Lesley Grosvenor is a sports fan who also loves fashion. Just in time for football season, Reflections sat down with her to talk about the inspiration behind her clearly genius line of purses and bags.
Anyone who carries a purse knows there’s a certain frustration when dressing for a sports event or concert—the clear plastic bag. They are necessary for current safety procedures, but typically an eyesore for your outfit.
Cue Lesley Grosvenor and her team at SHEERGEAR, a company that designs a variety of clear plastic bags with stylish and savvy customers in mind.
“I’m a huge Seahawks fan, and I was in an Uber on my way to a football game and I was wearing one of my favorite cross-body bags. Once I realized I couldn’t bring it into the venue, I thought, What am I going to do?” Grosvenor says. “After that day, a light bulb went off when I started researching the current market—there was nothing fashion-forward.”
Once she spotted the potential, Grosvenor reached out to some friends turned business partners who were already involved in the sports fashion arena, Ariana Wellington and Alex Menichini. Their experience combined with her own lifelong passion and education in fashion proved fruitful.
Two years after launching, SHEERGEAR has grown rapidly. Last year they grew 900 percent and are consistently coming out with new lines (including a new resort line) and styles of their BPA-free plastic purses that come with colored accessories to go with your favorite teams. The purses are currently sold at dozens of NCAA schools as well as through Fanatics and Amazon.
“We started out focusing on football, but NCAA basketball arenas now require plastic bags too, so it’s really a year-round thing,” Grosvenor says. “And the thing that’s really great about our bags is they aren’t onetime use. They are meant for all of everything—NFL games, basketball games, concerts. So many events now require clear bags, and you can change the color pom-pom according to where you’re going.”
Grosvenor says she knew she was filling a hole in the market but has been stunned with how well the lines have been received.
“I can’t describe how proud I am. I poured my heart and soul into the design of the purses and there’s nothing more exciting or a greater compliment than when people love it and appreciate it,” she says.
Aside from the joy of seeing people wear her purses, Grosvenor says she gained something else unexpected.
“One of the biggest lessons I learned was that if you have an idea and really believe in it, you can make it happen,” Grosvenor says. “I’m a wife and mom of two, and I never thought at this stage in my life I’d start something new, but it’s been totally worth it. I now know I can do anything I want to.”