Q&A with Nanette Parsons, owner
Ted Vayos, BODY: Describe your store for our readers.
Nanette Parsons: Just 35 miles north of DC, Best Rack Around is nestled in Historic Downtown Leesburg, Virginia and is a part of Loudoun County; the fastest growing county in the nation. Best Rack Around is tucked away in Market Station, one of Leesburg’s most prestigious historic buildings, and is surrounded by several restaurants, wellness studios and beauty boutiques.
I chose to open a business in this location because of its charm, privacy and the variety of shopping available to visitors of Market Station. Market Station provides women a unique shopping experience that includes items related to health, beauty and of course, my specialty, bras. The building was originally constructed in the 1800s and is now a beautiful mix of old meeting new.
Our suite is located on the upper level of the station, which allows our customers a great sense of privacy. It is important to me and to the clients of Best Rack Around to have a safe, private and comforting environment to find their best intimate apparel. Best Rack Around exudes comfort and security from the moment you walk into our friendly shop. We let our bras paint the walls and our personal service decorate the atmosphere.
Besides perfect fitting bras, we also carry lingerie, pajamas, saddle pants, bridal garments, bra accessories such as extenders, bra discs, cleavage coverers, bra bags, lingerie detergent.
Ted: What makes your store special?
Nanette: Best Rack Around is not just a bra store, but a unique, individual experience for women of all shapes and sizes. Our trained bra fitters provide each client personal, one-on-one attention that allows them to look AND feel their best. Bra fitting is often intimidating and stressful, so we work hard to make it fun and relaxing, while finding the perfect bra for each individual client and their unique body type. Our goal is that every client leaves with the bra that was meant for them. Whether they’re pregnant, tall, small, plus, mastectomy - we will find the perfect bra.
Ted: What do you look for in a brand?
Nanette: I look for for quality, support, comfort and beauty. All of the brands that we carry are very important to our store and customers. Brands that have let me down in quality, fit or are being sent to outlet stores are no longer carried by Best Rack Around. I demand only the best for my clients!
Fantasie, Freya, Goddess, Elomi, FitFully Yours, Parfait and Affinities have been a huge part of our first year success because of the product line’s quality and because of their superior customer service. Those brands are amazing to work with from a business perspective. That makes a huge difference when providing a variety of sizes and styles to our clients. We are thrilled to have recently added Conturelle and Anita to our shop. Our clients love the quality and fit of the bras and I anticipate great success with these lines.
Ted: Describe popular styles or trends in your area.
Nanette: We have a surprising number of very young ladies, ages ranging from 10-13, who are wearing small band sizes, but larger cup sizes. Often times, these young ladies run into sizing and fit issues at department stores or other lingerie stores. I’m proud that Best Rack Around can provides these ladies with a unique offering of products made precisely for them. Our teens love the Coobie bra and anything by Affinities. Fantasie, Elomi, and Wacoal are our best sellers because of the diversity, fit and comfort they provide. FitFully Yours’ new Felicia Strapless is huge among all age groups, especially the brides and bridal parties. The perfectly fitted bra is individual, personal for every person. The greatest trend is owning the highest quality lingerie that makes you feel better than you ever have and look better in your clothing!
Ted: Describe your price points and size ranges.
Nanette: We offer sizes ranging from 30A-48N. This allows us to customize our fitting to ensure that our clients leave with the absolute best possible fit. Because Best Rack Around is small and very personalized, we also order additional colors and styles of intimate apparel daily for our clients. We have a price point to fit anyone’s budget. Our bras range from $60-$120. Our customers are all shapes and sizes. However, 95% of our women wear a D cup or larger. What makes us unique is our ability to accommodate clients seeking larger cup sizes in a variety of brands and styles. Our most popular sizes are 30DD, 32 E, 34F, 32G, 36H in the 7 months we have been opened.
Ted: What does the average customer spend per visit?
Nanette: It is hard to provide this since we are in our first year of business, but I can tell you that we are in the process of doubling our inventory. That is very exciting! We are also committed to listening to our clients’ needs and providing them the products they want. Because of this, we are now special ordering swimwear and other summer accessories. We also work directly with plastic surgeons whose patients have undergone mastectomies. Because of that, we also added post-surgical products from Anita Care.
Ted: Describe your customer.
Nanette: Our clients are 95 percent women and 5 percent men who are purchasing gift cards and wish lists items for the women in their lives. Our clients are all ages, shapes and sizes. I have noticed that word of mouth has been incredible in increasing our client volume. Mother’s bring daughters and grandmothers in to find their perfect fitting bra. Getting a client endorsement is the best advertising out there!
Ted: What has impacted your business the most over the past year?
Nanette: The loyalty of our clients and their willingness to recommend our services to their friends and family is what has made us successful in our first year of business. We are a hyper local business, and because of that client satisfaction we are able to continue and grow. Every day we receive a call from someone who has been referred by a friend or family member. Because of our excellent customer service and our unique client offerings, we have been blessed to have received accolades from local newspapers, websites and community organizations touting our store. We have recently received nominations for Best New Shop and a Rising Star Award. We the Loudon Times Mirror Readers Choice Award for the best lingerie shop.