Broadcasting Your Lingerie Fashion Show Via Facebook Live

Intimatology

Affinitas and Parfait | Alberto Lama Photography- LFW

Above: Parfait at LingerieFW.

It seems like a new social media platform (or feature within an existing platform) pops up every other day. And while all of this can create exciting opportunities for brands, it can also be overwhelming. If you’re looking for a new way to connect with your current followers — and amass even more followers, where do you start? If you’re a lingerie retailer and have an upcoming fashion show, you have a perfect opportunity to delve into Facebook Live. Here’s how to pull this off and achieve maximum results.

The Basics

Above: Oh La La Cheri.

The initial aspects to consider when planning a video stream via Facebook Live are the technical components. After all, technical execution can make or break a live stream. The good news is that Facebook has made the process of accessing this new feature pretty straightforward. First and foremost, make sure that the venue for your event has very strong Wi-Fi. Lacking a great Wi-Fi signal can cause interruptions throughout your live stream, or disconnect you entirely.

Secondly, consider what tools you’re going to use. While you surely can use your smartphone to record the event and publish via Facebook Live, you can alternately use a professional video camera. This upgrade in tools can increase the quality of your video radically, and is a worthwhile investment if you plan to live stream frequently.

Above: Inspire by Pscyhe Terry.

Facebook has made it so you can connect nearly any professional camera to your computer in order to publish through Facebook Live, but one recommendation is to use the Magewell USB Capture Dongle as your connection port. You may also want to invest in a superior microphone, so the audio elements aren’t lagging behind your visual components in quality. Make sure you’ve done a test run (or three) so that you’re completely confident in your video camera and microphone’s ability to connect with your computer seamlessly.

Thirdly, be sure you understand all of the Facebook Live settings. For example, for your lingerie show, you’ll want to set the privacy setting to “public” so it’s accessible to anyone. You’ll also want to prepare a compelling description of your event in advance, complete with keywords that your target audience is likely to search for (like “fashion,” “lingerie,” “fun event,” etc.). The more descriptive and enticing the description, the more likely you’ll have a greater turnout of people tuning in.

The Build-Up

Above: Simone Perele.

The work you do leading up to your event is just as important as the show itself. If you don’t get the word out in advance, it can be hard to attract a lot of viewers as it’s happening (which is, of course, the whole point of broadcasting via Facebook Live). The first step is to make sure your runway show has an appealing theme, and to tease out any aspects that are likely to draw a crowd. For instance, are any of your models household names? Or do they have large social media followings? If so, be sure to promote their names and pictures in the lead-up to the show. You can also stipulate in their contracts that your models must share a certain number of social media posts about the event, including what time the event will be broadcast via Facebook Live and how to watch it. Most models are used to being asked to use their social media accounts to promote the brands they work for, and this is a relatively easy way to get a boost in interested viewers.

Furthermore, spread the word throughout your own channels. Send an email to your email list announcing the details of the upcoming live broadcast, and post it on your own social media accounts multiple times in the days leading up to it. If you have any relevant brand partnerships (like with a makeup retailer or a jewelry designer), invite them to be a part of the runway show – and then encourage them to publicize the event as well. These are all ways you can tap into the networks of the other fashion show participants for very little investment on your part, and potentially big returns.

Amway, the world’s largest direct selling company, used similar tactics to build up anticipation for its live broadcast by posting in the days leading up to their Facebook Live stream at New York Fashion Week, which showcased Amway’s Artistry cosmetics. One promotional post received over 530 likes, which goes to show that their audience saw the announcement and was engaged. The post featured relevant hashtags, important information about the stream and a photo — all of which your very own Facebook post should include.

Finally, designate roles. You’ll need someone to host the event, and should choose someone who has done this professionally (you don’t want to take chances with an amateur host, especially with a live event). Plan out a script in advance, so the host has at least a rough agenda to follow. Assign someone to be on the computer, answering live comments as they roll in. Choose someone else to be the producer, and another person to handle the music. It’s key that each person understands their specific role so no task is left unattended.

The Main Event

Above: Lise Charmel.

Lingerie shows are exciting by nature; use this to your advantage! Take the camera backstage in the moments leading up to the show and do a quick, informal Q&A with the models as they get their makeup done. Ask a makeup artist for some makeup tips that viewers can emulate at home. Ask the models about their secrets for self-confidence. The general public loves to feel like they’re being let in on insider information, so play up this behind-the-scenes glimpse. A non-lingerie example of a brand that catered to this natural curiosity that people have was Dunkin Donuts, when they streamed a Facebook Live video in their test kitchen. Doing this kind of behind-the-scenes view makes your brand fun and relatable to your viewers.

Once the runway show starts, keep the camera trained on the action (i.e., the runway). Prepare your producer to give cues to the host throughout the show via an earpiece. This can make the Facebook Live experience especially fun for viewers. For example, the producer can tell the host the name of a viewer who has commented with a question so they can address them on-camera by name. Or the host can ask viewers for song requests, and the producer can relay the requests to the music director so it makes it into the rotation.

Two more points for the host: make sure she introduces herself several times, as your audience might tune in at different times, and also ask her to invite viewers to like and share your video several times throughout the event. This will help your video’s ranking on Facebook and boost your odds of attracting new visitors.

The Follow-Up

When it’s time for the lights to go out, thank your audience for tuning in and give a clear call-to-action. You could include a special discount code, for example, that visitors can use if they head to your site and purchase a lingerie set within two hours of your live stream’s conclusion. Or you can invite them to weigh in on their favorite parts of the runway show via a webform on your website, offering a free lingerie set to one of the respondents (to be chosen at random). This is a good way to capture email addresses of prospects, while simultaneously getting usable feedback about what visitors liked and didn’t like about your runway show.

