The truth about 3 for $30 deals *spoiler alert* you're being duped 😬
With the closing of many department and mall stores recently, and a reduction in available stock in the stores that are open, we are seeing an influx of new customers unable to shop for the products they are used to buying. We built our business on a promise to educate on the difference between mass produced, cheaply made products verses what we offer. We had to do that 13 years ago because boutique bra shopping was not as popular then as it has become. To share our message, we educated on fabrics, on the history and experience of some of our oldest brands, and on the fine tuned construction of our products. And we educated on what that resulted in - a much longer and more comfortable wear.
Here we find ourselves, in the midst of a global pandemic, with giant corporations going into receivership. Hundreds of thousands of products that should have been manufactured around the world this year were not, with many massive facilities at a standstill. This will likely affect what is available to buy for years to come. This has a lot of new customers coming to us for their undergarment needs. We're thrilled! And with that, we're back to educating.
HERE ARE OUR TOP 3 REASONS FOR INVESTING IN A QUALITY BRA
"$90+ for a bra?! I've never spent more than $20!" For sure, but a $20 bra is produced in factories where ethics are not top of mind. As a society, we know this. The people making those items are often barely making enough money to survive (…ahem… legal slavery). Factory conditions are deplorable and the fabrics themselves are thin and poor quality. On the other hand, the bras we carry are produced by professional seamstresses, and the fabrics are sourced from quality manufacturers. Some fabrics, like the infamous daisy on the Avero bra by Marie Jo, are sourced from ONE SINGLE factory in the world. ONE. That's the level of care and attention that bra receives during production. And that's just one example. If you really researched the cost of producing one “affordable” bra, you will find that it costs PENNIES on the dollar for that product. The mark up is massive, and the (usually male) big shots at the top of the ladder are pocketing enormous amounts of money with every bra you buy. On the other hand, our markups go to the many factories, professional designers, seamstresses creating these products, and distribution around the world. We also pay our hard working staff well, we market and engage in community events, pay a lease and insurance, and all the many other expenses required to manage a locally owned business. And for added peace of mind, many of the brands we offer are actually family owned and operated. They are not run by a group of unaffected privileged men who only look at profitability reports. *There. I said it*
“What’s my size? How have I never heard of that size before?” Because massive corporations know that the more sizes they offer, the less money they make. It costs a lot more money to produce a bra in 50 different sizes than it does to produce one in a smaller, more cost effective size range. So for decades they have been telling us that cups A-DD is all there is and you should fit in there somewhere. The typical bra store in the mall will carry approx 50-60 sizes, while we have triple that number at any given time. It’s not new information, it’s just not well known information. Chain stores carry brands that are relatively new in the big picture of undergarment production, and have been bought and sold numerous times by groups of rich owners. They use big money to market the heck out of their product whether it's worth the money or not. They know that giving you the 3 for $30 deal makes them exponentially more money, (the breakdown actually looks something like this- $5 to make the first bra, $3 to make the second, and $1 to make the third…) This tricks you into thinking you got a great deal, especially when you’ll likely be back to buy 3 more a few months later when the first have worn or stretched out. You got 6 bras for just $60 - but now they are all in the garbage (a whole other mass production problem) . Finally, you’re buying them from often young and inexperienced sales associates who are getting paid minimum wage to meet sales goals. Not to make your life easier, better, or more comfortable. (Not digging at those associates, just the machine they work hard for).
Our brands have a much stronger history. For example - the Prima Donna brand was founded in Germany in 1865 and was one of the leading corsetry labels available in Europe. They were as custom as you could get and they focused on offering beautiful fabrics and outstanding quality to all shapes. This brand has only been run by 3 or 4 different owners over the last 155 years, with the most recent being the Van de Velde family, taking over in 1990. But that’s not where the Van de Velde family started - they had already been in the lingerie industry since 1919 in Belgium. It was this merger that created what the Prima Donna brand has become today - world class.
“Oh you do so much in the community - you’re involved in everything!” …. I don’t remember the last time I saw a chain store making a donation to our local Mustard Seed Children’s Lunch program, or accepting used bras for disadvantaged women in the community. The stats are facts - when you shop local, approximately $68 for every $100 spent stays in your community. When you shop national corporate chains, closer to just $45 for every $100 spent stays in the community. You’re really just funding that fancy yacht or another mansion on a private island, and that’s not even an outlandish stretch of the truth.
Because we know that investing in a bra can be an economic challenge for many families, here are some tips to save money with us.
1) Gift cards - ask for gift cards for birthdays and Christmas (or, buy the people you love gift cards). The gift of even $25 can make a bra that was once outside the price range suddenly more affordable!
2) Ask about sales when you come in - we may not be able to have a good old store-wide clearance these days, but we often have sale stock kicking around. Discontinued styles or colours could be anywhere from 25%-50% off. Never hurts to ask!
3) Get an envelope (we love our budget envelopes!) and put $10 in it. When you can again, put another $10 in it. We have so many customers who come in with their little “ME” stash, and it brings so much joy to them when they can pay without worrying about hurting the budget.
We don’t mean for this post to dig at or offend anyone. We know some of our lines are luxury, no doubt, but we have customers who want that. The truth is, we’ve been conditioned to accept crappy quality at a low price, so our expectations are lower, but overall we spend a lot more money. We’re not here to sell overinflated products to you, we’re here to offer you the items that you are asking for. When your investment with The Bra Lounge has allowed you to wear your bras comfortably every day for years longer, you’ll see that broken down into price per wear, you are getting SO MUCH MORE. Your investment is going a long way. The way you see your shape changes. The words you say to yourself change. You feel valued and seen here. We take that support you show us and we turn it into bigger support in our community. Also, neither Cortney or I have a yacht. In fact, we lost all our staff during the lockdown and continued to serve the community, while homeschooling our kids… when you shop local, you’re getting the attention of someone who really cares about your life and how we can make it better.
Support local, quality businesses, and you’ll see a return on your investment in ways you may never have expected. We’re honoured to get your business, and your trust.
Cortney & Sheena
Owner/Operators - The Bra Lounge