If you love your work, you won’ t work a day in your life. Everyone knows that saying (or some version of it) but only a select few will ever know if it’ s actually true.
Lisa Ferguson, owner and head stylist at Accents in London, Ontario, just happens to be one of those few. “I always heard that if you work at something you love, then you’ll never work a day in your life. I’d have to say that’s true.” The fact that Lisa loves what she does is clear when considering the smashing success of her boutique shop on Richmond Row.
Since 2010, Accents has provided the London market with a niche offering of products from highly sought-after designers that, previous to Accents opening, could only be found in department stores in metropolitan cities. “The thing that makes Accents unique is the selection of brand names, which is very hard for an independent store to achieve.”
As Lisa sits in the New York showrooms among the other international buyers from Saks and Bergdorf’s, or as she hugs Stuart Weitzman, she chuckles about how a small town girl got to where she is today. It’ s the quality of brands like Stuart Weitzman, Alexander Wang, Aquazzura, Rag & Bone, and Vince – to name a few – that have helped Accents succeed.
Although Accents is celebrating its sixth year in business, Lisa has been working in retail for over 30 years. Born and raised in Glanworth, Ontario, Lisa attended Sheridan College in Toronto for retail management before coming home to work in the family business. “I worked alongside my mother for 30 years and helped her grow what is now Hangar9.” One of the designers carried by her mother’s store was Stuart Weitzman. The shoe department was Lisa’s ‘baby’ and may have even helped spur her into opening her own store when the retail space next to Hangar9 became available. “My passion for shoes, handbags, and jewellery was my inspiration. This was my chance to go it alone, and that’s when Accents came alive.”
Thriving in Style
While Lisa loves what she does for a living and has a strong affection for the art of fashion, she admits that what she really loves about Accents is her customers. “We share the same passion for the product and the love of fashion. I know my customers and so I try to buy directly for them. For example, Stuart Weitzman allows me to be the designer. I will take a base shoe and change the heel height, the colour, add a skin, and he will make it just for me and my customer. So we have shoes that are absolutely exclusive to Accents – no other Stuart Weitzman store carries that exact shoe.”
Lisa’s fondness for her customers doesn’t stop at custom-made shoes – not by a long shot. “At Accents, we believe in customer service. I believe that our service is why we have grown and sustained throughout all types of economic times. We call, text, or email our customers when a new product comes in or if there is something we feel they would love. We host events, send birthday gifts, and help significant others with gift giving. We pride ourselves on no pressure, one-on-one service with a personal touch because we really do love our customers.”
Another attribute to Accents’ unparalleled success is the staff that work alongside Lisa day after day. “Brooke, Bree, and Hannah are the best there is. The teamwork is what makes Accents the best in London. I would not have been able to grow the business without their hard work. We all work so well together because we each bring something to the table. Brooke and I are in sales and product development. Bree and Hannah are in charge of social media and advertising. We discuss everything as a group – from promotions to budgets to even where we’re getting lunch!”
In contemplating the future of Accents, Lisa plans to continue providing her customers with amazing service and beautiful designer items. Lisa says she will remain inspired by “really loving retail; so much so that a second store, called Trouvaille, is in the works. I love and appreciate quality products, and was always taught quality versus quantity.”
With this level of expertise and dedication, an exquisite eye for style and trends, a listening ear for what her customers want, and a true love for her chosen calling, Lisa Ferguson of Accents will keep being London’s best kept fashion secret – and surely won’t ‘work’ another day in her life.
Written by Jess Campbell
Photography By Eric Rockburn of Red Button Photography