Then click “finish” and “save”. Remember this important step! Even though the live broadcast ends, you can use the saved video later on other social media platforms (or even send out a snippet of it via email). This is content you definitely won’t want going to waste.

Properly planning and executing a compelling Facebook Live event can take a lot of work, time and resources, but it can be a highly rewarding way to attract new followers and convert them into customers. It can also help you put your lingerie brand on the map, in the eyes of consumers. So as you gear up to give it a try, remember all these nuances and, most of all, have fun with it — and your viewers will too.

Intimatology Helps Lingerie Brands Succeed

Intimatology Curvy Couture Web Design

“[Intimatology] brought the brand to life and made it understandable to the market…” – Evora Russell, Curvy Couture.

When Delta Galil was stumped on how to show new product innovation they called Intimatology founders Erin and Rich Harris. Similarly, the Harris’ were the first call Carol Stella of Champagne Corsets and Designs made when her rebranding efforts hit a wall. And when Curvy Couture’s message wasn’t matching its product quality they turned to the same trusted duo for help.

It’s been five years since Erin and Rich went into business for themselves. Last year the couple founded Intimatology, a full service digital agency that specializes in intimate apparel and legwear.

Intimatology founders Erin and Rich Harris

Above: Intimatology founders Erin and Rich Harris.

However, their roots in the industry go well beyond that—the pair met working in the intimate apparel industry, Erin as a textile designer and Rich as an inventory and receiving manager for a major accessories distribution company. Together the two moved up the ranks fine-tuning their skills in intimate apparel marketing.

So what exactly does a digital agency do for the intimate apparel industry? Rich lists off the company’s arsenal of services including branding, web design, copy writing, packaging, photography, retouching and sales collateral. From a client’s perspective Intimatology does much more than that.

Intimatology Curvy Couture Retouching

Intimatology’s services includes photography and photo retouching.

“Over time, they proved to be real partners,” says Evora Russel, vice president of sales for Curvy Couture who worked with the team on rebranding efforts. “They were more like a division of our company at the time and that’s really hard to find.”

Miriam Cohen, senior retail analyst at Delta Galil has worked with Intimatology on multiple projects. “Most recently they helped us with a need for product photography,” she says. “Like with all the projects we work on together, it was efficiently handled and executed perfectly because they are very systematic in their approach and you can see that right away, even with smaller scale projects.”

Intimatology Delta Galil Photography

“Like with all the projects we work on together, it was efficiently handled and executed perfectly…” Miriam Cohen, Delta Galil.

Intimatology’s work with Delta Galil is what lead them to their partnership with the plus size intimates brand Curvy Couture. “The reason that we went with them at the time was because they both had quite a bit of experience with intimate apparel marketing and branding,” says Russel.

Erin and Rich saw that the company’s message and product were disconnected. “The product was great but none of their marketing reflected the quality of the product,” Erin says. Intimatology gave Curvy Couture a complete overhaul and introduced a more streamlined brand.

Intimatology Delta Galil Package Design

Intimatology is proponent of 3D Photography which they feel is a powerful communication tool.

They designed a new logo. They came up with a new tag line. They rewrote copy, including naming each product. “They brought the brand to life and made it understandable to the market,” says Russel.

In the end, their work yielded the company 4,000 percent growth, online alone. “We created a modern, intuitive, mobile friendly website,” says Erin. “We redesigned and elevated all packaging and brand materials like business cards, catalogs and sales sheets to incorporate the new branding.”

Working with Clients Large and Small

Intimatology Champagne Corsets Product Photography

Champagne Corsets Product Photography

Smaller companies also receive the same attention from Intimatology founders. Stella of Champagne Corsets and Designs reached out to Erin and Rich after interviewing several local website designers for help rebranding her custom corset business.

“I explained to Erin and Rich my vision, along with the mood and image I would like my brand to portray,” she says. “They designed my logo first and then they started building my website. About once a month we set up working meetings, however Erin and Rich gave me complete access to the backend of my website where I can see the progress anytime I wanted. Within months ChampagneCorsets.com was born.”

“We’re always finding ways to help small businesses succeed,” adds Rich. They hope to make success easy to achieve for all size companies and has geared their business model towards this. “We offer training and support so that companies can do some of what we recommend themselves. We’ve also been making various tools and guides available as free downloads, so entrepreneurs can adopt good habits and strategies without adding a lot of overhead,” he says.

Intimatology’s Secret to Success

Intimatology Champagne Corsets Responsive Web Design

Above: Champagne Corsets’ responsive website designed by Intimatology.

Over and over clients cite attention to detail as the main reason why Intimatology is so good at what they do. It all starts with what the Harris’ call a diagnostic. This in depth look at the client’s company provides them with the tools they need to make recommendations for improvement and execute those suggested changes.

“A smaller scale diagnostic would be as simple as having a conversation and answering some questionnaires,” says Erin. “A large scale diagnostic involves a much more in depth process. We call it Foundation, and it is designed to uncover specific goals, current marketing and creative efforts and their effectiveness.”

Their efforts produce results, too. With so much experience and understanding working with buyers and sales teams, The Harris’ feel confident they can give their clients the right tools to land the biggest accounts.

“Understanding the target consumers of the most coveted retailers is one of our key strategies,” Rich says. “Once brand identities are properly targeted, the messaging resonates with buyers who know their own customers, then our clients start to find it much easier to get in front of them.”

The Power of Presentation

Intimatology Champagne Corsets Responsive Design Process

Rich stresses the power of a great presentation and how cohesive sales collateral can make all the difference when it comes to closing sought after accounts. Cohen agrees. She says that internal creativity can often get stifled and turning to an agency like Intimatology can help shakes things up.

