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Publisher's Summary

The unauthorized story of Lululemon.

This is a book about ordinary people who took an opportunity to be creative, to be innovative, and to maximize their potential.

Chip Wilson’s part in this story comes from the learning of thousands of mistakes. He set the culture, business model, quality platform, and people development program and then got out of the way. Lululemon’s exponential growth, culture, and brand strength have few peers, and it is because of those employees who choose to be great. 

This book is also about missed opportunity - five years of missed opportunity. Chip was playing to win while the directors of the company he founded were playing not to lose.

©2018 Time Is Tight Communications Ltd (P)2018 Time Is Tight Communications Ltd

What listeners say about The Story of Lululemon: Little Black Stretchy Pants

Average Customer Ratings
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Simply, a great book and guide for entrepreneurs

Chip, thank you for writing this inspirational book. I find it strange that I can remember buying shorts from you at West Beach in Calgary but it speaks to your passion for customer service. Your mention of Ken Achenbach, one of my sponsors when I was a 15 year old competitive BMX rider, brought up fond memories but also highlights how being first is not all that is required for success in a burgeoning industry. You made your success happen because of passion and innovation and I hope your book somehow motivates Wall Street to align with you and bring back the spark that made lululemon great.

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The first half well worth the cost of the book

After listening to a large chunk of the book, I was blown away that this wasn't mentioned in "best of" lists. Chip goes into perfect detail on the setting up of his first business and the key elements and steps of his second, Lululemon. Highly recommended for people to learn more about vertical retailing, merchandising, branding and taking on investors. However, after the first half, the book takes a dark turn as Chip loses control of his company and fights to take it back. The book lags in the end as Chip spends his time regretting past decisions. I still loved the book and recommend it.

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Open, Honest, Inspired.

A great listen for those interested in leadership, people development, culture, change and lululemon. This book reminds us that people can do great things when they have shared vision and passion.

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Really odd

This book is just an egotistical view of the history of Lululemon. There's some good parts but the majority of it is him complaining and blaming others.

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Amazing book to read

it was a great story to listen to. I am just wondering with WE not continuing with operations where the processes are going to now.

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surprisingly good 👍

This book shows where hard work and attention to detail and the market can lead. It also clears up a lot of myths surrounding lulu lemon. I enjoyed it more than I expected.

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  • CG3
  • 2020-07-24

Learned so much!

I absolutely love this book and the openness with which Chip Wilson narrates his story and that of Lululemon. A man who knows what he stands for and is not afraid to be himself. Inspiring authenticity. Also so many great book recommendations.

On aside more, Chip Wilson has also really made me want to live in Vancouver :)

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  • AJ
  • 2020-07-15

Phenomenal

This is a marvelous book and you should purchase it immediately. In the audio version Chip's self-narration is clear yet passionate and adds a richness to the text. Chip truly believes in what he's selling and shares his excellent understanding of how to build a transformational business culture and an equally transformational business model.

If I had one critique of Chip's perspective, I think his perception of greatness is aspirational and really only applies to a very, very narrow segment of the world. There is an undeniable cleave between Chip Wilson's perception of Lululemon as an athletics company, and the general public's perception of Lululemon as an ass-pants streetwear company.

It strikes me that, as a visual person, Chip made the mistake of conflating the aesthetic of "Super Girls" (his target demo for both customers and talent) with their growth mindset — which applies to a far wider range of demographics. In turn, Chip focused on his narrow ideal, and failed to adopt an effective communications approach for diverse audiences. His failure to sell his vision allowed the dominant public market inertia of short-term oriented business mediocrity to overwhelm Lululemon's culture of exceptionalism.

However, to his credit, in this book Chip takes accountability for failing to communicate effectively with his board and the general public. He talks at length about the issues surrounding these difficulties in the latter half of the book. I hope Chip continues to write about leadership, and I highly recommend you read his first book.

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Inspiring and powerful

Loved every minute of this audio book. I especially enjoyed how Chip narrated it and added his own style to it. It felt real, raw, and immersive. Thank you for the lessons and insight!

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Honest recollection of one vantage point

It’s hard to be objective in writing such a book. This felt like a very honest story through the eyes of a founder. It is very helpful to see the story through the eyes of somebody very smart and with a very different creative background

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  • Braden
  • 2018-10-22

A unique perspective.

Very cool story that reminded me of Shoe Dog with more cultural lessons. Very cool that it was also narrated by Chip and his family!

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  • Noel Castellanos
  • 2019-09-26

Chip is an Excellent Product Man

So interesting-Chip made a great product using unorthodox marketing. This combination made a world wide positively recognized company. He blazed the way for people and product to grow in ways that were beneficial to both. Loved it!!! Financial and/or creative minds will enjoy this book.

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 2019-07-13

Score settling second rate business advice

I wanted Chipp's insights into Athleisure, I got Chipp's self serving opinions on corporate governance.

3 people found this helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 2021-02-09

Fantastic Listen, Chip!

Awesome! Loved to listen to the story of Lululemon and Chip's experience. Highly recommended and Learned alot.

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  • Renato Gabas
  • 2021-02-06

Very inspiring and eye opener

As a entrepneur it's very important to nurture yourself with inspiring story to keep your dream one, and this book give this and more. It gives a lot of insights to don't fall into some traps we face during our journey to achieve our dreams.

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  • Ethan W.
  • 2021-02-03

Inspiring, real and kind of heartbreaking

I am a 30 year old entrepreneur and new father. My business is still in the smaller stages of culture building. We are growing at amazing speed but it’s been so wonderful building these careers for my amazing employees.
This book is a priceless gift and it is a reminder of sticking with your values.
I would have loved to see what Lululemon could have become but I am so grateful for the insights of Chip Wilson.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 2020-11-03

A much needed dose of truth.

We need more leaders and entrepreneurs like Chip Wilson - leaders who dare to speak the truth and play the long game to make business work in an intelligent way, entrepreneurs who make choices that might not be understood or appreciated at the time, but make sense.

I have been a part of lululemon, and am happy to have left the company. I found this book when I was in the process of making the difficult decision of parting ways with the brand. Everything that Chip talked about, the sound reasoning behind every decision made - such as the encouragement of personal growth, encouraging entrepreneurship within the company, the decision to limit sizing, the vision of the vertically integrated business model, the ‘supergirl’ as the ideal employee and client... all made sense and came from backed thought processes. Since Chip left the building, all the decisions he made, that ultimately made Lululemon what it is today, have been reversed one by one. What is left now, is a powerful company that does not remember what its original manifesto is for (it even changed the manifesto), its commitment to the perfect pant, its commitment to empowering the educator. The linguistic abstraction used in the company is losing its meaning FAST. I encourage anyone involved with the brand to plug back into its original meaning, and give this book a listen.

I also encourage creatives, founders to listen to what Chip has to say. Let’s learn from Chip’s insights and aspire to build great businesses.

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  • Jon DeMott
  • 2020-09-02

Enjoyed it from start to finish!

Truly amazing story of a legendary brand. I have never purchased any item but really enjoyed every minute of this story. A must for any entrepreneur.

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 2020-08-12

Don't judge a book by its cover

Not a lululemon enthusiast, but enjoyed chip's story and business advice. Especially the last part.

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 2020-03-14

Awesome Founder

Chip seems like an amazing guy! I have so much respect for visionary creative founders, especially one’s like chip that build a business for all the right reasons. If only more businesses operated with the Lululemon ethos the world could be truly amazing.