by Railah Iqbal
Lisa Hempstock started as a teen business woman specialising in lingerie and is now a leading fashion entrepreneur for designer clothes with an upcoming charity fashion show.
Lisa owns boutiques; ‘Sister’ for ladies designer fashion in Sheffield and Chesterfield and she has built a worldwide customer network through her online retail business.
The inspiration for Lisa to own a business spurred from her father’s business. Lisa explained; “I’ve always had a passion to be self-employed and my father had a business in machine and engineering which was seen as a man’s world, so I was not allowed to join it.”
Lisa first took to the fashion industry when she decided to set up a brand and build a career rather than undertaking job roles in other people’s companies. Lisa said; “Whilst I worked for others, I put in a lot of hours and always gave 200%. So one day I thought why don’t I put all this effort into something for myself and I have always had a passion for fashion.”
Her first trademark in the fashion world was through a lingerie store; ‘Caress’ in Sheffield’s city centre in the 1980s. She sold creative underwear to “fill the gap in the market because M&S started had taken ‘knickerbocker’ concept but it was nothing as creative as people wanted.”
‘Caress’ developed into ‘Sister’ when Lisa decided to specifically target professional clientele. Lisa said; “I cater for those who understand good quality clothing.”
However just before the first store opening Lisa fell severely ill and ended up in hospital. With the help of her family the store saw its re-launch and is now a popular brand across South Yorkshire.
Lisa explains that a successful fashion business should be customer orientated; “we will wrap a £25 tunic in the same nice tissue paper as a £200 dress, because good customer experiences are important to a healthy business.”Locations of fashion businesses are important in its success and Lisa is hoping to branch out her business in southern areas.
Lisa added; “ I would love to have a shop further down south because I feel there are more opportunities for new businesses there.”
Further Lisa’s recent uptake on the e-business industry through ‘Sister Online’ was a successful move. She explained; “It had a positive effect and it has reached people globally as well as brought people into the store. I should have done it time ago.”
Lisa also established that fashion shows advertising her products are a key marketing device. Her most recent one, held in-store at Sister on Ecclesshall Road, modelled Lisa’s collections and customers were able to purchase items at the end of each show. Lisa said; “I wanted to do a fashion show in-store so people can come in, have a glass of wine, enjoy the show and then are drawn to buying our clothes.”
This show is a taster of the big event happening in Chesterfield on Thursday 16th May and all of the proceedings from this, Lisa is donating to the Ash-Gate charity. If you are interested in attending the event, check out Sister’s page for further information.
Check out Lisa’s fashion show exclusively here:
Photography and video by Railah