Meeting up with Lisa Story is always a visual treat. On this sunny thursday she floats towards me in a pale lilac kimono, wearing black trousers and MØY sunglasses - with a pair of white sneakers on her feet. In Bergen Lisa’s shop secondLove is nothing short of an institution, housing hand picked secondhand and vintage clothing along with Lisas paintings. I’m curious to know how she built her empire!
Lisa started secondlove because she wanted to work with fashion in a sustainable way. “I was young, fearless, had I baby on my arm and wanted set up shop". With her background as stylist she took the big leap.
Secondlove started in Face stockholms basement in strandgaten, Bergen 2010. Then Lisa moved the shop to vibrant and charming skostredet, before she built a shop and studio in østre skostredet. “Minimalism and vintage aren’t usually mentioned in conjunction – but it’s that contrast which I love". Lisa tells me that secondLove is a lifelong project. She wants the shop to develop organically to reflect different stages of her life. “I know it’s a big and hairy goal” Lisa laughs. “But the goal truly is to be able to run my shop for a lifetime”. Whilst her twenties was all about fur coats and champagne at work, Lisa believes her 40’s will be somewhat different.
“ I love being my own boss – it’s literally everything to me. And I worked hard to get there”
When did your interest for fashion begin?
I’ve been interested in fashion since I was a child, especially in secondhand and vintage. Clothes create reactions, lets you create an image – and last but not least, you put them on every single day – which should never be underestimated. “I find vintage and secondhand items so unique and they have such an interesting history" Lisa says. That is so exciting to me – whilst mass production is the worst. Clothes give me so much joy – but fast fashion really pisses me off.
"I’m a hopeless appraiser of beauty and the arts – and I realized early on that I can never have a boss."-Lisa on why she started secondLove
Your thoughts on the retail recession?
I think people are starting to get fed up with large commercial retailers – and I believe a counter reaction will emerge. The worst thing brands can do is to underestimate the power of consumers. Personally, my customers inspire me a lot, and it is they who drive me forward. Just this week I had a customer trying on a top the wrong way. And it was SO COOL! Running a shop is challenging, but the reward is plentiful.
-Lisa on following your passion
"Do your own thing - you'll be fine"
But I do think that if I didn’t have my studio to retreat to, I wouldn’t have stayed in this game for as long as I have. I like to say I move up and down from two worlds – one where everybody can enter, the other one where only I’m allowed. I live for the conversation and the arts, and I love working this way. Lisa tells me she’s always been drawing and painting, but it wasn’t until she built the studio, she had time and space for painting. “Clothing is still my passion, but I want to free up more time to work on my paintings”. On the 27th of July I’ll have my very first exhibition at café Opera in Bergen, and I’m very excited Lisa smiles.
A typical day in Lisa's life?
Well, I do literally live a life before work she laughs. I have an 11-year-old daughter which has to go to school! Me and my husband Key (who runs an amazing tattoo shop in skostredet and has been Lisas husband for 8 years) have fun and creative jobs, but at home it’s homework, dinner and taekwondo.
A typical day for me is to escape the melting pot in the morning. Usually I can’t even go to the grocery store to buy milk without bumping into somebody I know. So, when I need to get away, I hop on my electrical bike and head for the mountains. If I’m zen I take in the view. If I’m stressed I run 5 kilometers. When I’ve breathed enough of the fresh mountain air I head back down to the city. I open the shop at 11AM. I either work in the studio or work on a new drop. Every day is different! I thrive through routines, and I need to create within rigid frames. Heading to the same place every day works great for me – because every day in the shop is so different.
When I finish work, I meet up with my husband, daughter or friend and dine out most days she laughs. Then I don’t have to worry about the dishes!
Then in the evening I help my daughter with her homework. When she’s gone to bed, I snuggle up in the couch with a good tv-series.
"Good relations and aesthetics - that's my jam!"-Lisa on what matters the most
Any exciting projects ahead?
Continuing to develop secondLoves signature leather bag and setting up my new homepage. I’ll be going on trips to Helsinki, Portugal and USA to handpick my favorite clothes and I’m saving up for a travel to Africa with my colleague Nina von Hirsch. I'll be setting up my very first exhibition to showcase my paintings. It's going down at Cafè Opera 27th of july 2019. I'm super excited!
Check out last months Doyenne Lea Sangolt here