Lisa-Buhler-image
Image courtesy Lisa Buhler
Interview

Lisa Buhler

02.23.17

No one has an aesthetic as specific as Lisa Says Gah founder, Lisa Buhler. Formerly a buyer at Nasty Gal, San Francisco-based Buhler initially channeled her exquisite eye into a blog, and when she started curating product from emerging designers Buhler would offer an original accompanying interview for her audience. With this approach, Buhler built a community first – and with community comes trust. In just under two years, Lisa Says Gah is the ultimate one-of-a-kind shopping experience. Buhler maintains a small team and is involved with every buy while simultaneously keeping the authentic, gorgeous behind-the-scenes vibe of LSG alive on Instagram and her blog. When you participate in the LSG community either as a ‘follower’ or a customer, one feels like part of an exclusive club of cool, smart, multi-dimensional women who love fashion, but also a lot more.

Interview

I discovered your Instagram before your shop – is this how most customers find out about Lisa Says Gah?

Yes, most people say they found us through Instagram, which I love because our feed represents LSG – it’s a mix of behind-the-scenes bits, new products, blog inspiration and quotes from our interviews. It’s also a place for us get feedback and links products to shop.

Can you tell us about the inspiration behind the name of the shop?

“Gah” is anything you want it to be. To me, it derives from interest and excitement of the unknown or undiscovered.

What were you doing before launching Lisa Says Gah?

I was living in LA, working as a buyer for Nasty Gal which I loved!

What was missing from the market to encourage you to take this step?

I launched Lisa Says Gah in early 2015 after moving from Los Angeles to San Francisco. I started with an inspirational blog, now called “Look.” I then began reaching out to independent designers that were carving their unique path. I took it a step further with interviews, to connect the consumer with the product. I started Lisa Says Gah because I wanted to create a space that went beyond just “shop” – I wanted a shop that used fashion to build a community of creative, insightful women.

What goes into the discovery process of finding your unique mix of emerging designers for LSG?

We have found new brands through Instagram, Pinterest, showrooms and market trips.

Are you doing most of the buying?

We are a small team, and I’m involved with each buy. I love viewing new collections and discovering new talent.

Do you find the designers are very receptive to your approach of connecting them with your customers via exclusive interviews on your site?

Absolutely. Most designers are very engaged with the consumer, and it feels natural to open that line of communication. I love that our designers are in tune with what’s going on, that there is a real person behind the brand and that she’s approachable and relatable.

I love that LSG features “real” women in your shoots – they are never over-styled and always show off the clothes in a lived-in way that makes you want to buy. Was this intentional?

Thank you! It started unintentionally. We launched two years ago in San Francisco with a limited budget that only allowed us access to “real girls.” As our business began to burgeon, we thought we should try the more professional route by hiring a photographer and model in a studio setting. The result didn’t feel authentic to the LSG brand. We quickly switched back and have had more success since.

I don’t know for sure, but I assume you live in LA? How does your lifestyle influence LSG?

We are based in San Francisco. I love the non-scene vibe, open-mindedness and the value of quality over quantity in San Francisco.

What’s your personal style like? What are you currently coveting from your collections?

Lusting over Suzanne Rae, Demy Lee knits, Calder ribbed tees, and our vintage denim selection.

Would you ever open a brick and mortar?

No. Well, not a traditional sense. We love having pop-ups a few times a year.