14 Jul Lipstick Sister Founder | Hensi Morris
Hensi Morris founded the women’s network Lipstick Sister to support women in their business and social life. It’s a winning combination of beauty, friendship and power.
Interview by Nikki Joel
Your inspiration in starting Lipstick Sister?
I had been in PR for a long time. When I moved to LA four years ago, I didn’t really know anyone, so my first thought was that I needed to join a club or group. I started researching clubs and there were the mommy and me clubs or the single girl’s clubs, happy hour or the heavy duty women’s groups. After much research, I figured that there should be a club to celebrate that we are girls – hang out, be there for each other and connect. Once I figured there wasn’t anything like that, I sat down, and within 6 months I was able to start what is known as Lipstick Sister, which is a true organization to connect, collaborate and support each other.
Do you charge membership fees?
Yes, we have 2 levels of membership. The most common is our social membership, but we also have a business membership to help our business members promote their brands. In addition, we have a large social networking presence, in which we help to promote our brand members as much as possible.
How does one become a member?
The best way is to contact us through the website at lipsticksister.com. We do a phone interview first, as well as check out their Facebook page – this has really become the new business card for people in our network. People are really protective of their Facebook image and it helps tell me a lot about the person. Again, many are our members are referred, and with them, I will set up an interview for an hour or so. Based on that, if everything feels right, we will send a very personalized invitation. It is an acknowledgement from me that I really value a potential member’s inclusion into the group, and I want them to feel welcome immediately.
What is the commitment a Lipstick Sister makes when they join the group?
We do a power lunch the last Sunday of every month. We hold them at private houses, restaurants, etc. Sometimes we have speakers or authors. We have some members who are professional singers, and they perform for us occasionally. We may have a product launch or a fashion show.
Are you affiliated with any charities?
We love to support the charity causes of our members. Some of them include Becky’s Fund for battered woman, which is from one of our members in DC. We have Pencils of Promise from an LA member. We have one called Special Delivery, which is for families that have lost a child. A member from San Diego has a brand called Gentleman Norman, and it supports Alzheimer’s Disease.
How would you say members have benefited from being part of this organization?
The most gratifying part of this experience is that I receive amazing emails about how members lives have changed. In one instance, I got an email from a husband who said that the group had saved his marriage. That was truly incredible. Women with businesses are benefitting from the little “pieces that are missing from taking their business to the next level”.
At the monthly lunch, we always do a ‘sister’s cup’. Everyone’s name is put into a cup and each person picks a name from that cup. Then they arrange a date with the person selected, sometime prior to the next month’s meeting. It’s great because they get so excited about it and they post photos from their get together. Each chapter has their own Whatsapp group as well, to facilitate the communication and photo sharing that goes on. Its amazing.
If you had to describe a Lipstick Sister in three words…
She is secure, sweet and she is an absolutely 100% amazing woman.
What is the diversity like in the group?
We have many Europeans, Asians and Mexicans. I think that is perhaps because we have become a true family and we welcome everybody. Many women have no one else in the area to spend time with. Part of the reason the group has the name ‘sister’ in the title is that a woman should have a feeling of sisterhood over and above what typical best friend might be.
How do you think this differs from others women’s groups?
A lot of the groups which are empowering women and giving their members the tools to succeed, are more professional based. I wanted our group to be a place where success means something different to different people. Everyone has different goals and we include women from all areas of life, including those from business, all the way to the stay-at-home mom.
What advice would you give to women who are struggling with self-esteem issues, seemingly precluding them from joining the organization?
Starting next year we are starting a ‘little sister’ program, where we reach out to women who are having trouble trying to fit in. The reality is that girls need to know who they are and be proud. One of the ways to accomplish this is by having other women accepting them and offering support. That is what we are hoping to do with our new little sister program. We really want woman to love themselves.
Any final advice?
Be proud of who you are, love yourself – and the most important thing is that beauty doesn’t come with your hair, your dress, your shoes or your bag. It comes with your heart.
Instagram: @nicoletekiela ilashstudio.net
I joined Lipstick Sister about 3 years ago. I had just moved to LA from Atlanta. I was invited to the group by a friend of a friend, and once I joined, it completely changed my experience in LA. I initially joined the group for social reasons, but it turns out that it was great for my business – an eyelash studio which primarily deals with eyelash extensions and facials. All the women are super inspirational, smart woman and I usually get something valuable from interacting with each one. Our lunches are more social, but outside the normal meeting schedule we try and support each other by attending events, including many charities in the area. The group has also helped my husband find some guy friends. Hensi puts together couple’s nights giving the guys a chance to socialize as well. Collectively, we call this sub-group the “chapstick brothers”. I definitely can say that I have built a bond with these ladies, whom I can truly call my sisters.
I have been a member for less than a year, and what drew me to the group was my attraction to Hensi’s personality and drive. I lived in San Diego, and after my first meeting I felt such love and support that I leased an apartment in LA, to make a commitment to the group and help expand the Gentleman Norman brand. Thanks to the Sisters, doors have been literally opening for me. I am an only child and I don’t have an experience with sisterhood, but to be around business woman who are one hundred percent supportive is so inspirational. Beyond the meetings, I socialize with the sisters regularly and we really support each other. We are connected even if we don’t get to be “high maintenance” friends.
I joined Lipstick Sisters after being referred by a close friend. I was looking for something like this – a group of well rounded, inspiring, goal oriented and driven women. I wanted to network and develop new relationships with women similar to where I am in life. I feel, in LA, even growing up here it’s hard to develop new friendships with quality women. I was amazed how many great, genuine women are a part of this group. Every woman is unique in her own way, though the one common thing is we are all driven, well rounded, confident women. In addition, most of us are entrepreneurs, and that is truly what I admire. It is great for networking and we always support each other.
Lipstick Sister is a group of amazing women in their own individual way, coming together either monthly or daily. Hensi Morris has organized a pathway of friendships and partnerships amongst these women. It is nice to have that support system in LA, a place that can be so fulfilling but also overwhelming. I guess you could call it a “home base.” It has been beautiful to have some of the girls become my best friends.