Greek-American Entrepreneur, Sonia Rampas-Kanner
By Elizabeth Tzagournis
Sonia Rampas-Kanner never feared failure. Instead, she says she’s had an entrepreneurial spirit since she was a little girl. The 48-year-old is the founder, creator, and CEO of hipS-sister. The hipS-sister waistband is a functional, flattering waistband that has styles for both women and unisex and holds all the essentials. Rampas-Kanner had a background in teaching and spent 10 years as a stay-at-home mom before creating her flagship product.
While on a hike one day, Rampas-Kanner realized the need for a simple, flattering and fashionable way to carry phones, keys, money and other accessories. She said that once she discovered there was nothing on the market that solved this problem, she created hipS-sister. Although hipS-sister began as a way to workout “hands free,” she soon realized her product was much more far-reaching.
“What started out as a product for working out quickly became a lifestyle product because I found so many uses for it like concerts, travel, shopping, errands, walking the dog, nights out, dancing,” Rampas-Kanner said. “We are such a great alternative to carrying a purse because your items are safe and secure.” Whether using hipS-sister for concerts, travel, errands or nights out dancing, her product has found much success. hipS-sister is currently in retail locations across the United States, Israel, Canada, and Australia, and receives online sales worldwide. She said, “It’s in the early stages but I’m working with a distributor in Italy who also has plans to market in Greece and beyond.”
Rampas-Kanner said she loves being Greek. “My Greek culture has definitely influenced me. The most by me witnessing everyone in my family having this one trait… PASSION. It was so much a part of all of us that it just seems natural to live this way. Everyone in my family had or has it now. My Greek ancestors were not afraid to get excited, have emotions and form bonds and connections… all so important when building a brand,” she said.
Rampas-Kanner said that although it may have been a difficult journey in creating her own product and brand, it has been rewarding: “I didn’t overthink it and decided to just take a chance… Nothing like on-the-job training. I learned as I went along. Seeking the advice of people who I respected and trusting my intuition,” she said.
For more information about hipS-sister, please visit www.hipssister.com and to follow the brand on Facebook, visit https://www.facebook.com/hipssister
To follow Sonia and her products on Instagram, follow @soniakanner_rampas
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EDITOR’S NOTE: In Elizabeth Tzagournis’ column in November 2018, she featured the Greek Heritage Society of Southern California’s documentary series, The Greeks of Southern California Through the Century. The final installment of the series, The New Greek Americans 1960-2018, has a new premiere date of Sunday, May 5th, 2019 at the Writers Guild Theatre in Beverly Hills, CA. A reception from 4 to 6 PM will take place, and the screening premiere of the film will take place immediately after the reception.
Email the author: Elizabeth Tzagournis