Every local business has a story worth sharing with the community. That is the belief behind Oxford Bank’s “Business Spotlight” series – to shine spotlight on all of our favorite local businesses and connect them with their surrounding communities.
This month’s business spotlight is on Ella Fashion, an atelier located in downtown Oxford. The shop features one-of-a-kind fashion pieces designed by owner Lisi DeCampos. Purchasing a piece from Ella Fashion is more than just picking it up off the rack; Ms. DeCampos fits each piece to the buyer—emphasizing the beauty of each woman and her body.
I connected with Ms. DeCampos to get her insight on running a small business, the community of Oxford, and the importance of shopping small and supporting the local business owners in the communities in which we reside.
CB: What inspired you to open Ella Fashion?
LD: I’ve been in fashion since I was a baby; my mom is a designer in Brazil. I never worked as a designer, but on the business side of fashion, and I started doing a wholesale business twelve years ago, and nine years ago I opened a storefront in Oxford, and I have been in my current location for three years.
CB: What made you choose Oxford as the location for your business?
LD: I moved to Oxford with my family, so I ended up sticking with this community to open my business.
CB: What’s your favorite part about being part of the Oxford community?
I’ve been here for over a decade. It’s so unique and has a lot of potential, even though many don’t realize it. It’s a small community where everybody knows everybody and the people here are great.
CB: What’s your favorite part about being a small business owner?
LD: As a woman and a mother, I think it is the combination of being able to balance motherhood and provide for my children. That’s the key.
CB: What are some challenges you have faced as a business owner?
LD: There is so much out there, and with the internet as a huge competitor, it’s really hard to keep up. It’s constantly recreating the wheel, making people understand what you do and don’t do. As a business owner, I want to be able to support my community while working to grow my business.
CB: Where do you see your business going in the future?
LD: I don’t have the dream of being a big store or opening a second location right now—I like to be hands on in what I do. The bigger the business, the more you lose being hands. I am happy where I am right now. I can still be involved in every aspect of the business—sewing, creative design, and management.
CB: What else would you want the community to know about you and your business?
LD: I want the community to understand how important small business is for the sake of their community. I don’t want people just to come to Ella Fashion. It’s a group of people, a group of businesses. We need the community and they need us. In Michigan, schools are funding through our taxes, and if our businesses don’t exist, those schools cannot exist either. So, shop in your community stores. It is not only about making Ella Fashion profitable, it is about,small business owners being able to pay taxes, shop local, and support the community. We have everything right here in Downtown Oxford—a museum, a park, a movie theater, retail shops. Oxford. Shop more local in the stores that we have right here.
Ms. DeCampos is an incredible example of a small business owner working to improve the community in which she lives and operates. The community of Oxford is lucky to have her and Ella Fashion in the community!
Ella Fashion is located at 2N. Washington St. Suite 2 in downtown Oxford.