Two primary school teachers from Cheshire have resigned from their posts to become the new owners of Foundations Lingerie in Nantwich.
Kate Hinton and Karen Flannery have taken over the management of the independent store from Gill and Ian Wilson, who are retiring from the business after five years of service.
“We’re both trained teachers and with our circumstances changing – family life starting or growing – we both decided that the work/ life balance wasn’t what we’d anticipated,” said Hinton, who left her teaching role after 14 years in February.
“I left with the intention of being very flexible around my family, e.g. private tutoring, supply work and running the craft business that Karen and I started in 2013 called Oopsadaisydoodle,” she told Lingerie Insight.
Hinton’s father and brother, who own two clothing boutiques in Nantwich town, made her aware of Foundations going up for sale.
“They put me onto the scent of this business,” she said. “My brother, Alex, said ‘you should consider this’ and with a jokey-type phone call to Karen, the rest is history. It’s the best thing I ever did.”
Kate and Karen intend to attract younger consumers to the store going forward.
“The shop tends to veer away from too much fashion, but I think with me and Karen coming in we really want to attract a younger customer base, as well as what we already have. So a bit more fashion, along with continuity, which we do really well with,” said Hinton.
Foundations Lingerie was founded in 1989 by Jean and Les Briers. Their dedicated service to their customers over the years meant that the store has become one of the leading independent lingerie retailers in the UK.
Jean and Les retired in 2010 and the Foundations business was bought by Gill Wilson, who had worked for the company for 10 years, and her husband Ian.
Foundations stocks brands including Maison Lejaby, Prima Donna, Maidenform, Chantelle and Passionata.
READ A FULL REPORT ON OUR RETAIL ROAD TRIP, HOSTED BY AWG BRANDS, IN THE MAY ISSUE OF LINGERIE INSIGHT, OUT NEXT MONTH