“You can get easily get bogged down with all the stuff that needs to get done in a day and not have the time to think about new ways to present something,” she says. “Nobody wants to see the same boring thing in these sales meetings. You have to bring something new to the table.”

Intimatology Blog

Intimatology shares perspective, insight and observations about the world of marketing, intimates and intimate marketing through their site’s “Articles” page.

The Harris’ are always looking for that ‘something new.’ Erin says her main focus is on what will make the client happy. They have designed a series of targeted questions to learn what that is. Erin asks clients to look forward three years and think about what goals, personally and professionally, they would like to have met.

The reaction from their clients make it clear that they are not only well on their way to achieving the goals that the Harris’ have helped them set, they are surpassing them.

“They really grew our business,” says Russel. “They held our hands through the process because we were just a private label manufacture for 20 years before launching our own brand and so coming into it from just being very green in that regard, they taught us a lot and brought us very far.”

Learn More about Intimatology

Contact: Erin Harris
Email: erin@intimatology.com
Phone: 973-241-7440 (M-F 10am-6pm EST)
Website: intimatology.com

Bridal List Building and Sales

Intimatology

Parfait Elissa Contour Underwire Bra and Bikini

Above: Parfait Contour Underwire Strapless Bra- microfiber molded cups, adjustable and removable straps, can be worn five different ways (regular, strapless, criss-cross, halter, and one-shoulder).

Is your social media popularity reflected in your brand’s sales?

by Joy Menon

Social Media platforms are great tools to connect with your tribe and gather knowledge of trends, preferences and lifestyles. However, many businesses stress and focus so much on acquiring as many followers possible, that they truly miss out on the facts: actual sales.

Some may argue: “As soon as we get our target number of followers or likes, we will be successful.” Although it’s great for exposure, in order to be profitable, you actually don’t need millions of followers. You DO need people that value your offering and will gladly pay for it. Are your ‘followers’ actually positively impacting sales, or is that number just visually useful for social proof?

NK iMODE Georgina Sizzling Long Slip

Above: NK iMODE Georgina Sizzling Long Slip crafted with Stretch silk Georgette long gown delicately trimmed with silk charmeuse binding straps and surprising back ties, lavish lace inset neckline, mesmerizing eyelash lace mermaid skirt.

This is where you want your customers to visit!

Social media platforms and their rules are always changing and should not be the reliable source for client communication. Your website is where you want your clients to spend most of their time and your client list is essential. Use social media wisely, directing potential clients to your site, and having them provide their contact information.

Below are three great ways to provide value to your clients and build your client list.

Checklists

Oh La La Cheri Gemma two piece lace-trimmed bra and slip with satin panels and g-string

Above: Gemma two piece lace-trimmed bra and slip with satin panels and g-string from Oh La La Cheri. The brand’s bridal pieces are for the bride who wants a more fashion forward piece for her wedding night.

Staying organized is essential for any bride. Providing any kind of checklist will surely be greatly appreciated. Think outside the box, by helping her plan around her honeymoon packing and how your product fits in with her lifestyle. Many brides are now mixing and matching pieces to create their own unique look, so use that as inspiration.

Promotions

Inspire Chantilly Lace Long Line Multiway Bra

Above: Inspire Psyche Terry’s Chantilly Lace Long Line Multiway Bra is offered in DD and DDD cups and features the brand’s SPILL PROOF™ Bra Cups, SILICONE STAY™ Bra Band and SLIP RESISTANT™ Bra Straps.

Everyone loves to save money, so offer your own sweet way to help her stay within the budget. A free and useful gift is also an exciting offer, aside from the typical free shipping or percentage off her sale, when signing up. A free gift to be picked up in-store can connect your website with your brick and mortar and provides a perfect opportunity for viewing new collections.

Advice

FOXERS Something Blue Bridal

Above: FOXERS’ Light Blue Lace Camisole with White Straps and Lace Boxers. The brand’s garments are made from a butter soft lace that feels amazing against your skin and lies flat so it does not show VPL.

Thinking ahead about her challenges can inspire you to provide creative solutions. Use social media to research and target areas your customer struggles with and see how your brand can help. For example, your brand can provide a unique visual fitting guide, addressing different silhouettes. The opportunities are endless.

Dominique Bridal Colette Lace Corset Bridal Bra 8949

Above: Dominique Bridal Colette Lace Corset Bridal Bra features elegant lace trim that adds a romantic touch to this full-length, super-shaping, low back corset-style bra.

In conclusion, cultivate and develop your potential clients, because they value your offerings and will gladly pay for it. If they take the time to enter their information, they are definitely interested. Happy selling!

Packaging Design Advice

Nearly Nude Book Box Packaging by Intimatology

Nearly Nude Book Box with Window and Magnetic Closure Designed and rendered by Intimatology.

“Packaging is more than just a box, it is part of the experience.” – Intimatology.

If you don’t believe Packaging is important to your lingerie business’ bottom line, consider this: Retail customers mull over an item an average of two seconds before moving on.

“If your product doesn’t announce its features or its unique nature any better than the next product, you’ll lose your chance to win over a new customer,” warn Erin and Rich Harris, founders of Intimatology. “Each brand has to set themselves apart or above their direct competition. Packaging and shelf appeal (digital or physical), goes a long way to doing this.”

They understand these important ideas because they’ve helped brands like Givenchy, Delta Galil, Curvy Couture and several more stand apart in a crowded marketplace.

To stay ahead of your competition, the Intimatology team suggests that your brand’s (or boutique’s) packaging communicate three important ideas: Branding, Purpose and Attraction.

