BEHIND THE BRAND | SALISA
Can you give an introduction to who you are and who/what your brand is and how long your brand has been around for? Was this your first Top Drawer?
I’m Lisa Mirza from Newcastle Upon Tyne and I previously held a management position in a large Law Firm but always wanted to pursue my creative side in business. So with the encouragement from my husband I took the plunge into the fashion world! I have now been selling scarves in some shape or form for over 12 years as well as running my own fashion boutique – so lots of strings to my bow!!
As I sold scarves with all types of fabrics and price ranges, I thought I could offer a great quality scarf with gorgeous designs for a reasonable price range – so approx…. 5 years ago, Salisa Scarves was born. This was my second Top Drawer and as I had so much interest in my first show, I have increased my range.
How did you start your brand?
I always loved to wear scarves and loved how versatile they were all year round! When I had my clothing boutique, I would always thrive on curating collections and merchandising them in our shop and shop windows. Scarves would always be part of my merchandising and would help my customers mix and match items of clothing when they saw how a scarf would elevate an outfit.
I knew when I started my brand that the quality had to be amazing and that also the designs would need to be a favorite wardrobe staple and not just something that went out of fashion each season. I’m also thrilled with my manufacturing partner who has over three decades of weaving experience, as we have such a great relationship and I love that they are committed to nurturing the craft of scarf making by supporting the local community of weavers engaged in the scarf making trade. My husband has supported me every step of the way – he has been a great inspiration and always offers me encouragement.
What’s been your biggest highlight whilst creating your brand? Why is it you love what you do?
The brands is still relatively young, but I always enjoy meeting customers and supplying them with Salisa Scarves whether they are an independent or department store. I get a buzz out of sharing my knowledge and experience as a buyer as well and helping customers with merchandising and display tips. I think this is my point of difference having had a boutique / being a buyer as I can offer a vast range of knowledge to my customers. It’s a great feeling seeing someone wearing your product when you are out and about.
Knowing what you do now, what advice would you give to yourself when you were first starting out?
My advice to my younger self would be to trust your gut more, always stay humble & grounded, believe everything happens for a reason, stay focused but also learn to adapt to changes in business.
A saying that keeps me going is “Its not who you are that holds you back….. Its who you think you’re not”!! Always believe in yourself!!
Can you tell us about your new collections/ranges that you launched at Top Drawer?
We have increased the range and took on board feedback from our customers. Again we have a mix of neutrals and pops of colour – something for everyone and per usual the quality of our fabrics is amazing.
Any personal favourites from your new collection?
Although I wear very neutral tones, I’m loving the pops of green, orange and yellows on our kaftan ranges – they look lovely with just jeans and a Tee or dressed up on an evening out – for Salisa its all about versatility and multifunctional products!
How did Top Drawer go for your brand? What was your highlight?
We had buyers who visited our stand at Top Drawer who never heard of Salisa, and I never heard of them, so I’m pleased we attended the show as the buyers who visit are very diverse. It really made me think outside the box what our potential customers could be going forward and how I can grow my business. Its an obvious highlight but when customers came onto our stand and LOVED our range, it’s a great feeling and I can’t wait now until our AW22 range lands in their boutiques and stores.