OVER 32 YEARS OF PROVIDING HIGH QUALITY BRANDED PRODUCTS FOR ALL INDUSTRIES by Anita Flowers LAGO APPAREL
While working as a design assistance for a successful fash- ion-house in Vancou- ver she would also do freelance designs for customers ranging from musicians, bridal, mother of the bride to grad dresses as well as designed a few mini collections for local fashion shows. “I’ve always had a natural ability to sell and to connect to people, this and my apparel back- ground was a good fit for Lago.”
A little COMPANY History
F or 32 years, Lago Apparel has been building relationships across Canada one sales call at a time. Now a custom apparel business, Lago Apparel offers high quality branded products, such as hoodies, hats and sleepwear, for the corporate, brewery and souvenir focused markets.
Lago Apparel began with a road trip across Canada. In Dec of 1986, the company that Rick Kish and Sat Lali worked for closed its doors, putting them out of a job. Lali and his family, living in Nova Scotia at that time, made the decision to move back to Vancouver. Upon learning that a new product, the Rick Hansen Yoyo, needed immediate representation across Canada, Lali and Kish took up the challenge to promote it. “Basically, they packed up the house and drove across the country. It was one big long sales trip - hitting every customer they knew. That was the beginning of Lago Apparel, now celebrating 32 years,” said Lali’s son, Jonny. In the early days of the company, Lali and Kish worked repping products for other companies but became frustrated by production and shipping delays. They began to choose their own product line to sell. In 1987 Sat Lali bought the current property for a home with a small 800 square foot garage that functioned as the first ware - house. After an apparel company in Vancouver couldn’t keep up with their sales orders, the company gave Lago a transfer machine and their souvenir clothing adventure began. The company experimented with a variety of products – sunglass- es, doodle art and novelty items. Lali and Kish worked sales during the day and shipping and accounting at night. Lali’s wife, Sherry, and friends heat pressed the shirts. Soon the business outgrew the garage and Sherry evicted them before a semi-truck ran over their kids.
Meet Jonny Lali: Jonny Lali learned the business from his dad, Sat Lali, co-founder, President and CEO of Lago Apparel. “I grew up in the business, cleaning the warehouse, going on sales trips and filling orders. That’s what prepared me for the apparel industry – all the trips in the summer on sales calls with my dad. Him and Rick Kish were the main driver in sales for many years. What I learned was that it’s more of a relationship building business than anything else. It’s old school mentality.” Spotlight sat down with Jonathan “Jonny” Lali, Sales Development Manager &member of the Product Development team, and Linsey McTaggart, Sales Manager & member of the Product Development team, back in August of this year to talk about the company’s impressive 32-year history and remark- able philanthropic commitment. “I grew up in the business, cleaning the warehouse, going on sales trips and filling orders. That’s what prepared me for the apparel industry” Meet Linsey McTaggart: After a completing her business degree in Alberta, she had a breif stint in banking, decided it wasn’t for her and moved to Vancouver to study Fashion Design at the Art Institute of Vancouver. Linsey McTaggart began working in the fashion industry in Vancouver initially working the bridal industry.
“I’ve always had a natural ability to sell and to connect to people, this and my apparel background was a good fit for Lago. ”
DECEMBER 2020 • SPOTLIGHT ON BUSINESS MAGAZINE
SPOTLIGHT ON BUSINESS MAGAZINE • DECEMBER 2020
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