Ann Lee celebrates 28 years of Crissan in Cheadle Hulme
- Credit: Archant
Ann Lees and her fashion shop Crissan have been a staple of the Cheadle Hulme fashion scene for nearly three decades, a tribute to her unerring fashion, and business, sense.
I have spent my entire adult life working in fashion,’ Ann says, ‘In one form or another. After completing my degree in clothing technology, I worked for some of the biggest names in the industry, before deciding to take some control of my hours and setting up for myself. That was in 1981 and, like many women at that time, I started a party plan business, selling clothes. I would wear the clothes I was selling to the parties I ran and they always sold. I was asked to do a charity fashion show, then another, and another, and it just snowballed until the point came when I got so fed up of keeping all the required stock at home that I bought the shop at the end of the road where I lived, and Crissan was born. Sisters Trudy and Jill joined me then and are still with me 28 years later.
‘I only stopped doing the fashion shows three years ago – they were exhausting! Now I have very young grandchildren I needed to give myself more time to be with my family.’
Ann’s ethos for Crissan is quite straightforward, and have served her well since day one.
‘I buy only stylish, beautifully made fashions that last for multiple seasons. I choose brands that offer elegant, smart and versatile pieces that can be mixed and matched and don’t tie the wearer to a fixed fashion trend, but are timelessly stylish. Of course, fashions change, but it’s really about choosing to follow, but not be a slave to, fashion. Some trends are literally in and out before weeks have passed. Many of the high street shops try to follow what’s in, without really considering their audience. Crissan ladies tell me that they really struggle with the high street.
‘We cater for stylish ladies who want to look great and feel great but want to have the option to cover their upper arms and knees. They also want colour! High street fashions can be very dull, and my clients want, and need, colour.
‘We also are very well known for the occasion wear we offer, that is perfect for a special event like a wedding, but then can be worn again on a cruise, at a lunch, to the races, etc. We really specialise in this. We also offer an alterations service, to achieve the perfect fit.’
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Ann has built her business by bringing brands such as Olsen, Just White, Marble, Lebek, Rabe and Robell to ladies who travel from miles around and she has developed a sixth sense when it comes to making her selections.
‘This season we have fabulous collections in that deliver the cut and quality we all want, in fabulous clear colours of fuchsia pink, turquoise, jade green, marine blues…
‘My customers are discerning women who demand quality and style that suits their sense of who they are at this point in their life, their lifestyle and their budget! I am them, really! I get very cross with high street fashion stores, where you’re not really looked after either in terms of choice or service. Here, we take the time to get everything right, and it works.’
23 Church Road, Cheadle Hulme, SK8 7JD
0161 485 3154 | crissanclothes.co.uk