Intimatology Packaging Design Advice George Gift Box

Walmart Father’s Day Gift Box – Designed and rendered by Intimatology.

Branding

Quick Tip: Create a template!

In the ideal scenario, every brand has a style guide. A style guide is a set of standards for the writing, design and communication of a brand. Style guides can be quite comprehensive and expensive to produce, but if your resources are limited you can still create a template that contains the most important highlights like your logo and the brand colors and fonts you use.

Purpose

Quick Tip: Nobody cares about your product, they care about what it can do for them.

Think about the problem your product solves. Make the purpose of your product clear and easy to understand. Your potential customer wants to know how, or if this product will benefit them and they want to know quick ( <2 seconds).

Attraction

Quick Tip: You’re brand is not the main character of the story.

The purchaser is the protagonist in this story. Attract and compel them to your product by giving them what they want. Is this product for a man? Avoid using the color purple in your package design (most men dislike purple). Is the product a luxury item? Make sure you use multiple textures and finishes in your packaging design as it creates a higher perceived value.

Beyond the Box

Intimatology flexi wire

Collar Tag & Flexible Key Chain – Designed and rendered by Intimatology.

Customers’ interactions with packaging don’t end with the unboxing of intimates. The experience includes call-out tags, hang tags, labels, cartons, boxes, bags, hangers and cards.

“Anything attached to, beside or enclosed with the product. Thank you cards, cross-selling booklets, ribbons, bows or even tissue paper can all be deployed to improve conversions and increase the likelihood of repeat sales.”

These items establish or enhance brand awareness and help to accentuate the product or its features, situating them properly in relation to the shopper, describing value, introducing complimentary products and encouraging brand loyalty note Erin and Rich.

Intimatology Lemon Hangtag Rain

Lemon Hang Tags – Designed and rendered by Intimatology.

Digital Dressing

The Intimatology team encourages retailers and brands not to forget about their digital experiences.

“eCommerce packaging and ePackaging can also play a huge role in enhancing the shopping experience for the customer.”

eCommerce/ePackaging Quick Tip: Reinforce your brand.

Good packaging reinforces your brand, your positioning and your identity. Make sure your eComm packaging has the same impact as your retail packaging and that your logo is prominently displayed.

eCommerce/ePackaging Quick Tip: Make your packaging special.

Did you ever get a gift that someone didn’t have time to wrap vs. a gift that was wrapped beautifully? It matters. It’s the difference between an afterthought and something special. Show your customer their purchase is appreciated.

eCommerce/ePackaging Quick Tip: Make it easy.

Is your packaging easy to open? How about easy to return? And how easy is it to make a repeat purchase? Make sure to include things like a return form, an incentive to purchase again or a thank you card. It shows you understand your customers’ needs and are happy to help them in any way you can.

Intimatology Reaction Tank

Frosted PVC Box – Designed and rendered by Intimatology.

How Intimatology Can Help

If your company (brand or boutique) recognizes the need to improve its packaging, Erin and Rich are ready to help.

Intimatology starts the process by identifying goals and looking at a company’s full line of products.

“We examine what’s working and what isn’t,” says Erin. “ In some cases, we have streamlined packaging programs from as many as 25 die lines to as few as six, which can save a lot of money in production (and a lot of trees).”

After initial designs, Intimatology create renderings, interactive models and mock-ups to help identify flaws, showcase the appearance in various venues and get feedback from audiences.

“With a dynamic model, carefully considered design and a deep understanding of the brand identity, we create the mechanicals required to begin production,” said Erin.

The Intimatology team can also help with sourcing, assist in sending or advising packing techniques and approving samples to ensure a cohesive message.

Get more Packaging Design Advice from Intimatology

Contact: Erin Harris
Email: erin@intimatology.com
Phone: 973-241-7440 (M-F 10am-6pm EST)
Website: intimatology.com

Managing Social Media Overload

Intimatology

Managing Social Media Overload FOXERS Instagram

How do you tackle social media overload in your business?

Taking a step back can be daunting and almost impossible when you’ve been going at full speed as a business or brand. However, when social media becomes truly overwhelming to the point of blocking and affecting your content or even triggering depression and anxiety, then it’s definitely time to step away and reflect.

I recently read reactions regarding a brand that chose to break away from social media due to intense social media overload. Upon returning and explaining their absence, while introducing a fresh site and new range, many followers were unsympathetic and enraged.

Managing Social Media Overload

Being completely absent for months after constant content and suddenly asking for the sale can negatively impact your established relationships. Below are some actionable tips on how to mindfully unplug from social media, while staying professional.

Delegate and assign:

If possible, find a trusted source to continue interacting with your followers and producing content. Create a social media schedule so that your followers don’t miss your content while you’re away. Apps are great to inexpensively plan and organize. If you are the single source of interaction and content with absolutely no budget, then reach out to your followers in advance and advise them on your short break and new plans. If you have an idea of when you’ll return, let them know. Communication always creates clarity and prevents misunderstandings.

Bluestockings Boutique

Unplugging is good for your mind and creativity.

Stay positive:

Avoid blaming others for your need to unplug. Blaming the industry and specific brands or people just makes you seems unprofessional. Take ownership for your decision, realize it’s nobody’s choice but yours and it’s ok. Remember that particular industry and those contacts probably influenced your success and your professional journey. Don’t forget the source of your beginnings.

Be prepared:

Not everyone will respond in a positive light. There are many who find negatives in everything. Be aware of that and realize that you did your part and followed through. Don’t let negative feedback hold you back from your brand’s next phase. Move forward and be amazing.

In conclusion, your state of mind influences whatever you communicate to your followers and clients. Unplugging is good for your mind and creativity. Take a break if you feel it’s necessary. Great things cannot come from a toxic foundation.

