In the small town of Zionsville, Indiana, Patti Symons opened NightenGals Boutique. Initially set up as a corner boutique in a larger gift shop, Symons was able to grow her business and move into her own location, all the while never forgetting her main incentive-to help women.
"I have a passion for helping women to look and feel good about themselves," she said. "This is an ongoing thing for me and I hope to continue doing what I'm doing and getting bigger and better."
Most women that Symons works with are looking to find a good bra that fits well. Customers looking to shape and lift their assets come to the boutiques to choose from a number of high-end and luxury brands. Top three brands at NightenGals include Chantelle, Arianne and Oscar de la Renta.
Popular among the plus-sized shopper is the Goddess line from Eveden. "Goddess features a side panel and front panel that lifts up," said Symons. "It brings the bust up and good strong bands anchor everything in place. The ladies love those bras."
For fashion, NightenGals' customers are drawn to Chantelle and Arianne. While Chantelle covers most of the bra business, customers react well to camisoles and other sleepwear items from Arianne and Betsey Johnson. The presence of such items have introduced Symons customer to the crossover market.
"We carry some really nice camisoles and the customers really like how their profile looks in them or will want to wear them under a jacket."
One part of the industry that has always impressed Symons is the Canadian manufacturers. She cites Donna Fashion and The Keenan Group as offering a top of the line shopping experience. Although a Canadian herself, Symons believes her opinions in this case are not biased.
"I am always impressed with Canadian designers," she said. "They stand for good customer service and good quality. I experience that every time I go to the New York lingerie shows."
This time around Symons will shop for natural fibers and eco-friendly lines to keep her boutique on trend with the rest.
"But let's take some beautiful and natural fabrics and some gorgeous lace to dress it up," she suggests.
She is also hoping to expand her range of bras to accommodate more customers.
"It is important when you do bra fitting to have a lot of different options for your customer, that's what they want."