In a series of interviews, online showroom yourbrandspace asks retailers all about their business from stock to sales and everything in between. This month, the company sits down with Karan Hopkinson, owner of Derbyshire-based Bralosophy.
When did you launch Bralosophy?
I started Bralosophy just over a year ago. I am an experienced bra-fitter, but also an Assistant Head Teacher. Through this profession, I recognised the lack of sufficient bra-fitting advice available that was age-appropriate, so I set about creating Bralosophy. I know how childrens’ needs are individual and varied, so I wanted to offer advice, products and guidance for girls, thus encouraging a positive and healthy approach to their well-being and sense of unique identity. As a teacher, I felt passionate about girls having skills for life and ensuring their individuality. Very little attention was paid to the girls needs and feelings, especially as puberty can begin at an increasingly younger age. After researching this further, I found that many girls and parents felt misguided. This could lead to insecurities being taken into adulthood, prompting me to attain bra-fitting accreditation and write a booklet for girls providing fitting advice.
What brands do you stock and which are the most successful for you?
We stock La Chica, Boobs & Bloomers, Lepal and Sweetling. La Chica and Boobs & Bloomers are very popular.
What is the ethos of your business?
Whilst good bra-fitting assistance can be reassuring and invaluable, Bralosophy offers a bra-fitting experience for young girls starting on their fitting journey. It is understandable that most young girls are reluctant to be measured by their own mother, let alone by a complete stranger. So, with 80% of women wearing the wrong bra size, and with growing issues surrounding young girls’ self-esteem, our philosophy to promote correct bra fitting and education is really important. Our belief is to provide expert teen bra education and guidance to girls so that they understand the requirements needed for a correctly-fitting bra. We allow them the confidence to check for themselves within their own surroundings, so that they make the right decisions for their health and well-being.
Do you think the teen lingerie market is well catered for?
Although progress is being made, styles need to be young and fresh. I still feel that there are few manufacturers that cater for this market.
What challenges does working in the teen lingerie industry bring, compared to working with women’s lingerie?
Being discreet and sensitive to young girls’ requirements is paramount. I believe that if we can educate our young girls as they start out, they will be aware of their fitting needs and understand the importance of good-fitting bras for life.
What new developments would you like to see in this market?
I would like to see lessons being implemented within schools around the country and also brands offering child- or teen-centered designs and small back sizes. Also, many girls enjoy dance and gym but struggle to find a bra that will sit underneath their leotards, especially for shows.
What do you look for when deciding which brands to stock?
I look for wire-free soft cup options of good quality and reasonable price range that will compliment my present range.
Are you looking for anything new/different at the moment?
I would like to offer a reasonable sports bra, as some girls give up PE due to being uncomfortable.
How do you engage with your customers to keep them coming back to the store?
We primarily do this through social media and communication through our blog and newsletters.
Do you think people are as open to buying lingerie online as other items of clothing?
Finding the right bra can be a monumental task for all women, but for young girls growing up, the quest for that first bra can be especially challenging. Bralosophy believes in celebrating this exciting and special milestone by offering starter packs and a teen try on service. We also provide our customers a discreet and excellent opportunity of communicating with their daughters.
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