Sheffield woman sets up independent lingerie shop after losing job at John Lewis
An inquisitive glance at an empty property turned into a business opportunity for a redundant Sheffield John Lewis employee.
Lana Barker, who lost her job at the city’s store after 20 years of working there when it closed earlier this year, has turned her retail dream into reality after opening her new body positive lingerie shop The Woman In Me, based in Crookes. The new boutique shop specialises in women’s lingerie and bras from 30AA to 42JJ plus post surgery, maternity and nursing bras.
It also includes a bra recycling bank for Action Against Breast Cancer and a safe breastfeeding space for nursing mums. Lana said: “I saw the shop was available and an inquisitive glance turned into a business opportunity.“I had worked in an independent lingerie shop way back so I had a bit of insight into working in the sector, but was not clued up on business in general. “It was perfect timing having been made redundant from John Lewis, so I funded it with my redundancy money and started liaising with suppliers.
" Sheffield has lost House of Fraser, John Lewis and Debenhams for places to buy affordable lingerie so I am filling a gap.“Since I opened it has been going really well and the reception we have received has been brilliant.
" I am working with customers to meet their individual needs and being inclusive in my buying choices for bigger sizes.“My lesson here was to keep motivated, see hurdles as a redirection to another opportunity and to stay positive.”Lana is now working with brands including Sheffield- made brand Panache, Pour Moi, Triumph, Royce, Hot Milk and Sloggi.
Sheffield's Wake Smith solicitors advised on the lease for the 428 sq ft two-room shop for Lana, who already hopes to expand into lines including swimwear, nightwear and sustainable clothing in the future .Laura Sanderson, associate in Wake Smith's commercial property team, advised on the lease of the store.
She said: “We were really pleased to provide the legal support on the lease requirements for Lana. Her redundancy experience has lead to a great opportunity for her, and a very positive outcome.”