Everyday Lingerie Co (ELC) is an Australian Made, designed, and owned bamboo underwear label that is focused on creating ethical and sustainable everyday underwear for women who want something that offers them comfort, support and is stylish that can take them from the office to the gym or even out on a date. The mission behind the ELC brand is to empower women to love the skin they are in by being a 100% photoshop free brand that does not edit any of their models and launched to market with models who are everyday women who believe in the brand’s message and want to celebrate self-love and acceptance. ELC launched their range of 3 designs styles: Brief, Boyleg, and G string available in sizes 8 – 22. www.everydaylingerieco.com
Since the age of 8, I have been around businesses; being blessed to watch both her parents run their own businesses which really created a passion a drive, and a solid work ethic. After finishing my final year of school, I enrolled in a part-time university degree for business management to do whilst working full time in Recruitment. I found out quickly that Uni was not for me and focused instead on working.
We were advised that the recruitment business had to close at the end of 2000, and it looked like it was back to the drawing board career-wise until I received a call from my dad to advise there was a role in the administration team opening and asking if I would like to interview for the role.
After 5 years in this role, it was time for change as the business was being sold and it was then that I really got to explore different industries and generate a lot of experience across the business and sales arena. In the proceeding years I worked in Fashion, bedding, and furniture, FMCG and Pharmaceuticals with roles in both wholesale and retail along with Mass-merchants, Department stores, Independents, and Franchise businesses this really grew my knowledge and experience.
After deciding to stop by a local department store before heading home at the end of the day to quickly pick up some everyday underwear, I shopped for around an hour and left with nothing and walked away defeated and disheartened. How could I never seem to find underwear that offered the support and felt comfortable to wear.
It was not until that evening as I sat around my dining table that it hit me like a lightning bolt – If I couldn’t find what I was looking for in the shops were others in the same boat? Could I make underwear that would offer her what she needed? Would others want them too? So many questions; it was time to start asking family, friends, work colleagues who ever I could ask and there was a lot of feedback from all these women talking about how they buy and wear 1 to 2 sizes larger to get the coverage they wanted, or they settle for something that was not as pretty to look at so they could be comfortable. It was then that I knew I was onto something and had to pursue this.
I set about doing more customer research with several surveys submitted out to different groups and learned (in summary) that women wanted the following from their everyday underwear:
- Comfort – so they could feel like they had nothing on at all
- Support – the underwear would hug them where they needed it the most
- Breathability – they could move from day to night, office to the gym and not worry about having to change their undergarments.
These 3 key items went on to become the design principles that would be featured in every piece moving forward and be the true foundation for the Everyday Lingerie Co bamboo range of underwear and all our Brief, Boyleg, and G Strings.
The journey to bringing Everyday Lingerie Co to life was underway. Even with all the business experience I had, I was very naïve in the beginning thinking that this was going to be so simple. Thinking that it would be 12 months and the brand would be to market. How wrong this was! In the following 6 years, countless hours were spent designing patterns, learning about fabric, looking for local makers to manufacture the goods in Australia, and many times wanting to give up.
Every day was a learning experience whilst a strong background in business helped, building an entire brand from scratch, which was completely new to me. Many questions got answered using Google in the early days.
We launched Everyday Lingerie Co on August 29th, 2019, and it was such an incredible day. To see all the hard work and determination pay off, here we were almost 6 years later from when the idea came about to finally launching the website, showcasing women of all sizes with a model in every size underwear we range (sizes 8 to 22) and 100% photoshop free, it was so worth it to see everything come together.
Fast forward to today we have gone through so many changes in the first two years of business. We initially launched with a product that was made overseas and at the start of 2020 we were needing more stock and the factory we were working with did not offer us the quality we needed for the brand so we started back at the beginning which in hindsight was a great thing as we were able to move our production to Australia and we are now able to be more involved with the entire process from the making of the raw materials through to the end garments. We took this time to take all our customers’ feedback on board and upgrade the fabric and patterns where needed.
The biggest challenges we have faced to date besides the changing of manufacturing locations have been standing out from the crowd in marketing especially as the global pandemic hit.
As much as people are spending more time on the internet, most businesses have been in the same boat trying to get consumers’ attention, and cutting through the noise has been challenging. We have revamped our website, looked deeper at the customer experience, reviewed all the behind-the-scenes workings of our online store, and completed upgrades wherever possible.
For the bulk of the past twelve months the retailers we supply to have mostly been closed, it’s been great to see much change and switch across to online stores from bricks and mortar shopfronts but this does then restrict the interactions salespeople have with consumers and with any new brand the more knowledge and information that can be communicated the better, so when this face to face interaction was removed it has obviously been harder to ensure the brand’s details are being received by the customers so they can understand the brand along with not being able to physically see the quality garment prior to purchasing.
There are however so many opportunities in the market at present, more people are online and looking to connect with brands and businesses. Utilizing social media and all the tools that we have and not only communicating with potential customers locally but around the globe is amazing. We have started creating a weekly series called Brief Talk to discuss different topics about the Everyday Lingerie Co-brand and allow people to connect with me directly as the creator of the brand and understand the Who and Why behind the Everyday Lingerie Co brand.
When I started building the brand and realized that it was about “Everyday” women and customers just like me, customers want more and should not have to settle for good enough. I knew social media and Marketing were both going to be two channels we needed to focus on and would give us the opportunity to talk about all the features and benefits our underwear offers. However, I knew that this was not an area that I was strong in so from the beginning I have employed someone to take care of this for the brand following our Brand Guidelines.
The stress of starting or owning a business is real and one you need to be prepared for, but know the positives out way the negative, but you need to be determined and resilient if you head down this path. Be clear on what you want to do, start with the groundwork, and ensure you understand the what, who, when, and how, and be passionate about what you are doing. If it’s solely about money it is not the right idea, keep brainstorming – Passion is the key.
I personally feel so blessed to be able to look back at the last 40 years of my life and smile with genuine happiness to see that no matter what happens next, I didn’t allow my fear or doubt to stop me or hold me back from pursuing my dreams and that I can celebrate forever.
“It’s better to have tried and failed than live a life wondering what would’ve happened if I had tried” — Alfred Lord Tennysonn