LISA Stirling has come a long way in the 20 years since she worked as a manager in a large department store.

The Middlewich woman is the owner of one of the most glamorous and fashionable chains of clothes stores in the country.

And, this week, she opens the third Lisa Stirling shop, with a glittering celebrity party.

Lisa's shops sell designer labels, some of which sell for hundreds of pounds.

Her buyers seek hi-fashion labels by international designers like Prada, Moschino and Dolce and Gabbana.

Shoppers range from people spending a week's wages on a piece of jewellery or a dress to media stars and the wives of footballers like Ian Rush.

Her newest shop opens next week in St James' Square, Manchester, and ex-Manchester United player Steve Bruce, and members of the Leeds and Liverpool teams are coming to the party.

Lisa, who lives at Stanthorne Hall, started work at a branch of the House of Fraser before setting up her own shop in Chester in the mid-1970s.

She explained: "Going into retail was something I always had an interest in. I always liked meeting the clients and making people look good.

"My father was in retail and he was very influential in my decision to go into retail."

The secret of her success was the personal touch, Lisa said.

Customers are made to feel pampered and the owner herself will happily go round to their homes to help choose an outfit.

But, while the fashion-world had a glamorous image, she added, getting to the top needed hard work.

And she had sunk a lot of money and was working round-the-clock to open the new shop.

Lisa added: "Success doesn't come automatically. Retail is hard work. There are lots of hours involved and we work hard to look after our customers."

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