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Little Black Stretchy Pants

Written by: Chip Wilson
Narrated by: Chip Wilson
Length: 10 hrs and 44 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (203 ratings)

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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 members say

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.

2 people found this helpful

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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.

1 person found this helpful

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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.

1 person found this helpful

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one of the best business books I have ever read

Chip Wilson told his story; humble, interesting...I learnt numerous things to help me in my life and my business

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Former and current lululemon employee must-read.

I have worked for lululemon since early 2015 and still do. Started at an Australian store and transferred to Canada in 2018. I thoroughly enjoyed hearing the lululemon story from Chips point of view as all I’ve heard about is what’s in the media. Thank you, Chip for creating such an amazing culture.

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Fascinating story

I’m from Vancouver and had a different idea of who Chip Wilson is. This book was fascinating in that he really gives to his employees in all forms. I’ve switched a few years ago to be a kit & ace shopper - the quality was the original lululemon - it all makes sense now! I have so much respect for Chip’s integrity and sharing his story in his voice. 5 stars - bravo!

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Excellent read for brand building

The book is a candid one. He goes into details of some of the ups and downs during the tenure of Lululemon and gives some warnings for going public and corporate governance.
It also helps that this has been more recent for him compared to many other autobiographies that happen 30 or 40 years prior to the author writing.

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Insightful

Confessions from an outed founder with years of experience in his industry, pushed back by corporate greed and want of wall street. a very good read for anyone both looking to start a business, and a cautionary tail for anyone wanting to expand there business nationally or globally. it gave me a better application for the brand, and gave a lot of good information into building one.

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A Repugnant Personality

As an entrepreneur, Ayn Rand fan, and athletic enthusiast, I was predisposed to like this book. However, Chip Wilson has a personality that is so repugnant that I don't see how anyone could work for him. He is ridiculously boastful (I was the world's most well-read 19-year-old), is ready to claim honours which he clearly does not merit, and shrugs off responsibility for his mistakes, some of which are unutterably stupid. The low quality of his writing is an illustration of his inability to seek professional advice. Grammar errors abound, as do incorrect usages. Chip, it's "risk-averse", NOT "risk-adverse". I don't know whether it's mispronunciation or that he simply does not know the difference between the words "woman" and "women", but this error comes up every few pages.
Wilson had one good idea, and he succeeded with it. He worked hard, and deserved the initial success. But his constant moaning about what was taken away from him by evil investors is shameful. He brings shame on entrepreneurs everywhere.

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very good listen

I found the book compelling August a genuine quite inspiring and relatable as an entrepreneur the vertical retail aspect of the business gave me a lot of food for thought

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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!

4 people found this helpful

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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.

1 person found this helpful

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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.

2 people found this helpful

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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.

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  • Steven Calif
  • 2020-03-11

Entertaining but revisionist in places

I’ve listened to this twice, so I found the history, the journey and some of the lessons very interesting. In particular, the idea that it is truly possible to keep a unique vision and core values driving a large scale entity is unusual, as those things typically get lost or are not truly supported top to bottom.

On the 2nd listen I did not really like that the book had been revised with updates of Chip’s career .. it seemed like a “chip on the shoulder” move. I’d say it is certainly worth a listen if you are interested in the early history of the company, but as the book goes on, take it with a grain of salt. As Chip asks at one point “Am I the weird uncle in the room?” I think so. But that’s kind of what makes it more interesting. Can a weird uncle really run a multi billion$ entity. The lessons of why could not make it possible are good ones.

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  • Strong
  • 2020-02-04

Very engaging

This was a great book to listen to for many reasons. Very relatable to my life, and now being an educator at lulu myself, I am able to understand the foundation of how this amazing company became who it is. Chip is very honest and upfront. It is hard to find people who are ok with telling the past knowing it wasn't perfect.

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  • Daniel B.
  • 2020-01-19

Real life real story.

Such an amazing and honest story. Might be one that I come back to many times

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  • Daniel
  • 2020-01-06

One of the best business and life of greatness books ever

What a great read. Chip is an inspiration and has lived an incredible life. He opens up in an authentic and vulnerable way. I can’t imagine how anyone wouldn’t be able to take a ton of learnings out of this book. Highly recommend!

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  • The Niedenzus
  • 2019-10-15

This is not comedy

I should have known from the subtitle: little black stretchy pants.
Simply NOT that interesting.
Lesson learned.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Justin Smith
  • 2019-08-08

Read this book! Inspired a new goal

Great read. Incredible insight. Politics suck.

New Goal: Be a mentee of Chip Wilson!

Thank you, Chip!