Hello and welcome to the Funky Lollipop blog! I am one of the two founders of The Funky Lollipop brand. My real world name is Megan Irwin Harlan, but around here I go by Lollipop because I’m sweet, just a little twisted, and grew up obsessed with Shirley Temple and loved the song “On the Good Ship Lollipop”. In fact, I think exploring my love of Shirley is the perfect way to introduce myself!
For those of you that don’t know, Shirley Temple was a child star in the 30’s and 40’s and represented childlike joy and optimism during the Great Depression when those qualities were in short supply. Shirley inspired me as a child because she remained positive in the face of difficulties and she could make anyone happy. I wanted to be just like her and really, I still do. I love to laugh and cheer people up and make the world a more beautiful place. It seems to me that these days people don’t take you seriously and don’t really value your opinions if your viewpoint is cheerful and upbeat. I know when I was in high school I decried the cheerleaders as shallow and vapid for nothing more than being perky. But with age (hopefully) comes wisdom, and I now believe it is a mark of strength to retain a good attitude when times are tough. As Martha Washington said, “I am still determined to be cheerful and happy in whatever situation I may be, for I have also learned from experience that the greater part of our happiness or misery depends upon our dispositions and not upon our circumstances.”
Shirley also represents my love of the past and my vintage style. One of the most exciting things for me about the age we live in now is the ability to access information in a way unprecedented in human history. No longer are we subject to the styles, fashions and opinions of our time because we can learn and see how other people lived and looked throughout recorded history, collect those elements that inspire or represent us, and come up with something entirely new. On any given day I might be wearing a dress that looks like it comes from the fifties, a forties hairstyle, art nouveau inspired jewelry, and little sixties style flats. This eclectic and retro-inspired style is definitely reflected in the products I make and also allows me to continually find new things to love and be inspired by.
Which brings me to another Shirley quality I aspire to. Once her film career had ended she used the goodwill and celebrity she had garnered as a child star to become an ambassador. This ability to use elements from her past to redefine herself in a creative and meaningful way is truly extraordinary. The thing that makes Funky Lollipop so perfect for me is that it allows me to do the same. Throughout my formative years I’ve spent countless hours trying my hand at a variety of arts and crafts and although I’ve always claimed to have more determination than talent, that determination has led me to incorporate crafting into almost every job I’ve had, including my current one. I’m also at a point in my life where I’ve decided that if I am ever going to be that girl I dreamed of being when I grew up, now’s the time. That attitude adjustment has led me to make some meaningful changes in my own life. I’ve finally quit smoking, I’ve started eating right and working out five days a week, and the biggest change of all is that I’ve stopped saying “no” or “not right now” to life. I’m co-founding a company, of which this blog is a part, and I’m trying tons of new things from hula dancing to starting an all-girl singing group. I hope you’ll come along with me as I take on these new adventures.
The last and perhaps most important aspect of Shirley I identify with is how she always seemed to be taking care of the people around her. From going to Abraham Lincoln to get her father released from prison in “The Littlest Rebel,” to bringing joy to the life of her grandfather and helping her friend walk in “Heidi,” Shirley’s characters were deeply committed to helping those she loved, and that is really what all of this is about. The Funky Lollipop brand, encompassing both the blog and the store, is all about putting something beautiful and interesting out into the world and in return having the freedom to care for my family and friends on my own terms. To have the liberty to go and care for them wherever and whenever I’m needed. At this moment I feel so excited and blessed to be able to go on this journey, and I hope you will all check in from time to time and see how it’s going. I promise you’ll have fun if you do!