So little is known about Lisa Frank, the mastermind designer behind a psychedelic stationery empire worshipped by tween and teen girls, that it made us wonder if the woman responsible for the wide-eyed, overall-wearing panda that is plastered all over binders and trapper keepers in schools across the globe was even real.
In one of her first interviews in years, Frank revealed to The Daily that she's not an artist tortured by an obsession with teddy bears in top hats as imagined in a 2011 UCB sketch, but simply the creator of some of the most-loved back-to-school supplies -- and she just happens to enjoy her privacy.
"In my own little way, I understood Michael Jackson. I feel really bad for people who've had to live under so much paparazzi," Frank told The Daily. "We think about it a lot, how well known the name is, but I'm very, very, low-key."
As low-key as you can get for running a company that declared more than $1 billion in revenue in 2005, according to The Daily. That's not too shabby, considering Frank started out of a guesthouse behind her home in 1979, primarily designing colorful stickers. Today, Frank works out a "whopping 320,000 square foot" state-of-the-art building in Tucson, Arizona.
More than 30-years-later, those stickers are still "incredibly hot," she told The Daily, but added that tech-savvy kids aren't buying the same volumes of stationary printed with florescent tigers and dayglo dolphins that many of us wax nostalgic over.
To read the full interview with Lisa Frank, click over to The Daily.
Yet Lisa Frank the brand has never gone away, despite the fact that email has killed the stationary star. Just earlier this month the company began its foray into the world of apps with Lisa Frank Pic n' Share, which allows users to Frankify their photos with her colorful characters.
Last year, Frank also expanded into the fashion market selling airbrushed sweaters and skirts at cheap prices, but she still dreams of the day when she can collaborate with designers such as Mary Kate and Ashley Olsen or Missoni.
High-end fashion partnerships may very well be in Frank's future, but the company's bread and butter is still stickers and school supplies. Frank herself is still very involved in all the designs, and says that though the company has introduced newer characters it's the classics such as Markie the Unicorn and Hollywood Bear that girls are drawn to year after year.
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