Welcome to our Interview series, where we chat with inspiring and innovative female entrepreneurs who are empowering women and positively impacting their local communities. This week, we chatted with Naomi Preston & Dawna Reynolds, co-owners of popular lingerie store The Girls Custom Bra Fittings in Harrisonville, Missouri.
Naomi Preston and Dawna Reynolds of The Girls Custom Bra Fittings
On Social Media
Parfait Team: What are your tips for connecting with your customers?
Naomi Preston & Dawna Reynolds: Facebook is so powerful! Do incentives for your customers to like your Facebook or Instagram posts. Creating events on Facebook. Also, sponsor posts on Facebook. Not an expensive option but has crazy good results. We have made more appointments with Facebook then any other type of advertising.
PT: How do you reach out to potential customers in your local community?
NP & DR: In our community there are lots of Ladies Night events, wine crawls and vendor fairs. We will have booths at those or the shop open for them. Also, reach out to them through social media. We also have decals on our cars and jackets so that as we drive through town...people are reminded of us!
PT: What works best for you for engaging with your customers?
NP & DR: Most definitely Facebook! It pops right up on their phone, plus they are looking at it 100’s of times a day!!
On The Lingerie Industry
PT: What is your favorite lingerie trend at the moment?
NP & DR: Bralettes! So many companies are making great styles and our customers are jumping right on board! Luckily we can get them a range of sizes as well. It also lets the customer get used to a style that is not molded and really opens up their options!
PT: Do you believe we will one day see women of all shapes and sizes in fashion magazines, movies, and throughout the media?
NP & DR: We feel like diversity is really trending right now, thank God! With what Ashley Graham is doing, I hope we see all sizes very soon. But we honestly hope we just see a pull to make sure women feel good in their own skin. Instead of size, lets make sure that the women in the magazines have cellulite, stretch marks and bags under their eyes! We hope we just start to see some women we can all relate with!
PT: Where do you see the lingerie industry in 10 years?
NP & DR: We see it trending even more toward specialty stores. Women are realizing that ordering bras online is bound to fail and boutique shopping is back on the rise! We hope we see more wholesalers focused on small business and helping them market. As well as lingerie trending toward all sizes, because that will create more sales!
On The Challenges Business Owners Face
PT: What challenges have you faced as a business owner?
NP & DR: Probably the financial aspect. We were determined to not take out any loans on the business and do it cash only. That has been a great decision but sometimes makes it to where you have to wait on styles we would love to carry now. So just having patience can be challenging sometimes.
PT: What are your tips for overcoming challenges?
NP & DR: Communication! Simply make sure to communicate fears and appreciations. Answers questions, answer e-mails and communicate with other boutiques and vendors. If everyone knows what you are thinking, there is no question of your intentions. It makes day to day challenges much easier to face!
PT: What is most rewarding for you as a business owner?
NP & DR: Changing women’s lives and knowing that it happened because of a plunge we decided to take. The freedom to make the decisions. The freedom to be moms first, without guilt! The freedom to design and create a beautiful shop! Its honestly never been about the money for either one of us.
On Success and The Importance of Role Models
PT: What advice would you give to someone who is just starting their business?
NP & DR: Be patient. Don’t go into business to get rich quick, it is not going to happen. Go into business to change lives and you will be fulfilled. Also, find a great accountant! It will save you so much time and anxiety. That way you can spend your time on the trade that you specialize in!
PT: Who are your role models and why?
NP & DR: Each other! We look up to each other so much! We really pull from our experiences and beliefs, it helps us to not look at someone with a different story and try to be something we are not. Be the best we can and always try to be better than we were yesterday.
PT: What does success mean to you?
NP & DR: Success for us means contentment. It means having enough money to be financially stable and have time with our families. It means coming to work each day and continuing to love what we do.
PT: What your keys to success?
NP & DR: Being open by appointment and having a trustworthy accountant! It allows us to be able to run the business side while still helping customers and that keeps us sane!
On The Best Advice She Has Ever Received
PT: What's the best advice you've ever received?
NP & DR: Keep it balanced! Balance family with the business. You can’t compromise one to keep the other, you will get burned out and in the end the business will suffer because of it!
Naomi Preston and Dawna Reynolds are the co-owners of The Girls Custom Bra Fittings, a lingerie store located in Harrisonville, Missouri.
The Girls Custom Bra Fittings
Store Address: 104 N Independence, Harrisonville, MO 64701
Phone Number: 816-863-1817
Website: The Girls Custom Bra Fittings
Check out our conversation with Naomi and Dawna about The Girls Custom Bra Fittings here.