Remember my annual stats series? No? I don’t blame you seeing as how I started it back in August during a streak of productivity and over-ambitiousness which was ultimately sidelined by the damn move I keep mentioning. Anyway, the store has been unusually quiet, even for a traditionally slow month, and while that bodes poorly for sales, I seized the opportunity to slog through my expansive “To Do” list and revisit my statistical posts. Originally, I planned to divide the content into two smaller, more manageable blogs, but sheesh, how many do we really need? I have so much more content to work on and post that I think we’ll close here with an abundance of cool information on our best-sellers, our up-and-comers, and even our down-and-outers. (Previous entries were: A Guide to Interpretation, Band & Cup sizes, and Best-Selling Bra Sizes.)
As many of you know, we began working with Anna Pardal and Comexim several years ago with great success, starting initially with core items and then expanding to include specialized bras for clients. Initially, these customized bras were fully returnable, but because of the financial strain, we reevaluated and finally settled on our current special order policy. As much I as I adore Comexim, the ordering process has never been smooth. Anyone who has ordered through us has probably received some kind of apology email from me at one point or another for late shipments, missing items, incomplete alterations, and so on. Some orders are more problem-free than others, but every single bulk purchasing order has had at least one item that was not correct. When I place orders, I am the dictionary definition of meticulous. It takes me several hours to complete because I triple check (including pulling in my dad/business partner for fresh eyes) every order for even the smallest inaccuracy or unclear request. I also proof my Spanish repeatedly and use picture demonstrations where possible. However, once the order is submitted, I am no longer in control.
When I received an email from Anna of Anna Pardal after attending Curves NY for the first and only time in February of 2014, I was giddy with excitement and knew instantly this was a marvelous opportunity for the shop. Over the last two years, I have thoroughly enjoyed working with her personally and professionally even though importing made-to-order products from Poland was not always easy. Anna and I certainly faced numerous challenges in ensuring all of our customers ultimately received the correct item, in the right size, and with the perfect combination of alterations. However, despite the problems, many clients found working with Anna to be a life changing experience. Our guest blogger Trycia was able to request a gorgeous custom Sabine set, including matching panties specifically designed with her needs in mind. Then there is Tami, a woman who suffered long term from chafing by the straps, too tall cups on the side, and a lack of center depth. Anna, Tami, and I collaborated together to engineer pattern changes that yielded a fit so perfect Tami felt like “superwoman.” Tami and Trycia are not alone either. Countless people took advantage of a generous alterations process to find the fit tweaks which worked best for them. Some people, like myself, fell in love with the classic shape immediately because of the low wires and deep cups that were more comfortable than UK brands while still others appreciated the luxurious, sophisticated aesthetic honed by Anna’s keen eye. Despite the lows, our relationship with Anna Pardal is defined more by the highs, which is why I was so saddened (okay, devastated) to hear that Anna was closing the brand for personal reasons. Running a small business is one of the hardest things a person can do in their lifetime, and I am glad she decided to put herself first and find some balance. Hopefully, we’ll be seeing her artistic perspective again in the lingerie world soon, but in the meantime, we wish her nothing but the best!
We are moving forward with our annual sales discussion to examine the sales of each cup size. Be sure to check out both our demographics post as well as our band size breakdown. Keep in mind, cup size means nothing without a band to give it context, but for the purposes of our analysis, I want to compare how sales across cup sizes differ. Below is a graph for the sales distribution of each cup size. (Note: For my discussion, I will refer to cup sizes using the UK sizing system.)
With the headache of revamping the online store portion of our total website overhaul nearing completion and my brother on the mend from his recent experience, I want to dedicate time to one of my favorite store-related activities: Blogging! Ever since I was younger, I have loved to write, and blogging has been a wonderful outlet for me, even if the posts are not strictly personal. While today’s article is in the familiar vein of product reviews, it does hold an emotional significance to me as well. Some of you know by now that Anna Pardal was kind enough to name her Sophisticate style after our store, and Patricia of Bolero created and named a dress for me.
After falling in love with Comexim and partner-in-crime Anna Pardal for their superbly narrow underwires and deep cups, I embarked on an alterations process to tweak the original shape and figure out which combination worked best for me. In the past, I have reviewed Beatrix and Felicity from Anna Pardal as well as the Hibiscus Longline—all of which sported some alterations combination, but today I am focusing on a double review of two gorgeous Comexim styles: Sweet Dottie and Sapphire! Both bras feature the original, lightly padded classic plunge shape with reduced cup, raised gore, and straps moved in 2cm.
Last week, I posted a glowing review to the new Anna Pardal Hibiscus Longline in the classic plunge shape, and today I want to compare and review a longline with the three-section half-cup design, similar to the Doyenne on the website. The sample I received is for the as yet unreleased Anna Pardal Rosa, which I am told should be on the website soon.
Industry innovator, Anna Pardal recently revamped her website to debut her latest collection complete with stunning prints and new styles engineered from the extensive feedback provided by customers and retailers. Most traditional manufacturers will use a particular fabric to create one or two styles, but Anna Pardal instead chose to offer four different bra frames in addition to a host of other custom features ranging from adding nursing clasps or asymmetry pockets for free, extending the band of any bra into a longline style, or allowing specific alteration requests at the modest fee of $10. Because of the higher quality materials and the improved designs, prices have increased, which will impact our shop in the coming weeks, but I have a much longer post about this and other store changes planned for September.
July 17th is always an emotional day for us because it marks our anniversary for opening the shop, and with four years of operation and experience under the proverbial belt, we feel the store has truly grown and improved—a trend we plan to continue by expanding our inventory and improving our services. Because our boutique would not exist without the support of our wonderful customers, we are happy to celebrate again this year with our August Anniversary Sale and Giveaway! Words will never express how much you mean to us, but a few free prizes certainly won’t hurt.
On more than one occasion, I have mentioned my ongoing goal to create a shop people visit for more than just bras, and while progress is slow due to budget and space constraints, I feel like our giveaway this year truly reflects how diverse the shop is becoming. We have prizes ranging from traditional lingerie sets to bust-friendly clothing to hosiery, and I have to give a standing ovation to our vendors for being so generous.
When I reviewed the Tutti Rouge Liliana last week, I mentioned the obscene amount of lapsed time between trying the brands offerings, and when I saw Nichole, I felt the tinglings of longing in the lingerie chamber of my heart. Liliana was a necessity to test because I wanted to see how the design changed from the Tutti Rouge launch in 2013, but Nichole was a newer style with a gorgeous aesthetic which spoke to my personal craving. Not to mention, early feedback emphasized the use of a narrow center gore, deep cups, and a rounded, forward profile—basically three components all of my favorite bras possess.