Lela Barker

I recently shared some of our big clients wins of 2018 and Lucky Break has enjoyed good success this year, too.  Raising teenage daughters, resettling my family in a new state, and navigating the Summer of Surgery (I survived three operations over the course of three months!) kept new product launches to a minimum, but we were plenty busy nonetheless. A few of our highlights…


  • We graduated three full semesters of Brick House Branding, empowering 75 entrepreneurs to take their companies to the next level. We also continued another round of updates from BHB grads, highlighting their progress and what they’ve learned in the process of launching, rebranding, or up-leveling their brands.  You ‘re invited to catch all the awesome “before + after” blogs in our Where Are They Now series.
  • I was quoted in business articles in several notable publications, including the Motley Fool, Craft Industry Alliance, and SoapQueen.



  • I had the distinct pleasure of keynoting the Craftcation conference in Ventura, CA. My talk focused on giving ourself much-need flexibility and grace as entrepreneurs. This was my third consecutive year attending and it’s quickly become the highlight of my year. If you’ve never been to Craftcation, it’s one part vacation, one part business conference, one part craft party… and 100% good time. The Lucky Break Team will be there again in 2019 and I hope you’ll grab a ticket and join us!
  • I keynoted the HSCG Annual Conference right here in my hometown of Atlanta, GA. It was a blast hosting the Lucky Break team and we grubbed hard, cocktailed harder, and enjoyed some late-night festivities at the Georgia Aquarium. In between all of that, I sat on an Expert Panel and taught two additional workshops on brand development and wholesale.


  • In mid-summer, I rolled into Alabama to be a part of their annual soapmaking event, leading a workshop on pricing. I had my daughter in tow and we spent the following day at the  in reflection at the National Peace & Justice Memorial. If you’ve been thinking about visiting, I encourage you to go. It was overwhelming and moving and powerful all at once.


  • We continued our initiative to support American entrepreneurs by making loans to 53 entrepreneurs via our Kiva commitment to help fund startups and fuel business expansion for brands we believe in.
  • After a long hiatus from online, open-to-the-public workshops, we hosted six free business workshops via FB Live throughout 2018.  Those were packed with actionable advice and enjoyed by more than 10,000 people.  Good news: we plan to continue this series in 2019. Stay tuned to the Lucky Break email list for more information about the full calendar and how you can join us.
  • We launched the #LBCWantstoKnow initiative, a fun new bridge between our Instagram and this blog designed to amplify the voices of the Lucky Break community. We choose a new focus each month, posing a series of questions on the Lucky Break Instagram alongside the #LBCWantstoKnow  hashtag. The community is invited to weigh in with their thoughts and experiences, and we round those up and publish them as a blog- alongside my thoughts- right here on the Lucky Break website. It’s been hugely successful and we plan to continue it in 2019.


  • The team enjoyed two strategic planning retreats: one aboard a beautiful cruise ship floating around the Caribbean for a week (pity us, please… it was awful) and another huddled in a gorgeous cottage here in Atlanta. The Caribbean jaunt included my favorite 3 C’s: catamarans, cocktails, and corn dogs.  Yes, corn dogs. Melissa confessed that she’d never had one and the chef in the special suites restaurant made corn dogs from scratch for her (score one for Royal Caribbean!).

Photo Jan 11, 3 56 50 PM

The Atlanta event was full of pajama parties, slightly boozy FB Lives, swanky dinners out, and a grand finale evening at a drag show.  You will never see us turn down a good time- it’s a matter of company policy.

  • The Lucky Break team grew by two this year! Angie jumped into the ring with us to serve as our Creative Director and Client Concierge while my daughter Chloe tagged in as a marketing assistant and Client Concierge support. Our beloved Shannon transitioned into a freelance role as she took on an exciting new full-time position in her hometown of Huntsville, but we’ll consider her an official teammate forever and ever.



  • After an extensive year of research, we finally signed the contract to begin the development of a new website.  We’ll be dishing more details on that soon, but suffice to say we’re all doing-cartwheels-excited for the aesthetic upgrade and lots of improvements in our Virtual Classroom for our clients.
  • In preparation for that new website, we coordinated a massive photo shoot in October. The team flew in from four states and I sweet talked each of them into coming on camera… I’m eager to feature them in more prominent ways in 2019 so you can get to know their brilliance a bit better.
  • After parking the pricing book project this year as my family resettled in Atlanta, I’m thrilled to tell you that the book iron is back in the fire! Look for a book + accompanying class to launch in mid-2019. The team spent a significant chunk of time nailing down the format at our fall retreat and I can confidently say that there’s nothing like this offered for makers. This is my priority project for the next seven months and I’ll be offering sneak peeks in the spring.



  • We published an extensive Holiday Gift Guide, featuring 230 suggestions from some of our favorite makers + product designers, who also happen to be our clients.  If you’re still shopping for the season, then I hope you’ll check it out!
  • My favorite highlight of the year was gathering together with 60 of my alumni at our party.  Clients traveled from all over the U.S. at the tip-top of the Westin Hotel in downtown Atlanta to enjoy sunset views, nosh on crudites and baked brie, and raise a toast to a year of hard work and community.


Has Lucky Break played a role in your 2018? If so, I’d love to hear about it! I invite you to tuck a comment below and share it with me. As we wind down this year, I’m raising a toast to a happy, healthy, profitable, and productive 2019… for all of us!

About the Author

Lela Barker

Lela Barker hails from the deep-and-dirty south (ATL, represent!), where she spends her days helping makers and product designers navigate the pitfalls of product pricing, brand development, and wholesale strategy. She launched her apothecary brand in 2003 and bootstrapped the hell out of that little business to cultivate a portfolio of 1500+ stockists worldwide, generating $12million in revenue and establishing successful distributorships in the Middle East, EU, Scandinavia, and South Korea. Lela is the keeper of a well-worn passport and the maker of the finest lemon meringue pie you’ve ever put in your mouth.

2 responses on “THE YEAR IN REVIEW: LUCKY BREAK’S 2018

  1. Kelley Taylor

    Thank you Lucky Break Team for everything you helped me with in 2018! I was one of the 75 BHB alumni for 2018, and I absolutely loved the program. It got me off to a great start. Cheers to all of us in 2019!

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