I KNOW, I’M A BAD GIRL. No, not really cause who actually has been pretty bad is my dear laptop. First I thought there was something horribly wrong with my internet access but this bastard had decided just be a d-bag and not to let me use connect to the internet. Well, that is that and now I can get to the point. Today I am introducing y’all to a brand new lingerie designer who caught my attention recently. I was lurking in the wonderful Twitterville and discovered a brand that caters classy sophisticated lingerie for small backs and big busts so what’s not to like? I decided to contact the founder and designer of Bosom Galore, Katy Payne, to interview her about the upcoming launch of her first collection and was happy to get a quick reply. This was great news since I warmly welcome a new brand with size range starting from 26″ backs and going up to HH-cup. Bosom Galore also manufactures their designs in UK which supports the local textile industry. Here is what Katy had to say about her brain child…
First of all, I find it very interesting that you have worked for mental health care previously (I study psychology myself). How did you end up in the lingerie business? Do you think there is something you can apply from your previous jobs to your new career as a designer?
There isn’t really an obvious link between my work in mental health and founding Bosom Galore. Psychology has been a passion of mine since I was about 8 years old and my degree, along with my certificate in counselling, suited a career in mental health perfectly and I look back on my experiences incredibly fondly. As many may find however, working in mental health can be intense and emotionally draining and after a few years, I decided to take a break to reflect on the impact it was having on my own mental health. During that time, to help out, I started working for my husband as a web developer; he would send me the designs and I would build them in HTML.
During this period, one afternoon, my husband and I were sitting outside talking. I was having another rant about how frustrating it was to find lingerie that I like; complaining that the few bras available in 28GG look frumpy and are in garish fabrics and colours. I started talking about what I would do if I designed lingerie, when my husband said ‘well why don’t you?’ And it was then that I thought ‘yeah, why don’t I?’. And that’s when I launched into founding Bosom Galore.
My website development skills certainly come in handy when it comes to managing my website but I’m yet to learn about e-commerce (which I start doing next week). With regards to applying my skills from mental health, I’m naturally a very genuine person and this, along with transparency, are traits that were fostered in my counselling certificate and I think that they are beneficial both in business and life; it can help to establish healthy and positive working and customer relationships.
A core value behind our brand is that women of any size should be able to wear beautiful, supportive and comfortable lingerie that boosts self-esteem and confidence. Wearing a correct fitting bra, that feels and looks sumptuous, can significantly improve posture and boost self-esteem.
The most important aim with our brand is to provide lingerie and nightwear in small band and large cup sizes, although we do aim to expand our size range as we grow. Crucial qualities of this lingerie and nightwear are quality, shape, support, comfort and appearance. We are working incredibly hard to ensure that the bras are comfortable and create a lovely rounded shape. Our motivation behind this comes from my own experience of struggling to find lingerie with these qualities.
In addition to what we aim to produce, we support the UK textiles industry and so our lingerie is both designed and manufactured within the UK.
How would you describe your brand aesthetics and who is it essentially designed for?
Aesthetically, I would describe our designs as classic, elegant and with a little vintage inspiration. Initially our size range is for women with small band and large cup sizes, however, we will expand this range as we grow.
I would say that our lingerie is essentially designed for women who want satisfaction from their lingerie; to feel comfortable, supported and sexy. Our lingerie is designed by a consumer, for the consumer and so we have responded to, and resolved, the little things that can affect lingerie satisfaction. For example, we have designed our briefs to sit gently against the skin, to avoid any uncomfortable or unsightly indentations; an issue that we feel is all too frequently overlooked. And our labels are soft and positioned in a comfortable place to avoid any possible discomfort that they could cause. All of these little things can significantly affect our experience of our lingerie.
Your collections are designed and manufactured in UK. How did you come up with this decision?
We didn’t even consider importing. It seemed obvious to me to provide business within our country; supporting the UK textiles industry and the communities that it supports. I also feel that business and lingerie development is easier and more efficient when everyone involved lives in the same time zone, where mail delivery is swift and cheap and you can easily travel to meet in person if necessary; it was a wonderful experience to be able to pop over to our manufacturer a few weeks back to look around the factory and have a chat over a cup of tea. And working with a British designer has proven essential for ensuring regular lingerie fittings and efficient amendments to designs.
Our first collection is our Classique balconette lingerie and the design is one that I’ve held in my mind for perhaps a decade. For years, all I wanted was a classic, elegant, day to day balconette bra made from silk and lace. The design is ideal for wearing under t-shirts, shirts and evening wear; I see it an essential lingerie set that can be worn for all occasions.
The emotional motivation behind it comes from the impact that I feel day to day lingerie has on our self-esteem. Like many women, I’ve spent years starting my day putting on my trusty old and tired t-shirt bra and each time I’ve looked in the mirror to see a grey, tired bra with mismatched knickers; I’ve felt unattractive. It’s quite a sad way to start your day, every day. Starting my day in a matching set of beautiful silk and lace lingerie sets a completely different tone; I can feel proud of what I see in the mirror and I am sending myself the
message that I deserve to wear nice lingerie, every day.
What has been the hardest part in setting up your own business and designing lingerie?
That’s a tough question to answer because whilst I’ve faced lots of challenges with Bosom Galore, I’ve enjoyed each and every one and have learnt so much about the industry, business and myself. I suppose the most difficult hurdle has been raising funds. Starting up a lingerie company requires significant investment prior to even having a product to sell, due to the expense of design and development. Managing impatience has also been a challenge. We’re incredibly eager to launch but must remain patient whilst we make the last few little tweaks to our designs to ensure good fit and shape.
It was a very easy decision. For a decade I have been a 28 band size, which has been the source of my prolonged frustration with trying to find a bra that I like. I’m quite an average sized woman and so I know that there must be smaller framed women than me who need a 26 band size. Our model for our photo shoot for example, was a 26, which shows that there are women out there who need a 26 and so we feel that it’s important to cater for them.
We have so much planned ahead. With regards to our future products, we aim to continue to expand our lingerie range to include different fabrics and styles and to resolve various wardrobe problems such as backless or strapless tops and dresses. We also want to significantly expand our nightwear range; at the moment our designs are more for special occasions and include an inbuilt, wired bra. However, we aim to offer more casual sleepwear with inbuilt, non-wired bras. In addition, we plan to offer maternity, nursing and mastectomy lingerie, to expand our size range significantly and to eventually offer swimwear… I’m yet to own a supportive and attractive bikini!
Many thanks to Katy who took the time to answer my questions! I am already in love with Bosom Galore and can’t wait to try their designs on when the autumn season comes 😉