by S Lowe 5THE FM newsonline wattlerangenow
Local businesswomen and proprietor of George Street’s Heaven on a Hanger, Lisa McCourt, celebrates 10 years in business Sunday 14th December (today) and you’re invited to the in-store party which starts at 11-00 am. Lisa promises great specials and cake too – black forest I hear. A lucky dip will guarantee the customer a percentage off their purchase.
Ten years ago, Lisa noticed a local clothing store, Heaven on a Hanger was about to close and thinking it was a shame to see another clothing business close in Millicent, she mentioned it to husband Chris on a trip to Mt Gambier, saying, she might like to buy it.
Chris said, ” do it”, and with his support, the rest is history.
Lisa went into the business with no retail experience but an interest in fashion and a desire to support local business. She has built a loyal customer base, and provided a on trend fashion outlet that caters for all ages, shapes and sizes, believing that all woman can look fabulous.
She said today, on the eve of her 10th birthday as a successful businesswoman, she began sourcing clothes in larger sizes in younger labels as an addition to the regular range from the very beginning and her natural eye for what works has created a fashion outlet that is a constantly changing kaleidoscope of style, class and flair with her client base extending far beyond the boundaries of Wattle Range.
Lisa said tourists love her store and many other stores in Millicent, especially those who come from cities, saying it is such a change from the chain stores they are used to. They love the variety we offer, she said.
Looking back on the early days she said she quickly realised going into a new business just before Christmas wasn’t ideal; stock was hard to source, especially when she hadn’t had the year before to buy; but with help from the former owner, her friend Anne Novak and sister-in-law Lisa Reilly she soon moved out of scary mode into enjoying the industry. Anne and Lisa will be a part of the big party today.
Lisa said fashion has changed too, designers are making clothes more generous in their sizing, making many styles suitable for most ages.
Five years later, she had grown out of the original shop; moved to her current premises at 24 George Street and enjoys having more space to display her clothing. The move has been good in many ways she said.
The new store with its terracotta feature walls, larger changing rooms and black iron work made by husband Chris, reflects Lisa and Chris’ flair in design.
Lisa shows a caring attitude towards everyone and is sensitive to their needs for special occasions, and even provides a chair for loyal husbands, allowing the shopper a relaxed try-on.
Lisa is often stopped in the street and asked what sizes she has in the outfit she’s wearing. She has found wearing the clothes she stocks helps customers see how much better an outfit looks on, instead of just on the hanger.
The catch phrase, ‘Heaven on a Hanger for day wear, evening wear and even underwear,’ created by 5THE FM, has been widely adopted in her advertising campaigns.
One satisfied customer said she is often complimented on her outfits and her standard reply is – Heaven on a Hanger!
Heaven on a Hanger is featured in many fashion parades for community events, sporting clubs and fundraisers for causes.
Lisa’s friendly attitude is often commented on by tourists. She supports local business and is the Vice Chair of the Millicent Business Community Association.
Lisa is married to local businessman Chris McCourt and they have two daughters.
Lisa has shown what can be achieved with motivation, good intentions and support from family and friends. She has made the transition from scary mode to successful business woman comfortably and says she will probably follow Mrs Acky, another successful local business woman’s example, and stay in the business doing what she loves, indefinitely.