitzer and the fashion industry. Lee and Raines emphasized to students the importance of being passionate about their careers.
Burton then spoke about her experience as owner of the Pink Paddock. When Burton first opened the store, it resembled a bowling alley in size and was called "Sunshine on Broadway."
Later on, the store became a signature Lilly Pulitzer store, changed the name to the Pink Paddock and relocated to its current location. Since then, the Pink Paddock has been a great success in Saratoga Springs.
Burton credits the store's success to outstanding customer service, the location of the store and events hosted by the store.
Burton also credited the store's success to social media. She runs a "Find the Lilly Jeep" contest on Friday mornings in the summer. The first person to post a picture of themselves with the Lilly Pulitzer decorated Jeep wins a gift certificate to the Pink Paddock.
The event ended with a fashion show and giveaways.