20 Years….How did that happen so quickly? Especially considering I’m still only 29! 😉
20 years for me equals 3 expansions, 2 kids, a husband/business partner that I haven’t killed (yet;), over 20 staff, a website division, in-house photo studio, more changes than I can count (the internet wasn’t even around when I started FYL… Wrap your head around that!), lots of mistakes made & lots of opportunities seized!
How did we make it this far as a ‘mom & pop’ shop you ask? A lot of perseverance and tenacity, and never accepting no for an answer!
When I started my store in 1996 in my tiny little 600sq ft space I could have never imagined that this is where we would be 20 years later…To be honest, I didn’t always know if we would still be there a month later. Times were tough and sales were few at the beginning. My husband worked all the overtime he could at his job just to pay for the stores rent every month for the first couple of years. It was just me working in the shop 6 days a week for the first 3 years…You cannot imagine my excitement when I was finally busy enough to hire a part time person to cover a couple of my days so I could have 2 days off!
We are the definition of a family business…When I had my son 5 years into having the store, we had the opportunity to move to a larger location when he was less than a month old (bad timing seems to be a reoccurring theme in my life!) I seized the opportunity and I went about renovating and moving from our 600sq ft spot into what I felt like was a huge 1200sq ft store, with my son Jack strapped cozily on me in his baby carrier. 5 years later, our daughter Lucy was born and 3 days later I was sitting at my desk writing orders with her on my lap! During that same year, my husband Brian decided to quit his job and come work with me on FYL. He is our photographer (he does amazing work and has a number of awards to his name:), IT guy, light bulb changer, ladder climber…Whatever needs to be done, he is always the one to jump in and do it! My mom also worked as a fitter for 8 years (many of you will remember her as Mama Roy). It’s been both a rewarding and challenging lesson in patience working so closely with family:)
As we continued to grow and expanded into our current 6000sq ft location, our customer base has also has continued to grow. We have learned a lot over the last 20 years, and are still learning every day as to how to improve, to make it a better shopping and working environment for everyone. But I can tell you from the bottom of my heart that we would not still be here and thriving if it wasn’t for our incredibly loyal customers, some of whom have been shopping with us since day 1! We have seen customers buy their first ‘real’ bra with us, then fitted them for bridal foundations, then maternity/nursing bras…We are lucky enough to see the full circle of womanhood through our customers.
And my staff…where do I even start with my staff? A more amazing group of ladies you could not meet. Every one of them is here because they love what they do and love FYL. Talented, diverse, funny, caring, compassionate, and hard working…These ladies are the heart and soul of everything we do here! Of everything I have done in the last 20 years, I think one of my proudest accomplishments is the group of staff that we have assembled…not everyone can say that after 20 years, they still love what they do and are happy to see the people that they work with everyday! For being able to say that and truly mean it, I am so grateful.
So for everything that has brought us to this point and everything that we will accomplish going forward, I say, raise a glass and make a toast because it’s been a fabulous, crazy 20 year ride, and I can’t wait to see what the next 20 will bring!