Lisa Frank took the '80s, '90s, and early 2000s by storm. Classrooms across America came alive with vibrant illustrations of kittens sitting in high-top sneakers, piglets reading crystal balls and the quintessential rainbow unicorn.
It was Frank's world, and we weren't just living in it — we were thriving.
As the company took off in the '80s and '90s, it moved into a 320,000-square-foot factory in Tucson in 1996, but all good things come to an end. By 2013, only six of the company's 500 employees remained.
Today, the factory still stands on Lisa Frank Avenue, proud but empty. Nostalgia seekers flock to the desolate building to make viral TikToks and witness firsthand the whimsical ghost of an empire.
The faded exterior is covered in rainbow panels and pastel hearts, stars and music notes. Colorful hearts adorn the rusted fence, and overgrown brush covers the 18.5-acre property.
The building's entrance towers have rosy pink windows, reflecting scenes from the Arizona desert.
The loading dock is overgrown with weeds, and the once-bright paint job is faded and chipping away.
Some wanderers over the years have managed to grab a peek inside, and the vibes are slightly ominous.
A portion of the space is currently available for lease and has been on the market for a number of years. Though Lisa Frank no longer manufactures products, the brand continues to maintain an active social media presence and contracts out the manufacturing of the few products it still sells on its website.
They have pivoted from fuzzy folders and backpacks to products that will appeal to millennial audiences that grew up with their products. Recently, they collaborated with popular cosmetic brand Morphe on exclusive themed eye shadow palettes.
Before you get going, check out our Responsible Travel Guide so you can be informed, be safe, be smart, and most of all, be respectful on your adventure.