Clothing + Community in Park Hill
Lisa Sharpe is the owner and creator of Stylish Sparrow and details for us the inspiring and lovely story behind her clothing business venture. She truly cares about making women feel better and doing so in a conscious way through style. She has offered Denver Vibe readers a coupon of $25 off a $150 three hour wardrobe consultation package! Connect with Lisa for a wardrobe consultation, to schedule a private party at Stylish Sparrow, and to support her admirable mission in our community.
2895 Fairfax St.
Why did you choose Park Hill to do business in?
Park Hill offers hidden pockets of retail that blends well with the surrounding neighborhood. In creating my space, I wanted a store with character and charm, and also a bit of a story. My business is driven by community connections, word-of-mouth referrals and special shopping events by invitation. I am not a traditional retail store, but more of a mission driven and service oriented business. For this reason, I did not want to be in the hustle and bustle of a busy retail area with constant traffic and parking issues. Stylish Sparrow in Park Hill has been a pop up shop within Eis Gelato for the winter months, while Eis is closed for the season, a perfect arrangement for us both. It has been a pleasure to get to know the neighborhood, and Anton Scherbl of Eis Gelato has been a generous and gracious host to my pop up shop.
What about Park Hill jives with your business culture?
Park Hill residents take pride in their neighborhood businesses and they look forward to each visit to their favorite and beloved spot. Park Hill residents are savvy about trends, but they also stay true to who they are in their everyday lives. Stylish Sparrow is all about working with women to discover, engage with and enjoy their personal sense of style. Style is not about following trends, but about adding current pieces to your wardrobe that are consistent with your own authentic sense of self. Park Hill residents are aware and concerned about the world around them, and find that our clothes fit right in with that . We are proud to offer fashion and gifts that are sourced responsibly, with environmental and social justice issues at the heart of our business.
Why are you passionate about your business? What’s the story?
After a nineteen year career in social work, I wanted to find a way to blend my love of fashion and beauty with my love of people and the world. I became aware of the horrific issue of human trafficking and learned that the garment industry is one the worst offenders in this realm. I started to learn more about where clothing is made and how the industry impacts the environment. I started to shop in thrift stores and was floored with how many stylish, good looking things are available in near perfect condition, and this led me to begin to collecting my favorite finds to sell. I searched for certified Fair Trade companies offering clothing, accessories and gifts to complement the gently loved clothing collection. I realized that if artisans in developing countries are paid a living wage and have stable jobs, then they are not at risk for being lured away by deceitful traffickers promising better work in a foreign land.
As for the service aspect of the business, I love working with women to make the most of who they are and what they already own within their own closet. I work by appointment and offer organization, personal styling, private shopping appointments, pruning the closet to delete items that no longer suit their current lifestyle, or whatever it is that they want to accomplish within their selection of clothing. It brings me great pleasure to see women feel good about how they present themselves to the world around them. As my good friend Teri Lema says, “Getting dressed should be fun!” I also don’t think it’s productive to wait until your size changes: embrace and dress yourself for who you are now. It’s not about spending a lot of money for things you don’t need. It’s about feeling good right now, just as you are.
What inspired the look of your business/ the design?
Feathers and sparrows. I worked with a talented brand essence consultant, Astrid Koch in Chicago. After many hours of hard work and deep conversation, the logo was born. There are many types of sparrows, and their feathers serve as camouflage and demarcation. I see our clothing as our feathers. Sometimes we use our clothing to hide, and other times to stand out, depending on the situation and depending on how we feel about ourselves. Sparrows are usually in groups instead of alone, for protection. The group of feathers represents community, because we need each other for perspective. I know I love shopping with an honest girlfriend who will tell the truth about what I’m trying on, and give me a fresh idea that I would never consider for myself. And the egg? Well, that’s the egg of possibility.
A huge thank you to Babs with Live Urban Real Estate for her interview with Lisa & Stylish Sparrow! Babs lives and sells in Park Hill and knows it better than anyone. If you have any neighborhood questions reach out to her!