Submitted by Sarah Wizemann, owner of Lille Boutique Portland, Oregon
I opened Lille a little over 6 years ago after moving to Portland from New York and not finding any lingerie store that catered to my aesthetic sensibilities. I was looking for some place tasteful, elegant, fashion-forward yet simultaneously vintage-inspired, with a good selection of natural fibers and non-padded options that offered a range of prices, and that just didn’t exist here (or anywhere really), so I decided to fill that niche.
I had always been fond of fine lingerie and particular about construction, owing to the fact that my mother was a seamstress and designer who made all the costumes for my dance company (I studied ballet, modern, tap, jazz, etc. for nearly 20 years before retiring after college due to injuries.) She taught me how to sew, so I have a special appreciation … Read more
Submitted by Britt Cruikshank, owner of La Silhouette Lingerie in Madeira, Ohio
La Silhouette Lingerie evolved out of my frustration with Cincinnati’s lack of luxury European lingerie shops and the brands that I grew up with, along with my genuine passion for helping women feel good about themselves from the inside out. I opened La Silhouette Lingerie in 2007 to bring a piece of Europe to the Midwest in Madeira, Ohio. I grew up shopping the quaint boutiques common in Sweden and the rest of Europe that feature quality products and a high level of hospitality.
I designed the shop to help people feel like they are stepping off the streets of Paris and into a sanctuary of high-quality, luxurious lingerie. The Boutique is decorated with a bit of my Swedish heritage to make customers feel at home. The chandeliers along with a few pieces … Read more
Submitted by Patti Hartlove Platt, owner, à la mode Intimates in Annapolis, Maryland
In French, à la mode means “in the fashion,” and I believe every woman should have the opportunity to feel beautiful and stylish in all her fashions. Before launching à la mode, I struggled to find bras that fit, and the few times that I did, they weren’t exactly pretty. So, I set out to find beautiful bras for women of different sizes and to present them in a relaxing, welcoming environment. In fact, our boutique design was inspired by spa-like colors and comforts: rich browns, dark hardwood floors, plush carpeting and beautiful drapes.
Women step inside our doors and discover that fashion and functions are not enemies! I enjoy the opportunity every day to share the styles I have found flattering with our customers. We know that women need some basic … Read more
Submitted by Judith Fine, owner of Gazebo in Northhampton, Massachusetts
Gazebo started in 1978 after I had been designing nontraditional bridal gowns from my home for several years. At Gazebo’s beginning, every item was made by me using silks and vintage laces. The late 70’s were the beginning of lingerie’s resurgence We had finished burning our bras and were now embracing our femininity. I was also wholesaling my own designs through Ellen and Sylvia, an established lingerie company out of NYC. I soon realized that I needed to narrow my field. Custom, wholesale and retail was too much to handle. I decided to concentrate on the retail store. Now, 35 years later, I see that this was the right decision!
Gazebo began with my designs and then expanded to other natural fiber venders. Only cotton and silk items were in the store and we concentrated … Read more
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, … Read more
Submitted by Jennifer Cermak, owner of Nani Nalu Beachwear Boutique in Edina, MN
I too, have cried and verbalized self-pity alone in a fitting room with piles of swimsuits that covered too little or looked too horrid. I have been there, that dark and scary ‘I hate swimsuits’ and by default ‘I hate my body’ place. After 10 years in the swim industry working for others yet struggling to find a great fit myself, I had to do something to about it. I set out to ease the fear and pain swimsuit shopping brings by helping women find the perfect fit.
In 2006, I opened Nani Nalu Beachwear Boutique, located in Edina MN. We aim to make women feel comfortable and confident in their dream suits. Our fit experts are personally trained to know who each brand was designed for, and how and what … Read more