How Technology Shifts Change Business

Intimatology Technology Shifts

Intimatology Founder, Rich Harris shares insight on three major technology trends

Picture this: You’re standing in a boutique looking at a lingerie set and instead of asking for help you pull out your iPhone and Google the brand.

I know I’ve done this and I’m not alone: approximately 60 percent of searches originate on mobile devices.

“Analytical studies are beginning to show a rise in in-store mobile searches,” says Rich Harris, co-founder of Intimatology. “Big box stores, department store and supermarkets are common places for these quick Internet searches. Consumers see an item on a shelf and look it up online, looking for deals, reviews or alternatives.”

It’s just one example of how consumer behavior evolves with technology. Retailers who don’t adapt risk losing sales or worse. To help, we reached out to Rich to gain his insight on the three largest shifts in technology that intimate apparel companies should be focused on. Read on for his best advice for leveraging each.

Technology Shifts to Watch

Intimatology Technology Shifts

One. An Increase of Mobile Usage

Harris says if you’re not selling or facilitating sales on mobile, you should be! “Recently, purchases made on mobile devices have surpassed that of desktop online sales,” he says. “By next year, Google plans to implement their much talked about Mobile-First initiative. Sites that are designed to function well and provide a good user experience on smart phones and similar mobile devices will be rewarded with higher page rankings in search results.”

Harris’s quick tip: Offer free in-store Wi-Fi and promote your own site or app that scans or finds products in store.

Intimatology Technology Shifts

Two. Social Media Becomes Primary Communication Form

More than half of all the people alive right now frequent the top 8 social sites (Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+, YouTube, Pinterest, Instagram and Tumblr.) And at least 30 million people spend time on the hundreds of other social networking sites, Harris says. The numbers say it all—social media is where your customers are.

To succeed in social media Harris says companies need to learn where their target audience is and generate a marketing strategy that speaks to them. He warns against hastily posting creative work and advertisements on your feed. “Facebook and other social media channels can be misleading as a valuable marketing tool,” he says. “Often, our friends and families are not our target customers. Feedback from our Facebook friends might steer us in the wrong direction.”

Harris’s best advice: Take the time to do your homework before jumping in. “It takes a little analytical capability, a fair bit of software and a lot of patience, but measuring trends, isolating target audiences and predicting consumer behaviors can net tremendous results,” he says. “Well placed targeted marketing, the right social media campaign and a bit of friendly sharing can turn a small brand into a great success, seemingly overnight.”

Three. Online Videos Shine

Bra Courtesy of Johari Montclair.

Search engines are shifting their results to favor related video and interactive content, says Harris. “Interactive content is a sure fire way to engage customers, promote longer page views, which are more likely to become conversions, and create a memorable experience for your customers,” he says.

Harris adds that consumers now feel they can gleam more information from a video than text, and interactive content is more likely to get seen. He often suggests to clients incorporating 3D Photography into their sites. “3D photography is still an unreachable technology for some retailers, but at Intimatology, we’ve made it affordable, even for start-ups,” he adds.

Get in touch with Intimatology

Contact: Erin Harris
Email: erin@intimatology.com
Phone: 973-241-7440 (M-F 10am-6pm EST)
Website: intimatology.com

Sources

Media Consumption Comparison: http://www.businessinsider.com/
Global Commerce Spend: http://www.goldmansachs.com

Why You Shouldn’t Wait to Hire a Creative Consultant

Intimatology Erin and Rich Harris

Intimatology founders break down three phrases they hear most often about hiring a creative agency.

If you are a business owner you’ve likely thought, “I can’t afford that,” or “I don’t have the time,” at one point or another. Creative consultants Erin and Rich Harris, founders of Intimatology, have heard those lines before. Prior to starting their business they worked together as part of the in-house creative team for a large company. “That’s how we got the idea for our business,” says Rich. “We thought smaller companies could benefit from the same services, but not all year round.”

In 2012 Intimatology set out to deliver their large-scale creative services to small businesses in a more digestible, affordable way. We caught up with the couple to discuss three of the industry’s most common misconceptions about working with an outside creative consultant. Read on to hear more about how Intimatology works for you.

I can’t afford that!

“The big challenge for small businesses is that they think something is not affordable to them so they don’t even ask,” says Erin. By not starting the conversation about creative services many business owners are missing out on the ideal opportunity to build their brands and marketing department in a way that works for them.

champagne corsets Photo by Christine Petit

Above: Champagne Corsets, one of Intimatology’s latest clients. Photo by Christine Petit.

When someone asks Rich how much it costs to build a website he responds by asking how much they would like to spend. “Depending on what they can afford we can help them achieve something in their budget,” he says.

That being said, your marketing budget should be a priority. “That’s what is going to grow your business,” Rich adds. Many of the elements involved in a great marketing campaign, like social media management, take time. “Don’t just think you can do a quick tutorial,” he says. “It takes patience and consistency to make it look nice. How do you keep readers engaged and followers following you? Creative services are not always cheap, but it’s not something that can easily be done on your own either.”

Intimatology Solution

Intimatology’s Solution: Start off small and work in stages. “If you can afford a website and not much else let’s do that and make you some money,” he says. From there the Harris’ can invest more into social media, and so on. Carol Stella, owner of Champagne Corsets and Designs in Prospect, CT, had just moved and was making some huge changes to her business. When she first reached out to Intimatology she wasn’t sure where to start with all of the company’s services. So they started out with a new logo and business cards. “Then we did a new website from scratch,” she says. “Next we’re working on some SEO.”

I can find someone cheaper!

