After a shopping trip to three lingerie stores that left Deborah Robb and Deanna Tinios feeling frustrated in the lack of products geared towards women over 30, they felt there had to be quality products that would complement mature figures in a flattering manner. To their surprise, there were not many options and that disappointment led them to open a New Hampshire lingerie boutique unlike any other.
In 2005, Robb and Tinios designed Top Drawer, a 1,800 square foot store in Exeter, New Hampshire.
Unlike many lingerie shops that cater to younger ladies, Top Drawer in Exeter, New Hampshire is for the mature woman aged 30 to 90. But realizing that every woman of any age should have finer lingerie in her closet, Robb and Tinios opened a boutique earlier this year in Bedford, New Hampshire that's geared towards younger generations.
"The Bedford location is a bit different in that it is geared towards the younger customer, as it is attached to a 7,000-square-foot bridal salon where we supply all undergarments to the brides and their bridal parties," said co-owner Robb.
Although the ambitious ladies designed the first boutique themselves, the second time around they commissioned Felisa Blazek of Felisa Blazek Studios, LLC to design their lingerie store in Bedford.
According to the co-owners customer service is what sets the store apart from others - bra fitting is a main focus of the shop, as well as quality brands that cannot be found in other stores in New Hampshire.
"We have a highly trained staff that completes intensive training in bra fitting, and we have two to three fitters on staff to assist customers at all times," said Robb.
Top Drawer also prides its self in maintaining a large inventory of sizes and styles to meet the needs of most women that walk through their doors. The most requested brand is Wacoal. Additionally, smaller band sizes with larger cups in bras, boy short and fashion bras (those with decorative laces and detail) are becoming favorites.
In keeping with the ever-growing (and changing) trends and sales, the company retained a marketing and PR consultant that develops and implements advertising/marketing campaigns every three months via newspapers, magazines and direct mailings to customers.
A successful marketing tool has been the annual fundraiser where Top Drawer donates $3 for each bra sold during the event to Breast Cancer research. Other events and marketing campaigns include bridal showers and private parties in the store after hours, men's shopping events with gourmet foods during Valentine's Day and Christmas and spirits and cigars events with models displaying lingerie.
- Top Drawer is now using constant contact, an email service that sends mass emails to customers informing them of store updates.
- Top Drawer reports customers are spending $10 to $15 more on bras.
- In continuing with customer service, Top Drawer is now offering day long mandatory training sessions for employees where they will learn how to properly fit customers. Employees must shadow 100 bras before they are allowed to fit on their own.