IndiePix, Celebrating Independent Film

Lola Star

"Her name was Lola, she was a showgirl..." the Lyrics blasted from her pink boom box from the Sears catalog. Lola Star, shimmied her seven-year-old body into her favorite fringed flapper dress from the dress up chest. With a determined gleam in her eye, she pulled on her pompom footies and laced her roller skates tightly to her feet. Then, Lola began to skate. Unbeknownst to the world above, this basement showgirl was hard at work. the metal wheels of her roller skates became a shiny blur as she passed again and again the dress-up chest, ping pong table, the hot water heater and around again. She could feel her heart pounding in her chest.....Lola knew, she always knew, one day she would be a star.

As Lola (a.k.a. Dianna Carlin) grew, her dreams changed course but she always revered the profound truth in those boom-box-dress-up-daydreams. In 1991 Lola dreamt her fabulous tee shirt line into existence. This dream was born out of the magical thumping techno bass of abandoned warehouse raves in Detroit where Lola first sold her glittering line of tees. The dream of creating empowering clothing with the same sense of dreaming as the fringed flapper dress from the dress up chest brought Lola to New York City. It wasn't long before her heart soon found it's home in Coney Island. Ten years ago Lola opened the Lola Star Souvenir Boutique on the Boardwalk in Coney Island. Since that fateful day, Lola Staar has captured the hearts of millions with the adorably sassy line of tee shirts that she designs and sells at The Lola Star Souvenir Boutique on the Coney Island boardwalk, Lola Star's Dreamland Roller Rink, the Lola Star Surf Shop, her online boutique, The Lola Star Soho Pop Up Boutique and the hundreds of fabulous retail stores across the world.

In addition to being a designer and business owner, a wild roller-coaster ride of events has led Lola to find herself in the role of a community activist!

The integrity of the historic Amusement District in Coney Island was being threatened by a real estate developer who bought the land and planned to build luxury condos. Lola began the Save Coney Island Organization to fight against the developer's plan because she believed this would destroy Coney Island. Her role as a community activist began in 2006 when she objected to a Confidentiality Clause that the developers demanded that all of their Coney Island tenants sign. She strongly objected to the developers attempt to silence the business community by preventing their tenants from speaking about the redevelopment of Coney Island. She was evicted from her store because she refused to sign this Agreement. After her eviction, she was determined to make something positive out of the heart breaking loss of my boutique, so she created the Save Coney Island Organization. Her goal was to create an Organization which would spread information about the redevelopment, give people the opportunity to discuss and express their opinions and ideas about Coney Island, and to organize events which would publicly express these convictions. Lola organized a "No Condos in Coney" demonstration at New York's City Hall. This demonstration created an extraordinarily colorful spectacle which succeeded in preventing the developers from building these luxury condos in the Amusement District. It also resulted in her getting her boutique on the Coney Island boardwalk back.

In 2008, Glamour Magazine and Tommy Hilfigger were so impressed with Lola's achievements and activism that they awarded her with the opportunity bring her dream of creating a Roller Rink to fruition while they filmed a documentary movie about her experience. Lola opened the fabulous Lola Star's Dreamland Roller Rink inside the historical landmarked Childs Building on the boardwalk in Coney Island and the movie, Dreamland, was made about her life.

Lola Star suffered a great heartbreak in January of 2009 when the developers, once again, senselessly kicked her out of her beloved boutique on the boardwalk. They needlessly kicked her out of her shop because she refused to compromise her belief that Coney Island should be redeveloped as World Renowned Amusement Destination and not a shopping mall or the site of high rise luxury condos.

With the resilience and determination of true Coney Island showgirl spirit, Lola Staar vowed to create a bigger and better shop after the loss of her boardwalk boutique! She relocated her shop into her Roller Rink and created the Dreamland Boutique. Miracles DO happen when your love is pure and true! Miraculously, Lola got her very same shop on the boardwalk BACK AGAIN after the city bought the land in 2009. They offered Lola a lease and she was able to reopen her very same shop in 2010! In the spring of 2010 she also opened the Lola Star Surf Boutique inside the Stilwell Ave Subway station in Coney Island. In the fall of 2010 she opened the Lola Star Soho Pop Up Boutique (435 Broome St, NYC)- a 1,500 sq ft manifestation of all Lola's seven year old fantasies! Unicorns, starry eyed bunnies, cupcakes, shooting stars and more!

Lola Star is a positive, vibrant and creative contributor to the redevelopment of Coney Island. Through her Save Coney Island Organization she is helping to preserve the integrity of one of the most historically rich destinations on the planet!! Her fabulous Lola Star's Dreamland Roller Rink dazzles and amazes thousands of roller-groove seekers each summer. Customers can sense the pride, love and passion she has for the community of Coney Island and her Lola Staar Boutique, Lola Star's Dreamland Roller Rink, the Lola Staar line of products which she designs and the the Save Coney Island Organization.

P.S. None of this would have been possible without the love of Lola Staar's adorable doggie sidekick, Shimmer Staar!

(From Lola Star's website.)

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