Featuring ~ Linger Lingerie
Submitted by Kelly O’Brian, owner of Linger Lingerie in Spring Lake, N.J.
My mom grew up in an orphanage where they weren’t allowed to say the word “bra” because it was considered indelicate. They were referred to as “brays” – yes, the sound a donkey makes. My sister and I are still laughing about the fact we sell brays.
But for my first First Holy Communion, my mom bought me a fancy pair of panties with crisp lace ruffles all across the back. I tried to focus on the altar but was fixated on the crunch they made every time I sat down. This was no laughing matter, Lingerie – I was hooked.
After my 50th birthday, I started thinking about an encore career. I wanted to connect with people and be active in a local community. When I heard my favorite lingerie store, Linger, in Spring Lake NJ was for sale, everything seemed to align and I bought the shop and kept the name because I loved its friendly feel.
I opened the shop exactly one week before the Jersey shore was smacked by Hurricane Sandy. We were closed for weeks. All the garments were fine but our customer community was devastated. Winter and Spring Year One was very tough. Luckily, as they say on TV, “We’re stronger than the storm” and the business is thriving.
Linger, like most independent boutiques, share some core values including a laser focus on service and customer care. Linger, however, has a few differentiating qualities. The shop has a totally laid-back, unpretentious atmosphere – hey, we’re at the beach! And because of that, we buy for two distinct customer sets, tourists and locales, so Linger stocks fun and whimsical as well as foundations and practical items.
My personal passion is for community, both in-town and online. Our Facebook presence as of mid-August is cresting 12,000 fan likes. Only 4% of all Facebook pages has over 10,000 so this puts Linger in a very select group – although there’s a way to go before Victoria’s Secret category!!
Hopefully, this online community will convert into paying customers. In a few weeks, LingerTween (tween.shoplinger.com) will launch. The first e-commerce site focused on undergarments just girls between 8-12. The market has few choices for this market and they are often inappropriately provocative. Linger wants to provide great choices tweens and their moms will love.
Linger’s site for the adult woman, shoplinger.com, will be online by the end of the year. It will feature a highly curated selection of some of the shop’s best-loved items and will also give some new designers a turn in the spotlight.
With great excitement, a love of our customers and community and a sense of humility (thanks Hurricane Sandy!), Linger looks to 2014. I’m grateful to be part of this beautiful business. Come and Linger with us!
Linger Lingerie is located at 304 Morris Avenue, Spring Lake, New Jersey 07762