Sunday, March 25, 2007

Evlove Intimidates - Great Customized Lingerie Idea

When Chicagoan Jenny Dombroski spotted the NikeID website where consumers can customize sneakers according to their preferences, she knew it was a concept that could work for lingerie too. So Dombroski, who loves lingerie but knew nothing about the apparel industry, spent six months networking, asking lots of questions and working in a lingerie shop. Then she hired a designer and Evlove Intimidates was born. (Evlove is ‘evolve’ spelled backwards.) “A panty is a panty, a boy short is a boy short,” Dombroski says. “There isn’t a lot of variation in the design. We offer customers the opportunity to create personalized lingerie products and to have fun doing it.”

Customized Evlove Intimates lingerie is sold primarily through private home parties. Invited guests sip wine while they select from a wide array of designs, samples, fabric swatches and decorative touches including ribbons, appliqués, rosettes and bows. Dombroski hooks up her laptop to a TV screen where guests view and revise their choices courtesy of her online design studio. Prices for a lingerie set run around US$100, with prices for individual pieces US$35 and up. Purchases are delivered in about three weeks. Dombroski recently launched a website to enable customers to design and place orders online. But most of her business is through home parties, with the number of bookings increasing each month, mostly through word of mouth.

Dombroski’s ‘customerization parties’ are an inspired idea that could work just about anywhere for all sorts of products, including t-shirts, home fashions, fragrances and cosmetics. The founder’s advice for other fledgling entrepreneurs? “Don’t be intimidated by what you don’t know. If you love the product, ask questions and network—a lot. And above all, be persistent.”

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