Happy New Year to you all! I can’t believe we are actually in 2020. Crazy right? I’m feeling this is the year for change, development and growth. Before any of that happens, I wanted to share my story of becoming a small business founder and how Project Lingerie came to be.
I’m your typical ‘girl next door’ from the Shore (North Shore of Auckland, NZ). One childhood home that stands out in my mind was nestled about 5 houses up from the beach in Rothesay Bay. Sounds like a dream I know. At the age of six I began working with my older brothers and paid for my own ballet lessons with my wages. Good work ethics and a sense of achievement were instilled into me by the funniest woman I’ll ever know, my mum.
I’ve always had an appreciation for dance and the female form. I dabbled in ballet, tap, jazz and rhythmic gymnastics. This appreciation transitioned into a blossoming love for lingerie. One of my fondest memories as a teenager was driving north to Silverdale (a small town north of central Auckland) and browsing all the gorgeous lingerie at the Bendon shop. I was in heaven!
At 17, I made the bold decision to head solo to the UK. I wanted to explore and meet my extended family. My journey began in Scotland and I worked in a night club, then a shoe store until all my Christmases came at once; a new lingerie boutique opened! I worked closely with the owner for 5 wonderful years. I knew I wanted to work for myself one day so I guess that entrepreneurial spirit was always inside me.
When we’re little girls, we are so full of confidence. We let our bellies hang out, sing out loudly in public and dance like nobody’s watching. The beauty of carefree innocence. I would say I was definitely a very happy child. However, we blossom into womanhood and discover people who want to put us down, make us feel worthless and judge our bodies until all that confidence is whittled down.
As I entered my teenage years, my weight went up and down like a yo-yo. I only had to look at a milkshake and I put on the kilos. I began my first relationship and was at a point in life where I was feeling pretty damn good. Then, as real life happens, I got too ‘comfortable’ and the weight gain crept on over the following 5 years until I reached a dress size 18-20.
I started to realise I was becoming unhappy within myself and the relationship. When you’re aware of weight gain and you feel pretty down about it, the last thing you need is your partner’s father asking you, “have you ever thought about going on a diet?” Charming. FYI, he was no oil painting himself! Like I said previously, there’s people out there that just want to bring you down.
But, all was not lost. No matter how low I felt and my lack of usual confidence, lingerie was always my best friend. The lace, the fabrics, the detailing, has always made me feel feminine, sexy and empowered no matter what size I was. Soon after the above interaction, I decided the entire relationship was toxic and not for me. I plucked up the courage and left. I lost weight (for me) and never felt better!
As my knowledge and expertise of the lingerie industry grew, my newly ‘single’ self moved to London where I worked for some very prestigious lingerie boutiques and continued to feed my passion for undies. The most satisfying part of my job was helping other women feel fantastic in their bodies. I decided to take the leap, work for myself and give it all I had! Project Lingerie was born.
As a passionate supporter of women and self love, my mission is to inspire them to feel body confident every day and in their lingerie. Having been through my own body image issues, I understand how difficult it can be to accept yourself as you are or gain the courage to do something for YOU. Every box from Project Lingerie is sent out with a body positive message and a personalised note to the recipient.
Project Lingerie’s 4th anniversary is coming this year on Tuesday 21 April. I cannot believe I have almost made it to the 4 year milestone. When you dream of starting a business, no one can truly prepare you for how tough it’s gonna be. This is the learning you need to do once you decide to take the plunge. Every day has its challenges believe me, but the rewards are far greater. When I receive feedback from subscribers saying how much they love it and how it makes them feel, that’s exactly why I’m doing this.
My aim is to get involved with organic, eco-friendly and sustainable products. Either through sourcing new brands or finally manufacturing my own (the ultimate dream). As always, I’d love to hear your views on this topic. Would you spend more on products that are eco-friendly and sustainable?
How does a cup sized lingerie box sound? I’m thinking of adding fuller bust cup sizes to the offering. Would LOVE feedback on this.
HUGE thank you to all the subscribers, supporters and followers over the years! Without you, I wouldn’t be here. I look forward to sharing the continued evolution of Project Lingerie with you all.