Laurie is a mom, wife, and Founder of Laugh. She is a 15 year fashion merchandising executive who has worked for many of the top specialty retail chains in the world. Laurie has overseen some of the largest and most successful apparel lines for Gap, Old Navy, Disney, Victoria's Secret, Guess and Motherhood Maternity. She is truly a lover of all things fashion and during her career has been fortunate to gain significant experience in the industry. However, Laurie could never kick the ever present pull on her heart to help children. One evening a friend shared a video with Laurie about child trafficking. She was so moved by the stories of these children that she had to see the problem for herself. She traveled to 3 countries in Southeast Asia with a team of experts and met with children who had been rescued from slavery. Upon returning home, she knew she had to so something to help these precious children who seemed forgotten by the world. "I knew if this was my child, I would do everything in my power to rescue them. Why do these children deserve any less?" and so Laugh was born. In January of 2012 Laurie left behind her corporate position and founded Laugh. Leaving a prestigious corporate career might seem crazy by today's standards, but that's just the kind of unconventional thinking that is making Laugh such a success. Laugh is doing something that no other children's apparel brand is doing, it is using an amazing brand to fight a social injustice.
Laurie believes in using what you know to make a difference. She knows the fashion world and will use her specific skills to help children. Laurie is leveraging her proven track record of success in the apparel industry to create an amazing line of designer children's clothes which rivals the best design houses in the world. "Our customers are savvy, they know great style and quality when they see it. We marry social responsibility with amazing pieces and make it easy for our customers to buy product they can feel great about." Laurie believes her customers should never have to sacrifice great style to be a good person.
Laurie lives in Southern California with her husband Dave, their two children and their 14 year old cat. Dave and Laurie met during college and have been married for 16 years.
"You have to start somewhere to make a difference anywhere. We are starting right here in the garage, starting with Laugh, starting to make a difference." ~ Laurie Wirgler
What makes you laugh? "Watching my kids laugh."
When are you the happiest at work? "When both sales and team morale are up. You can't have a successful company without happy people and happy people are sure to produce great results."
What is your most loved designer? "This is a tough one. Carolina Herrera and Diane Von Furstenberg are two of my favorites. Not because of their great sense of style (although they undeniably have that), but because they are icons of the fashion world. Both forever changed the course of the fashion world with their designs and influence. I hope to emulate one day."
What do you think is the most overused phrase in business today? "Think outside the box. I really wish someone would put that back in the box and back on whatever shelf it came from."
What is your pet-peeve? "The word "no."
Finish the sentence - I love it when…… "I learn something unexpectedly."
What is your favorite cartoon line? "I never look back darling, it distracts from the now." (Disney's The Incredibles)
What is your favorite "Laugh" moment? "Our launch day. It might has well have been the 4th of July, because it felt like fireworks. I couldn't believe that we were finally on our way to help kids."
If you could spend a day doing one thing you love, what would you do? "Playing at the beach with my kids."
Why are you passionate about helping kids? "I can't really say for certain. Every time I see a child suffering any form of injustice I immediately imagine how I would feel if it were my own child. Instead of just feeling sad I decided to do something to help."
What is the best part of starting Laugh? "I get to help kids around the world and I get to design amazing clothes. I also get to work with Dave every day."
What is the hardest part of starting Laugh? "Overcoming fear. Fear and doubt always creep in when you take a risk. While we are having an amazing time launching our company you have to constantly believe in what you are doing so that fear and doubt don't paralyze you. It is impossible to make wise decisions when you are afraid."