There are plenty of options for creative services out there, including brand specialists, public relations consultants and social media experts. Hiring one may be cheaper, but not in the long run, warns Rich. “People don’t often know the difference between a PR consultant and a creative agency,” says Rich. “Often a PR consultant can be more money because you are paying someone in the middle to manage someone else. At Intimatology we don’t just create a strategy but we create the content, too.”

Just some of their services include web design, photography and photo retouching. And the Harris’ boast their level of service far exceeds that of any middle man out there. “We never compromise on quality or customer satisfaction. Both are top priorities for us,” Erin says. “The other guy might charge you extra fees to get things right.”

Intimatology’s Tip: Find an expert to help you. Keep in mind that Erin and Rich have a background in the intimate apparel industry, which not many consultants share. “We know how an ecommerce site for intimate apparel works,” says Erin.

After interviewing several web designers in her area Stella reached out to Intimatology and found right away that they understood best how to relay her vision. “The business need that they fulfilled was helping to deliver my message to the world that everyone should own a custom corset,” she says.

Where do I start?

At first, planning a marketing strategy can be overwhelming, especially if you can’t do everything all at once. Stella says she often gets too excited about new projects that she’s likely not ready for. “Erin and Rich guide me as to what path I should take,” says Stella. “This isn’t my forte. If I get ahead of myself and talk about a project they will say let’s work towards this, but do this first instead.”

It all depends on your target customer, Erin adds. “Social media is definitely high up there.” She recently worked with a designer who was in the beginning phases on launching her business. “She only had a business concept,” she says. “We talked to her about social media being an early strategy for her so she can start to tell her story and create buzz.”

Intimatology Advice

To better hone in on your target audience Erin and Rich like to run an exploratory marketing campaign. “We allocate budgets to each channel for a few months,” says Rich. “Then we will begin to funnel your investment into the channels that give you the most return so in the end you’re only spending your money on the most effective areas.”

Intimatology’s advice: Everyone has this misconception that they should be everywhere,” says Erin. “Smaller businesses don’t have the time or the budget to dedicate to that.” They both agree it’s better to have good strong content in one or two places than to do a bad job everywhere. Take the time to narrow down your target audience and focus your marketing efforts on the most profitable strategies.

Learn More about Intimatology

Contact: Erin Harris
Email: erin@intimatology.com
Phone: 973-241-7440 (M-F 10am-6pm EST)
Website: intimatology.com

Lingerie Trunk Show Advice

Intimatology

Lingerie Trunk Show Advice La Femme Dangereuse Nicole Waters

Need the Lingerie Selection’s help organizing a Lingerie Trunk Show? Contact them at: info@thelingerieselection.com.

Running a successful Lingerie Trunk Show is no easy task. If you don’t know where to start, the founders of the Lingerie Selection (TLS), Maggie Gillette, Melissa Franchi and Alessandra Baker, have some tips and advice to take the stress out of organizing a trunk show.

As designers, they’ve worked with a number of boutiques over the years and now they’re are organizing trunk shows under the Lingerie Selection.

They work with boutiques to organize and promote a co-sponsored TLS lingerie trunk show event. Something to consider if you want to put these tips into action with some additional help.

Tip 1: Invest in Pre-Planning

Lingerie Selection Rack Shack Pop Up Wraps Up

“A successful trunk show is all in the pre-planning!”

Make a list of brands you to partner with. Brands you stock and know your customers love is a great place to start. If it’s a new brand, think about how they fit (or don’t) with your boutique’s aesthetics and inventory.

“Additionally, if a retailer has seen a brand either at a trade show or online that they think their customers might like, this could be a good way to test things out without the risk of placing a large wholesale order.” said Maggie Gillette.

Above all, focus on your customers. Reach out to your base and ask them what they’d like to see at an event. This way, not only will you please your core customer, the new customers you attract with the event will be the right ones for your boutique.

Tip 2. Establish Roles

Once you’ve locked down the brands you’re working with, make sure everyone’s on the same page about their roles and who’s responsible for what. If it helps, get everything in writing.

“I feel that communication is key. If the retailer needs something from the designer or vice versa they should ask before the event,” suggests Maggie. Establish important considerations like payment and who will provide bags, food, giveaways before the show so that things run smoothly the day of.

Tip 3. Decide on a Theme

La Femme Dangereuse Bridal Trunk Show
Having an engaging theme for a trunk show makes it fun, easier to market and gives customers an extra reason to attend. The Seasons and Holidays are always great touchstones for inspiration if you need some ideas.

“Spring and Summer is a great time to do things around the bridal/bachelorette themes while Winter lends itself to trunk shows around gifting and Valentine’s Day.” said Maggie. “Of course, if you know you have an adventurous customer you can also do things around styling lingerie into your outerwear looks or picking outfits for boudoir shoots. The possibilities are really endless there depending on what a boutique’s customers might enjoy. We have tons of ideas we can’t wait to implement!”

Tip 4. Mark the Calendar

La Femme Dangereuse Bridal Trunk Show Nicole Waters and Designers
Timing is arguably one of the most important things to consider when planning a lingerie trunk show. It’s also going to be different for each boutique. Maggie says, “Weekends are generally best of course because people tend to have the most free time. However the exact day and time comes down to when the boutique is generally the busiest and I think it’s always good for brands to take the advice of the boutiques on the specifics since they know their boutique.”

Tip 5. Promote!

Our first trunk show of the season is coming up November 3rd at @thedangerouswoman ! Join us to see the latest from @uwilawarrior @thegivingbride and @nevaehintimates

A post shared by The Lingerie Selection (@lingerieselect) on

Start reaching out to your existing customer base with regular eNewsletters promoting the event and making the date, time, location as clear as possible. Take your announcement to all of your social media platforms and consider investing in paid or sponsored posts. Facebook has excellent tools to make sure the audience you want to reach gets the message.

