Designer Spotlight: Emily Lau, The Little Bra Company
“I started this company out of a small bedroom in my home, and therefore, I’m grateful and proud to have seen the Little Bra Company grow into an international brand available worldwide.” – Emily Lau, founder.
By Libby Basile
In ten years, Emily Lau has turned The Little bra Company into the go-to brand for small-busted women—its bread and butter being specialized fitting and feminine styles ranging in sizes 28A through 34C.
If your business caters to petite customers then this likely isn’t your first time hearing her name. The Lingerie Journal has covered The Little Bra Company (TLBC) — recently highlighting it’s SS17 collection which boasts nature inspired colors and designs inspired by Lau’s godmother’s garden.
We recently caught up with Lau to learn some behind-the-scene details of The Little Bra Company, and how she tackled tough business challenges from the get-go. Read on to learn more.
Q&A with Emily Lau, Founder of The Little Bra Company
See the Little Bra at CURVENEWYORK this month from February 27 – March 1, 2017.
We recently shared with our readers a little background on TLBC and why you founded this company. We’d love to learn a bit more about your beginning—what struggles or challenges did you face when introducing a new product to the market?
Being the first brand out there to specialize in the petite intimate apparel market was a challenge because there was still a wide misconception that petite or smaller women didn’t need to wear a bra, or that bras were already made in smaller sizes. Thankfully, Oprah’s campaign to help women into the right size bra on her TV show started a huge movement that got many women into bra stores for the first time for a proper fitting. Many women discovered that they were wearing the wrong bra size, and were now looking for a more custom fit. Just like plus-size or fuller-figured women needed better bras for their body type, so did petite women. There wasn’t any bra out there that was made especially in smaller band and cups sizes to fit a petite body better until TLBC.
What was some of the most helpful advice you received when starting TLBC?
The most helpful advice I got was to just do it. At the time I was contemplating leaving my successful career in TV production to start TLBC, a friend asked me, “What are you afraid of? Could you sell the bras out of the back of your car if you had to?” I answered, “YES!” I never did have to sell lingerie out of my car trunk, but I was willing to take the risk, and thankfully, it was the best decision I ever made.
A 10 Year Journey
How do you feel that your brand and your products have helped small busted and petite women?
I wanted to create TLBC to give women like me intimate apparel that not only fit their bodies better, but also made them feel feminine and sexy. Just because a woman is an A or B-cup, it doesn’t mean she can’t have cleavage or feel like a woman. When reading the comments and testimonials women submit from around the world to us about years of wearing bras that did not fit them to finally finding TLBC and bras that fit, it let’s me know that I am helping women who went through the same struggles as I did.
Your company is 10 years old! How have you seen the brand and your products grown over that time?
I started this company out of a small bedroom in my home, and therefore, I’m grateful and proud to have seen TLBC grow into an international brand available worldwide. I could not have done it without the support of not only my family and friends, but also our loyal customers.
Where do you search for inspiration for your collections?
I look to my customers for inspiration. I listen to their feedback and needs. A lot of the new styles I have developed come from customers emailing us requesting a sports bra, or a wire-free bra, etc. We now have those styles in our collection, and they have become some of our bestsellers.
Emily at CURVEXPO speaking with retailers.
“We remain fully available to assist our retailers with any questions they may have about The Little Bra Company.” – Emily.
What types of materials and fabrics do you use? Do any play a more important role in making these bras better for petite women?
When buying undergarments you want a great fit but you also want the products to be comfortable. Therefore, we use a quality powermesh in most of our bras to create a bra that stays in place, and source a variety of laces from all over the world for a fashion forward and feminine styling.
“Emily’s SS17 collection is an enchanting and delightfully feminine line-up with enough style and form to celebrate the petite bust…”
We recently shared your currently SS17 collection. We especially love the theme–soft, feminine and functional! Can you share with us some of your personal favorites from this group?
My personal favorite in the SS17 collection is “Catherine” in the smooth satin. Besides being pretty with accents of eyelash lace, I love the versatility of this bra. The smooth satin cups have a luxurious look and feel, while still being seamless. “Catherine” also has the optional removable pads inside the cups so I can decide when I want a lot or just a little help with my “friends.” The bra also has convertible straps so I can wear it like a halter or racerback bra.
Can you talk about your relationships with retailers. What marketing materials and support do you offer them? And how do you work with retailers to help them grow your sales and brand presence?
I consider my retailers like my extended family, and trade shows are like a family reunion. Most of the buyers we work with are also small business owners like myself, and I aim to support them the way I would want to be supported. Therefore, we provide our partner stores and distributors with all of the tools necessary to properly educate their petite clients and sell the product. For example, we have “Do the Scoop” cards that provide four easy steps on how to get the best fit and cleavage in our bras. Retailers love hanging these cards in their dressing rooms. We also have a selection of branded gifts-with-purchases that are available to all of our retailers. In addition, our sales team travels frequently to visit retailers and to host in-store trainings and trunk shows to educate sales staff and customers on our product line. We remain fully available to assist our retailers with any questions they may have about The Little Bra Company.
the Little Bra Company at CURVENEWYORK
We hope our readers enjoyed this intimate Q&A with Emily. You have a chance to meet Emily in person and experience the Little Bra Company collection in person at CURVENEWYORK from February 27 – March 1, 2017 at Jacob Javits Center. Get in touch with the brand using the contact info below.