Meet Yesim Philip, the woman behind the brand L’Etoile Sport. As a retired professional basketball player, an avid tennis player and a lifelong lover of fine clothing, Yesim noticed a gap in the market for chic, high-performance tennis wear. Thus, the idea for L’Etoile Sport was born. Read on to learn more about Yesim and the tennis brand renowned for its on-and-off-the-court appeal!
Q: Can you tell us a bit about your professional background?
Yesim: I have an in-depth sports background. I was a professional basketball player, and I also worked for NBC as an assistant producer. After having children I stopped working for a while, and in 2012 I founded L’Etoile Sport.
Q: Why did you create L’Etoile Sport?
Yesim: I was formerly a professional basketball player in Turkey and I’ve been obsessed with fine clothing ever since I could remember. After an injury, I gave up the hoop and dove into tennis. I loved the idea of this lifelong, social sport, so I combined my passion for clothing and tennis which naturally fueled the creation of L’Etoile Sport. At first I loved playing the sport, but hated the clothes. After you have children your body changes. It doesn’t matter what shape you’re in, the post-baby belly just pops out when you least expect it. We cater to all body types and listen to our customers’ needs. Women on the east coast might want a longer skirt, and women on the west coast might ask for a shorter version. It’s important to know your customer.
Q: What makes L’Etoile Sport’s products unique?
Yesim: Superior fabric and fit differentiates L’Etoile Sport from other brands. The best way to fall in love with L’Etoile is to feel it. When your fingers sink into the luxurious pointelle cashmere, or graze over the textured Brazilian fabric you’ll wonder how you could ever play tennis in polyester ever again!
Q: What has your experience as an entrepreneur been like?
Yesim: I love creating and collaborating with my team at L’Etoile. Starting a business is hard but if you find a gap in the market and stay focused it becomes easier. Being an entrepreneur has its own challenges but persevering through low moments and being patient pays off. I also received lots of support in the tennis community at the beginning.
Q: What does adventuring mean to you?
Yesim: Adventure is traveling to places I haven’t been and not afraid of trying new things and visiting new places and cultures.