Bonus Lingerie Trunk Show Advice: Power in Numbers

Consider bringing together a group of designers like the Lingerie Selection does to help boost the success and profitability of a trunk show.

“By leveraging multiple brands’ social media networks to cross-promote the event, we’re able to get a broad reach – not only for the specific event-but to build brand awareness for the boutique and participating brands. It’s a win/win that lasts far beyond the event!” said Maggie.

Tip 6. Crowd Control

Azaleas New Location
Great! You’ve done the pre-planning, organized the show, promoted and it’s the day of…eager customers are walking through the door. Now what?

Keeping customers happy, content and focused at a trunk show is another job both the retailer and designer have to keep in mind. Make sure you’ve secured entertainment, music and food and set it all up ahead of time.

“I have to say, I champagne helps. I’ve never seen an unhappy shopper with champagne in their hand,” said Maggie. “But really, I think it’s all about creating a welcoming atmosphere that allows shoppers to slow down, relax, and try on something that they might not since they have the guidance of the designers there to help them.”

Bonus Lingerie Trunk Show Advice: Keep the Momentum

“One of the great things a boutique can do is capture the e-mail addresses of people who attend so that they can continue to market to them post show,” suggests Maggie. “Sharing pictures from the event afterwards keeps your boutique top of mind and grows your social media presence. Both of those things should help keep customers coming back post event!”

If you still need help organizing a lingerie trunk show, the Lingerie Selection team is there to help. They’ve worked with boutiques like La Femme Dangereuse, the Rack Shack and Musee Lingerie.

“The La Femme Dangereuse trunk show is a great example of everyone using their resources to get a good turn out,” said Maggie. “Some of the new customers who purchased that day said that they would be back for bra fittings.”

Interested in learning more? Contact the Lingerie Selection team at info@thelingerieselection.com.

Burnout Prevention and Healing

MariLupa silk tulle slip

Above: MariLupa silke tulle slip.

“…burnout can be prevented and is reversible as long as it’s identified and treated.”

As professionals and entrepreneurs, we are quite familiar with stress. Business and stress seem to go hand in hand. However, when exactly does this stress morph into burnout?

Burnout actually happens slowly, like a drip where you really don’t notice its arrival until completely submerged. It’s a chronic level of stress where symptoms include long-term detachment, anxiety, increased illness, cynicism, lack of passion and pretty much feeling you have given all that you can give.

On a more positive note, burnout can be prevented and is reversible as long as it’s identified and treated. Below are some easy ways to slowly heal so that you can restore the passion, happiness and motivation that once encouraged you to start your journey.

1. Identify:

Take note of all that makes you feel overwhelmed and also note some ways you can lessen the impact. Try and work smarter versus harder.

2. Eliminate:

Are there projects you are taking on just for the sake of it? If your heart is not invested in it, learn to say “no”. Passing on projects you are not fully passionate about will make you more effective and will give you the energy needed to go above and beyond with the projects you do love. Whatever is done halfway and without heart will ultimately affect your personal brand and the quality of your work. Think quality versus quantity.

Ajour SS18 Jumeirah

Above: Ajour Swimwear.

3. Nourish:

What makes you happy? It can be as simple as having time to read a book or taking a new class. Carve out time to nourish your soul, because the health of your soul is needed in everything you do. Setting aside 15 minutes or more of your day for YOU is an investment to your health and wellbeing.

4. Unplug:

Use social media as a positive tool; however, avoid getting completely submerged in it. When social media takes over and becomes your first priority and dictates your life, then it’s time to step back. Moderation is key. If you find the need to unplug or disconnect, it’s ok. Prepare for it and move forward.

5. Protect your oasis:

Resist the urge to continue your office work at home for as long as you are in the burnout phase. Your home should be that special place where you can relax and recharge for the next demanding day. Although certain important work related issues might be resolved at home, be mindful of how much you take on.

These are only a few ways to prevent and even heal burnout. Keep in mind that no technology or device can ever take the place of actual human contact. Sometimes, just sharing your feelings with a trusted friend or professional can make a big difference. Remember to focus on the small accomplishments and efforts, which will pave the way to success and completion of larger goals.

Bra Fitting Guide

Curvy Couture Bra Review

We’ve probably all heard the statistics – “80% of women are in the wrong bra size” and while that may sound unbelievable, as a professional bra fitter, I can vouch for the fact that it’s true! Why? Well, firstly, a lot of us have grown up not really knowing how a bra is meant to fit, and secondly when we have had a bra fitting, it has often been undertaken with a tape measure – which is rarely accurate.

The most experienced and skilled professional bra fitters use the ‘fit by sight’ technique. This means they are able to look at a customer and instantly tell them the bra size they need – and actually it is the most accurate way of fitting! Plus, once you understand how bras are made, it becomes fairly simple.

Most bra manufacturers use the same size bra underwire to cover more than one size. For example, the wire that is used for a 34B is also used in a 36A and a 32C bra. This means that the volume in the cup of each of these sizes is the same, and the main difference is the firmness in the back.

