this woman spent $15,000 on lululemon & she doesn’t even do yoga

From the Lululemon mission statement (image via about.com)

Okay, I have to admit that I stole this title from a Business Insider article. I couldn’t resist!

But really, it doesn’t matter if you spend wads of money on Lululemon clothing and do yoga or not. Nor does it matter if you do yoga and don’t wear Lululemon (for economic or political reasons). This odd news item is interesting for other, more subtle reasons.

So who is “this woman”? As Business Insider reports, Carolyn Beauchesne is a mother of three in Orange County, CA who loves her lulus. More interesting than her total spending on workout gear is her blog, Lululemon Addict, which is dedicated entirely to photos of new products. As she explains on the blog:

I discovered Lululemon five years ago and rarely buy another brand for the gym. I visit the local Orange County (South Coast Plaza, Newport Beach, Irvine) stores about once a week. Every couple of months I make a trip to one of the other SoCal stores in El Segundo, Santa Monica, Pasadena, or Glendale.

Beauchesne makes daily posts on Lululemon Addict, and some days will post as many as 11 entries. According to Business Insider, the blog receives 50,000 unique monthly visitors. Her blog posts, recent ones titled “Today’s Shopping Trip” and “Spotted in Stores – New Purple Check Speeds,” are slightly more interesting than a product catalogue. The comments sections are full of enthusiastic discussion about the colours of racing back shirts and the fit of stretchy pants.

Business Insider goes on tell us, “She keeps a spreadsheet of her purchases and estimated she has spent $13,000 to $15,000 on the clothes she has kept. That number doesn’t include the purchases she has sold on eBay or her headbands, which account for another $1,000.” Emphasis added because I’m shocked that anyone would keep a spreadsheet of their purchases or spend $1,000 on headbands.

Beauchesne offered clarification in the comments section of the BI article, saying “The $15K number was spent over a period of five years. Spending $3K a year on clothes isn’t outrageous at all, particularly in the demographic lululemon caters to.”

Lululemon Addict could either be read as a testament to the power of branding and “quality” products, or evidence of the vacuousness of consumer culture. Take your pick.

6 Comments

Cancel

  1. This woman is a vulgarian.

  2. “Friends are more important than money”

    How sad when you have to spend and spend; and hit the gym so much, just to keep up with your “friends” …

    I’m not totally out of the woods … I own a few items of Athleta … just a few …

    but I’ve never ventured into a Lululemon store …

    But, if many customers are like Lulu Addict, it’s no wonder they have the Ayn Rand politics they do …

  3. Honestly, there are so many people out there who spend much more on clothes, shoes, household items. They have brand fetishes, too. Are we highlighting this lady because yoga is meant to mean you don’t care about these things?

    Sure, her attachment to Lulu is weird. But then so is hoarding, or obsessive TV watching. Or a myriad of other weird behaviours that we humans exhibit.

    I just don’t get the point of this article.

    • thanks for the comment, svasti. by “this article,” do you mean the original piece on Business Insider or my blog post?

      i can’t speak to why a business magazine would publish an article about a brand blogger. i think that’s weird, which is why i’ve blogged about it. honestly, i think the fact that a business magazine considered this newsworthy is weirder than her actual brand obsession. meanwhile, i’m obsessed with any kind of media coverage about lululemon and how its perceived by our culture, and so i couldn’t resist blogging about it. i’m also fascinated by brand loyalty and consumer culture.

      i definitely think that spending so much money on a brand is incongruent with yogic values. however, this person doesn’t even practice yoga, so it doesn’t matter.

      actually, now that i think about it, there isn’t really any point to this blog post. so there’s nothing to get.

  4. Interesting. I enjoyed perusing the blog, it’s great to see real women in the clothes. I was just at my local Lululemon store and couldn’t find anything I wanted to buy. Sadly the Lucy store in the same shopping center closed a few months ago (six months after Lululemon moved in). I could always find something at Lucy i wanted, even if I had to wait for it to go on sale!

  5. Don’t judge people because they sin differently than you.