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 on daywear, playwear, and sleepwear. … ...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, in Spring Lake NJ was … ...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 body types each style fits. … ...Read more
Submitted by Brenda Meadows, owner
of The Lingerie Shoppe in Birmingham, AL
I had been involved in a lot of volunteer work when my children were young. I supported two major groups with my time, raising money to sustain the Alabama Symphony and then with a local group to aid children with hearing disabilities. I also did work with my church. After years of volunteering, a good friend and I decided that we should look into having a business.
Mountain Brook Village is a wonderful place for shops that can offer service for everyday needs as well as wonderful, unique and special things for special occasions. The Lingerie Shoppe had been a part of our community since 1946 and in 1988, we learned it was for sale. It is a full service lingerie shop, including bras and bra fitting, sleepwear, loungewear, foundation, underwear and all associated items. My friend, Betty … ...Read more
Submitted by Angela Courtney, owner of Sweetest Sin
Boutique in Red Bank, New Jersey
I always knew I would own a business, I come from a line of small business owners and that passion & drive was instilled in me. While putting myself through school I worked in a lingerie boutique & just fell in love with the industry & helping women. Plus I love pretty lingerie….what girl doesn’t?! It all just came together and Sweetest Sin Boutique was born and it is now my life’s passion.
Hold on….I think I’m making that sound a little too easy. It was at the beginning & it still is a lot of hard work & dedication. I did many years of research & really educating myself in all aspects before making this decision. Learning about the industry was definitely the fun part. Then there was figuring out the business plan, financing, location, … ...Read more