Underwire: Feb 2024 ‘Onward and Upward’

Fifteen years ago I was in a hotel room in Las Vegas giving myself a pep talk between sobs. No, I had not just gambled away my children’s college fund, though it certainly was feeling that way. Surrounded by lingerie catalogues and linesheets, I was at the Lingerie Market trying to place my very first order for Jenette Bras which–fingers crossed–would be opening in a couple of months.

Now, five stores strong, I have a crack buyer dealing with the cyclical linesheet onslaught; an ace Operations Director tracking the college fun–I mean cash flow projections; and an HR sorceress continually massaging the dreams and aspirations of our extraordinary fitting staff. You wouldn’t think I would still need to be giving myself pep talks, but I do.

A company is a fragile thing. Business models work until they don’t. The ground is always shifting. Threats come at you from every direction, from our own vendors competing with us online to attention seekers on social media slagging us off for clicks. I don’t have a thick skin, unfortunately. It’s personal for me. What we do is so worthwhile, I am ready to fight at the first sign of danger. We’ve passed through a tough period, with COVID, economic uncertainty, and film industry strikes impacting both of our cities, LA and Atlanta. However, I am heartened each time I run into a woman who flashes me her bra and tells me “you’ve made my life better.”

We’ve had a strong January. Here’s to a good year!
Onwards and upward.