Interview with Jenny Dombroski of Evlove Intimates
I have had the pleasure of knowing Jenny D for over a year. She is an inspiration to all women who desire to own their own business.
Here's her story:
How did you get into underwear design? And at what age did you encounter your interest in designing underwear?
I’ve always been in love with lingerie. Every woman has their indulgence whether its handbags, shoes, jewelry…mine was always pretty little underthings. I never imagined myself designing and in fact initially wanted to open my own store selling other designers wares. After researching the market here in Chicago, I discovered that there were many fantastic boutiques already, so it seemed pretty risky to open up shop in a traditional manner. The custom design aspect was an opportunity for me to have fun with lingerie in an innovative way, to offer a creative and intimate experience along with a great quality product. Giving my customers the ability to design their own lingerie is truly what differentiates Evlove from everything else in the marketplace.
Let’s talk about your design. What do you think is the most important element?
There are really two very important elements in my design – comfort and beauty. As a consumer of lingerie and intimate apparel, I found that there was this underserved niche of product lines that offered something luxurious in addition to being pretty. When I became the designer I knew I didn’t want women to have to choose between being comfortable and feeling sexy, so the fabrics I use are soft-against-your-skin and stretchy to hug your body and the embellishments allow you to add that touch of elegance. The best part is that because you can design it yourself, you can choose the look that’s most unique to your personal style.
What was your best experience as a designer?
My best experience as a designer has been getting to watch my product come to life at the lingerie parties. I’ve been invited into the homes of women who are celebrating a bride, a girlfriend, or just their friendships and have been amazed at the combinations of color and style these gals have come up with. There’s nothing more rewarding than people having fun with your brand and loving your product.
What are you working on right now?
I’ve been pleasantly surprised at the incredible demand for the custom lingerie parties all over the country, so I’m feverishly working on getting training in place for hiring lingerie stylists. Women are looking for unique ideas for the bachelorette parties, bridal showers and birthday parties they’re in charge of planning and I’m always disappointed when geography gets in the way of helping them. I’m expanding locally right now and will soon be working on other cities where I’ve received the most requests.
Who would you say has been the most influential person in your life?
My family has collectively been a source of inspiration – they truly are my biggest cheerleaders and from the very start have always believed I could accomplish anything I set my heart and mind to. I also get constant inspiration from numerous women entrepreneurs in my network. Their stories, challenges and triumphs keep me motivated and focused.
Could you tell us what does your average day entail?
An average day for me usually starts with a 6am workout and then I create a to-do list for the day starting with the things that require the most brain power first. Alongside those items are my goals or intentions I have for accomplishing those things, sort of like a “what” and a “why” list. It’s really important that I have this list so I can start out my day in a positive way. The rest of my day is usually shuffled between answering emails, assembling online orders, taking lingerie party requests, picking up/dropping off orders, responding to press/marketing inquiries….. I’m still a one-woman show so I wear many hats!!
Do you have any current fashion obsessions?
I’m really in love with many of the fashion designers I’m seeing develop here in Chicago.
Chic Gems for jewelry, Kate Boggiano has great shirts…and a great find for multiple designers is a sample/overstock boutique here called Beta Boutique.
Who is your customer and how do they find you?
My customer is typically between the ages of 20 – 40, but I’ve definitely deviated from that. Age is not so much what defines my customer, it’s more her sophistication and desire for something unique or exclusive. She’s someone who’s looking for a great shopping experience in addition to a great product. They’ve found me mostly through word-of-mouth, but also searching online.
Favorite place to see art?
Chicago has so many great art galleries and museums, but my favorite destination spot is the Around the Coyote Gallery. I’ve seen some of the best emerging artists there and it includes not only visual arts but theatre, dance, and poetry.
Would you like to add anything for the Japanese fans?
Evlove has an interactive, online design studio where you can experience the fun of designing your own lingerie right from your computer! I haven’t yet expanded internationally but if I knew I had some Japanese fans, I’d be very excited to make Japan the very first offering!
We look forward to designing our own pretty lingerie!
All the very best!
Chic Gems, etc.
Designer Jewelry for Professional Women