By Sharon Myers The Dispatch, Lexington, N.C.
WWR Article Summary (tl;dr) In her new book "Scrappy", Brandi Temple describes in detail, how her children's clothing company almost went out of business and how she fought to regain control of the company she had built.
The Dispatch, Lexington, N.C.
Local entrepreneur Brandi Temple, who created children's clothing business Lolly Wolly Doodle in Lexington, is branching out yet again into uncharted territory.
Temple has recently written a book, titled "Scrappy," which describes her rags-to-riches rise from sewing children's clothes in her kitchen and selling them on Facebook to the CEO of a multi-million-dollar apparel business.
The book, which was released on May 1, can be bought on Amazon and eBay, as well as most nationally known book stores. Temple said the book is part personal narrative, part inspiring business guide.
She said the idea to write a book has always been in the back of her mind. Temple said over the years there have been many stories and interesting events she often thought needed to be written down.
"It was one of those things that we would joke about," Temple said. "Every time we didn't think things could get crazier and more hectic, we would get surprised. Coupling that with the challenges and trials of starting a business, especially since it was kind of unintentional, and being thrust into things you had to learn about quickly. We knew it would make for good reading."
Temple said although there are many stories that will make you chuckle, her favorite is the story of why she dislikes the color purple and butterflies. It includes an anecdote about her brother's wedding which includes purple stripper dresses, guests showing up in tank tops and cut-off jeans, and her extremely religious grandmother getting sick off the fruit from the PJ punch fountain.
She said the title of the book, "Scrappy," has a double meaning, one in reference to the scraps of fabric she used to create her first product and also to represent her dogged determination to make a success of her company.
"Sometimes there is a well-structured business that went exactly how they were planned, but oftentimes you have a very scrappy owner who is just trying to keep the lights on at any given time," Temple said. "No matter what that revenue number says, there is a lot that goes behind it."
She said that while she was writing the book, the company itself was undergoing a lot of turmoil including a dramatic drop in sales. Temple said that she wanted to make sure the focus of the book was how to be successful in your own definition.
"It was about how to do it, not about how to make a fortune," Temple said. "At the end of the day, when the book was released, if we had sold the company, gone bankrupt or we were bigger than ever, it wouldn't impact the book. ... It was important to let people know not to have such a defined measure of how you measure success. It may not be that your business makes $1 million annually, it may be that it pays the bills, and that is success to you."
Most of the other stories in the book revolve around how Temple navigated the business world, overcoming obstacles and dealing with plummeting sales during the financial crisis.
She also tells in detail how Lolly Wolly Doodle almost went out of business and about her fight to regain control of the company she had built.
"This is just the interesting story behind it," Temple said. "People tend to see things from the outside. They think I have it made and this is very glamorous. They don't see that I work seven days a week up to 16 hours a day. Those are the things that people outside the company don't tend to see."