This principle is called ‘cross matching’ or ‘sister sizing’ and is explained on this easy to use chart

Bra Fitting Guide

Why does it matter? Well, quite simply, after years of bra fitting, I can confidently say that the most common thing I see is women wearing a back size that is too loose and as a result being able to fit their breasts into a smaller cup size than is ideal. For example the 32d woman who doesn’t realize how securely a bra should fit in the back may wear a loose back e.g. a 36. In a 36 back she will only need a b cup to accommodate the volume of her breasts – BUT usually doesn’t realize that it accommodates her breasts very badly and she’s actually getting very little support and no shape at all! Here’s an example:

Bra Fitting Guide

If this all sounds a bit like a mystical art – don’t despair! As someone who trains professional bra fitters, the good news is there are a few top tips I can share to enable you to have a go at fitting at home! All you need is:

1. A mirror that allows you to see the top half of your body from the front, side and back
2. To wear one of your newest , best fitting bras, fastened on the loosest hook with the straps adjusted
about half way up – make sure you know the exact size of the bra you are wearing
3. To follow the 2 Step Formula below

The 2-Step Formula to Bra Fitting

The simple formula for bra fitting is:

1) to determine the back size (e.g. 32, 34, 36) and then
2) to determine the cup size (e.g. b/c/d/e) that you need.

The first step will determine the back size. If, after you have followed this step, you find that you need to reduce the back size by 1 or 2 sizes, you will need to automatically increase the cup size by the same number of sizes otherwise the cup will be too small.

You then need to make further changes to the cup size if you spot any of the other signs that the cup
size is wrong in the next step.

How to Do It:

Stand in front of a mirror that shows your top half clearly. With your top off, but your bra on, you
are going to simply observe the fit.

Step 1: Work out the Back Size

Stand side on in the mirror and look at the band of your bra: Your bra band should form a straight horizontal line across your body when you look at it side on. You should be able to put two fingers underneath the band but not pull it out any more than that.

– If the band is higher at the back than at the front and/or you can fit more than 2 fingers under the band at the back, then the back size is too big. If it rides up a lot and has a lot of room in the back then it is probably 2 sizes too big!

– If you can’t fit any fingers under the back band and it feels uncomfortably tight, then the back size is too small (this is not a common problem though!)

Now face the mirror and look at the straps of your bra: Your bra straps should sit firmly in the middle of your shoulders without digging in or leaving indentations, and only require tightening half way. You should be able to pull the straps of your bra down and find your bra doesn’t really move
when it is ‘strapless’.

– If the bra straps are leaving indentations in your shoulders or falling off, and/or if your bra feels loose or moves around when you lower your bra straps, then the back size is too big. If it does these things when the straps are fully tightened, it is probably 2 sizes too big.

– If your breasts are well supported but the straps are digging in to your shoulders then this actually suggests the straps are too tight (this is not a common problem though!)

How to work out your new back size:

If you see any one or more of these signs, then the back size is wrong. Note down your new back size: e.g. if you are wearing a 36 back and the back band looks too big, go down to a 34 (or a 32 if it looks very big.)

The pictures below demonstrate this.

Bra Fitting GuideBACK BAND TOO BIG – the back band is riding up and the straps are digging in
Bra Fitting GuideBACK BAND TOO BIG – the straps are falling down,
indicating the back band is too big
Bra Fitting GuideWELL FITTING BACK BAND

Step 2: Work out the Cup Size

Work Out your new Base Cup Size: If your back size has changed, then your starting cup size will have changed too! If, for example, you have reduced the back size by 1 or 2 sizes, you will need to automatically increase the cup size by the same number of sizes before you start, otherwise it will be too small – so work out your new cup size first e.g. if you were wearing a 36b and have calculated that you need a 32 back, you will need a 32d.

Use our sister size chart to work out your new cup size easily:

Bra Fitting Guide

Now check, if you need to make any further changes to the cup size – facing the mirror look at the front of your bra:

The centre of the bra that sits between the cups should lie flat against your body, with no gaps. If the centre of the bra sticks out or there is any room between the centre piece and your body, the bra cup is too small.

Your breasts should be fully contained in the cups with no gaps and nothing popping out (i.e. no ‘double boob’ effect!). If your breasts spill out over the top or at the side of the cups rather than leaving a smooth line, the cups are too small.

The breasts should be fully contained within the wire, the wire should clear the entire breast at the side and feel hard to touch with no ‘squidginess’. If the underwire at the side of your bra is soft and squidgy to touch, rather than firm , the cup size is too small.

When you try a top on and turn side on to the mirror you should see a smooth line under your clothes, with no bumps over the top of the cup. If you can see lumps and bumps, the cup size is too small.

If there are gaps in the cup, even when you hold the back band as tight as possible, your cup size is too big – this is less common however and usually caused by the back band being too big so make sure you check this after holding the back band tight

How to work out your new cup size:

If you see any one or more of these signs then the cup size needs to be adjusted. If they are very pronounced then the cup size needs adjusting by 2 or more sizes.

Note down your new cup size: e.g. if you started as a 32d and the cup looks too small, go up to a 32dd or a 32e if it looks very small. (If you are buying a range that doesn’t offer a dd simply go to the e cup)

The pictures below demonstrate this.
Bra Fitting GuideCUP SIZE TOO SMALL – the underwire is too far forward and
sitting on breast tissue & the centre front is not flat
Bra Fitting GuideTWO CUP SIZES TOO SMALL – the underwire is sitting fully on the breast with breast tissue poking out of the
cup and the centre front does not touch the chest wall at all
Bra Fitting GuideWELL FITTING CUPS

You’re Done!

And that’s it! Now you know your correct bra size, there’s only one more thing to do – go bra shopping!

Nobody is ever the same size in every bra so always remember to try each bra on and check the fit – and if you need any more help, or a phone or skype fitting, here are a few people, trained by Pudding, who can help:

https://www.sebastianandmillicent.com/fitting-service.html
https://www.justemoi.co.uk/bra-fitting-guide
https://www.taylorandrani.com/pages/how-to-measure

And finally, if you need any more inspiration take a look at these before and after pictures. All these women have simply had a bra fitting – no surgery needed!

Before & After:

Bra Fitting Guide

Happy Fitting!