Many fashion business owners have been inspired to create their own range after years of feeling misunderstood by the wider fashion industry. Unrealistic body standards, uncomfortable underwear and frustrating ‘VPL’ are some of the reasons Danielle Sady founded her own lingerie brand, Everyday Lingerie Co. which focuses on real women’s underwear needs, of all shapes and sizes. We caught up with the SYFB member and ultimate business woman ahead of her brand’s launch this August.

Tell us about your brand Everyday Lingerie Co., and what inspired your business vision.

Everyday Lingerie Co is an underwear label offering underwear designed for comfort, support and breathability, so women can go about their day feeling sassy and comfortable!

All of our designs & styles have been made and tested on women from sizes 8 – 22.  We feature a bamboo blend fabric with chevron elastic waist trim so it feels like you are wearing something high end (comfort doesn’t need to equal granny undies!)

Overall, ELC is all about encouraging people to be comfortable and love the skin they are in. For our launch campaign, we’re running a ‘Real Women Model Search’ and have hosted an open call for all our models that will be used across our website and all marketing.  The response has been beyond our expectations.

How did your personal experience shape your products and brand?

Growing up, I wasn’t someone who loved my body. I felt this was exaggerated by the images I saw across all media channels, and having 3 sisters who were all smaller than me and never had to watch their weight. 

I like wearing G-strings daily and struggled to find styles that covered and supported me. It was one morning where I thought I would start looking into making my own designs as I was sure other curvier women had the same issues. I stared doing research and I discovered it wasn’t just curvier women that were purchasing 1-2 sizes larger to get comfort from their underwear, and from there I began building my vision for Everyday Lingerie Co. with the help of many people along the way teaching me all about this industry.

Did you have a background in the fashion industry when you decided start your business?

Growing up I had a part time job in fashion retail whilst at school, and eventually ended up working for them full time later in my career. However, the bulk of my professional career was in Sales and Operation roles within the automotive, FMCG and Bedding industry, so this was a new avenue and I learnt early on just how much I had to learn.

What have been some of the most significant obstacles you’ve faced when starting out, and how did you overcome them?

The biggest obstacles I faced came from not having industry contacts and technical knowledge when it came to designing my range. I sketched things and purchased a number of samples and used these to show the designer and pattern makers what I was after.

To find the contacts I needed I utilised LinkedIn and my broad range of business contacts, family and friends. I networked my butt off to find the right people to assist me take myself and business where we needed to go.

Tell us about your branding and marketing – how important do you feel this has been in launching your fashion business and how did you know where to start? 

Branding and Marketing are one of the top 3 things I believe any business needs, but it needs to be authentic! At Everyday Lingerie Co., we have been very careful with our branding and marketing to ensure it reflects us in everything from imagery to tone and feel, along with ensuring it stays true to our message that we are an underwear brand designed for the Everyday Woman.

We started the marketing journey by discovering who our brand is; What are we offering, how we’re different to our competitors, who is our customer, how the customer likes to be communicated with, and then looked to ensure this narrative linked together seamlessly.

How significant has social media been in the lead-up to your launch to connect with your #EverybodyEveryday customer? Can you give us an insight into how you approached your launch strategy?

Social media is the way today, whether you like it or not. When I started in my early career, advertising was primarily in local papers and across radio and TV.

Today we have social media which I think is amazing, and for much less cost we’ve been able to build our followers by offering strong content. 

With our launch fast approaching, social media has enabled us to connect with so many people around the world and especially here in Oz to tell them about who we are and start sharing our message.

We absolutely love your brand ethos ‘beauty comes in all shapes and sizes’. Can you give us an insight into your Real Women Model Search #ELCRealWomenSearch?

Ah thank you, we really want women to love the skin they are in, and this is not defined by a number on their clothing!

Our Real Women Model Search came about a few months back and this was about showing that we truly back our brand – #EverybodyEveryday, we want to showcase the women who are wearing our brand and show who this was designed for.

The response from people has been amazing – from people wanting to take part as one of our ‘Everyday Women’, to photographers, makeup artists and hairstylists. We have been truly humbled by the beautiful messages, and it’s been really difficult to select just 8 women to be part of our campaign with the volume of incredible entries we’ve received! We wish all the entrants could participate!

How important is it for business owners to put themselves out there (so customers get to know the face behind the brand, as well as the products?) What have you done to create this relationship with your following?

Whenever we spoke with marketing or branding agencies, we have talked about the importance of myself having a profile to talk about why I built this brand and show the brand authenticity. To create this relationship, we’ve been doing a series of videos and blogs for people to get to know me. Every month I write the introduction on the newsletter and am writing a blog each month for our followers to get to connect with me and learn more.

Entrepreneurship and starting and growing a business can be all consuming. Tell us how you stay organised as a business owner – what rituals, habits and wellbeing practices do you have in place to make sure you have a good work/life balance?

Owning your own business is a balancing act that you have to work at constantly. I grew up watching my parents in their own businesses and learnt so many tips and tricks from them which has been amazing and I’m a super organised person in general.

I have a ‘To Do List’ every day, and align this with my goals personally and professionally.  I also have a new-born, who is only just over 5 weeks old and this has probably been the best driver to keep myself accountable and not get caught up in work, work, work 7 days a week! He has shown me the importance of prioritising and getting ‘down time’, which has actually made me more productive when I am at work.

What are your future plans for Everyday Lingerie Co?  Where do you see your business 1 year from now?

We’re launching on August 29th and this is fast approaching, but our future plans are BIG! We want to be in as many retailers as we can within the first year of trade and being the selected underwear brand for women across Australia and hopefully overseas as well (stay tuned!).

And FINALLY – knowing what you know now, what three tips would you give to anyone wanting to start a fashion business?

  1. Research, Research, Research – your products, competitors and customers
  2. Employ or outsource what you don’t know to experts
  3. Be prepared to learn everyday!

You can join Everyday Lingerie Co.’s ‘body positive posse’ by following their Instagram, Facebook and Pinterest.

One thing’s for sure – Danielle is here to SLAY with her underwear revolution! We’re so excited to keep seeing her fashion business flourish!