The steamy summer month of July holds a special place in my heart because our little bra shop celebrates its anniversary. A Sophisticated Pair stemmed from my personal desire to find a store which not only offered a range of bra sizes in a wide assortment of colors and styles, but that also offered the kind of quality customer service I found lacking in my own bra shopping experiences. When I was finally fitted properly, I realized the potential for transformation contained in a bra fitting and wanted everyone to feel the same way I did—to look at themselves through the lens of acceptance and confidence. The experience left such an imprint on me that despite being a computer programmer fresh out of grad school, I began researching not only bra fitting techniques but also the fundamentals of owning a small retail business. After two years, I felt comfortable contemplating the idea of a storefront, and I approached my aunt Debbie and my dad Jason with my ideas for improving the bra shopping experience. Together, we sacrificed, worked hard, persevered, and worked harder still so that we could open our doors on July 17, 2011. In a few short days, we will celebrate five years of operation. I have several posts planned about the anniversary (including our annual statistical series) and am looking forward to sharing some of the ups and downs we’ve had with all of our readers. For the meantime though, let’s discuss our annual sale and giveaway!
While bra fitting is my primary field of expertise, I frequently field questions from customers about which everyday panties I personally recommend, and I realized I have enough opinions on the subject for an entire blog post. Ages ago on the blog, I referenced the Great Underwear Quest of 2009. At the time, I recently finished losing weight and had purchased some lovely dresses and pencil skirts which showcased every seam, elasticized waist, and all manner of decorative feature adorning my current underwear. Whenever I tried on new clothes on in the fitting room, I mistakenly believed I had underwear at home which would disappear with nary a visible line in sight. Nothing worked. Ultimately, I began scooping up miscellaneous knickers from retailers ranging from Walmart to Nordstrom, but if I could find a discreet pair, they would roll, move, or creep upward—to say nothing of scratchy materials or fraying edges. Eventually, I wondered if my only choice was to buy thongs or simply go commando, but I did not want to risk flashing cheek (more more) when I moved or sat. Just as my frustration peaked, a friendly sales rep in the Nordstrom lingerie department recommended On Gossamer. They were perfect! They did not show under even my least forgiving bottoms, were fairly comfortable, and reasonably durable. And so the Greay Panty Quest ended.
We have finally arrived at my favorite post to compile in the series: our best-sellers. While knowing which cup sizes, band sizes, and bra sizes sell the best is an extremely important element to maintaining inventory, it’s also smart to keep track of what products perform well and in what sizes. My strategy with purchasing new inventory is to create a well-rounded set of options per size cluster, which includes carrying multiple styles, colors, and brands designed to suit a variety of customer breast shapes and preferences. Analyzing our best-sellers can be a key way to select future core styles, determine the best colors to choose, and even analyze the optimum size configuration per style.
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.
TweetHello Everyone, A Sophisticated Pair had a wonderful 2014. Not only did we upgrade retail spaces and host our biggest giveaway yet, but we also worked to improve our inventory mix and selection, bringing in shapewear brands like Yummie Tummie
TweetHello Everyone, If you’re anything like me, the early release of Christmas decorations belied how quickly the season would be upon us, and I am by no means proud to say that I have yet to purchase a single gift.
TweetHello Everyone, While the statistics on what bra sizes people purchase peaks my curiosity, I find it equally important to examine the styles they buy most often. As a result, I have compiled a list of our Top 15 Best-Selling
TweetHello Everyone, Last week on July 17th, A Sophisticated Pair celebrated a momentous milestone: our three year anniversary! Despite a tentative optimism, I knew when we opened there was a strong likelihood the business would not succeed past six months.
TweetHello Everyone, I am constantly recommending the Natori Bliss girl hipster series both on the blog as well as in the shop, and today I wanted to share a comprehensive video discussion of the cotton, mesh, and lace versions. Recently,