(L - R): Laura Sanderson and Lana Barker at The Woman In Me in Crookes, Sheffield.
Matthew Neville

South Yorkshire business woman opens "body positive" lingerie store with support from local law firm

A Sheffield business woman has opened a new local lingerie business with assistance from local law firm Wake Smith Solicitors after identifying a gap in the market.

Lana Barker, who lost her job at the city’s John Lewis after 20 years, has turned her retail dream into reality after opening her new body positive lingerie shop The Woman In Me in Crookes.

The new boutique shop specialises in women’s lingerie and bras from 30AA to 42JJ plus post surgery, maternity, and nursing bras and also includes a bra recycling bank for Action Against Breast Cancer and a safe breastfeeding space.

Sheffield’s Wake Smith Solicitors advised on the lease for the 428 sq ft two-room shop for Lana, who hopes to expand into lines including swimwear, nightwear, and sustainable clothing.

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.”

Lana is now working with brands including Sheffield made brand Panache, Pour Moi, Triumph, Royce, Hot Milk, and Sloggi.

Laura Sanderson, associate in Wake Smith’s commercial property team, advised on the lease. 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.”

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