Welcome to this weeks summary of lingerie chat! The topic of this week’s lingerie chat was all about how we got involved in the industry and how we think it’s changing. @iamaliciarose was our guest host. This post is a summary of everything we chatted about:
Q1. "What is your career/hobby/interest within the lingerie industry? Did you take a traditional path to get there?"
It seems it a lot of paths have converged in the lingerie industry–here’s how:
@plumslingerie said, "I have a boutique but it came from the desire for every woman to have a well fitting bra. Actually I am a marketer by day )"
@piperewan said, My foray into lingerie world came by accident. I started in custom/bespoke couture gowns. For valentine’s day 1999 I made.. "..my first garters, which led to my 1st wholesale acct @janesvanity& my first sales rep who had a lingerie showroom…
@iamaliciarose said, "I’ve always loved lingerie and studied fashion design but always obsessed over lingerie… ..always knew I wanted my own lingerie line and so have been working on that since graduating alongside a day-job "
@PS_Lingerie said, "Loved lingerie, had an opportunity to open a boutique, attended De Montfort to get some knowledge & went for it! And love it …the course was essential, & the contacts made were key when first starting out. Networking is so important." @iamaliciarose agreed, noting the value of facebook and twitter by saying, "I have learn so much and met so many people via twitter etc I can’t imagine doing this without it." @DirectorySexy, @piperewan and numerous others agreed that social networking with those of similar interests was vastly important.
@tj_bras4mums said, "My route into the industry is a bit different. I got really bad advice when breastfeeding, so decided I could do better!"
@DirectorySexy said, "mine started out as aggravation not finding lingerie for my girlfriend fiancé at the time."
@alicudby said, "Mine started pre-Internet, when the biggest bra I could find was a DD…and I clearly wasn’t!"
@MagnifiqueBras said, "I am an e-boutique retailer. I got started w/the thought that great customer service, well fitting lingerie is necessary… Just a passion for #lingerie as most in the industry I guess "
@orange_lingerie said, "I started with love of lingerie + not finding bras that fit. A bit longer explanation on my blog http://bit.ly/oYzbTE"
@LindatheBraLady said, "I started in a store for about 20 years before going online!… I started with frilly lingerie and jammies, but was approached by the American Cancer Society to fit Prostheses and bras."
@ piperewan agreed, "my business existed before the internet too! I treat my internet people the same as IRL, though." and @DirectorySexy agreed that doing business on and off line should make no difference n how your interact with clients.
@iamaliciarose summed it up with, "It seems like most people are here because they love lingerie, or that the opportunity came up and they realized they love it."
Q2. "Do you think it’s important to have technical training if you’re a designer/bra fitting & understanding body shapes as a retailer?"
@tj_bras4mums, @alicudby, @franticafrances, and @iamaliciarose agreed that technical training is important.
@PS_Lingerie said, "It’s a shame there aren’t more opportunities to see the manufacturing process. It wld really help buying and fitting." @alicudby and @piperewan agreed that fitting is crucial and @iamaliciarose and @PlumsLingerie agreed that seeing a manufacturing environment would be/was a great experience.
@MagnifiqueBras said, "You definitely have to know the parts of a bra and how they should fit A MUST."
@iamaliciarose offered, " if you unpick a bra you will learn a lot about its construction, you should try it " to @tj_bras4mums who wished she could dissect things more herself. @PS_Lingerie liked the idea.
@piperewan said, "I have seen many retailers & designers that don’t understand fit. construction knowledge helps a lot."
Q3. "it seems like a lot of retailers have made factory visits, have any designers done internships?"
@PS_Lingerie said, "I wld like to visit a smaller manufacturer to see their processes."
@iamaliciarose said, " id like to visit a large lingerie company to see how they deal with wholesale/suppliers and a smaller company for hands on etc."
Q4." Does anyone have a mentor. Perhaps a design, guru or business expert? I think it’s really important to have good support network, who give feedback and can bounce ideas off"
There’s alot of help available if you know where to look! Here are a sampling of the many great answers:
@DirectorySexy said, " I have a lawyer friend and a tech consultant I use."
@MagnifiqueBras said, " I’ve had a great connection with many people in different aspects. But no single person is my mentor."
@alicudby said, "I haven’t had one particular mentor, but @thelingerieaddict has always been incredibly generous for advice with social media… Another fit mentor has been Freddy Zappe, with Eveden. The most generous, supportive (no pun intended) woman!"
@orange_lingerie said, "I am starting to find some groups of other small designers in #Chicago."
@PS_Lingerie said, "Some of our reps have been brilliant (obviously with a slight bias to their brand, but still v supportive)"
@franticafrances said, "You can get great business advice and a mentor from The Princes Trust."
@piperewan said, "the best bra fitters I’ve ever met have been sales reps. & the other great fitters? taught by these reps."
@PlumsLingerie said, "I went to a fitting course at the London College of Fashion, wasn’t impressed but the guys at Eveden run a great course."
@LindatheBraLady said, "I was taught by the American Cancer Society, but my years of fitting have made me an expert. I retrain all new hires MYSELF."
@piperewan said, "there are many resources out there for small biz. in the USA the SBA is a good starting point. we have mercycorps too."
Everyone seemed to agree that #LingerieChat is a great forum to learn new things.
Join us next week for Lingerie Chat at our new time, Tuesdays at 8pm GMT and 3pm EST September 20, 2011. We have another guest host next week!! @tj_bras4mums will be hosting a chat all about maternity lingerie! If you have any questions you want asked, you can either add them to the comments under this post or message me @PlumsLingerie on Twitter.