Co-founder and CEO of LIZAL, Inc.
Lisa Nolan is the co-founder and CEO of LIZAL, Inc., a successful China-based manufacturing and sourcing company. Lisa manages her business from Palo Alto, CA, with frequent trips to Asia. She is also a mom of a 3 year-old boy. In this revealing interview, Lisa talks about her inspiration for becoming an entrepreneur, how she schedules her days to maximize her time with her clients and her family, what she wishes her husband did differently, and some advice for fellow entrepreneur moms.
Date company was founded: We began building out our company in 1995 out of Los Angeles and London and officially incorporated in 1998.
Number of employees: 4,100 off season, 8,100 on season (mostly in China)
Total capital invested to date: $12mm
2007 projected revenues: $48mm
Can you tell us a bit about your company?
Lizal is a China-based manufacturing and sourcing company. We own and operate 6 manufacturing facilities in Southern China with offices in Taiwan, China, US, UK, and Israel. We manufacture and source various products for global consumer and corporate brands.
What inspired you to start your business?
I grew up in an entrepreneurial family. I started designing motorcycle jackets for my family’s business and Harley-Davidson started to carry our jackets. This inspired me to go into manufacturing. I met my partner in LA and teamed up with him to build a global manufacturing company on his platform.
What did you do in your previous life?
I was a Chief Marketing Officer for a marketing firm focusing on consumer products, toys, and collectibles. We manufactured collector NASCARs.
Do you think being an entrepreneur makes it easier or harder to balance your work and family responsibilities? Why?
Personally I think it’s easier because you are not answering to anyone. It’s all up to you how successful you want to make your business. At some point people rely on you, so you need to be responsible. But the extra flexibility allows you to chart your own course.
What has been the most challenging part about starting your own company?
The pressure of failure. Your family is relying on your ability to succeed. However, I somehow manage to thrive on this pressure.