At Boutiques Australia, it's our goal to help Australians discover amazing Australian-owned boutiques. So, we've reached out to incredible brand and boutique founders to learn about how they got started, what inspires them, and to spread their stories. For this edition of Behind the Brand, we caught up with Tessa Boehm, Founder and Director of By Boehm. If you haven't heard of their ultra-chic lingerie and loungewear, check them out on Instagram and keep reading to learn more about their boutique.
What inspired you to start your boutique label?
Female empowerment, igniting your inner sensual side and embracing self-love/also shared love. Female empowerment has always been the number 1 goal when starting By Boehm (which was previously Boehm Intimates).
By Boehm aims to encourage women from around the globe to feel confident about stepping into their feminine power/energy through lingerie & loungewear.
From a young age I ditched the sports bra in exchange for a pretty lacy number; during this process I experienced an empowering confidence through lingerie - A feeling which stuck with me & was the inspiration I needed to create an intimates brand with power & meaning behind it.
Also the fact that I would find myself always choosing lingerie over fashion. Wishing my expensive pieces could be seen, I decided luxury comfortable bralettes that can also be styled with outerwear was going to be my point of difference. (even if subtly under a sheer blouse).
What has been the most exciting time you've had with your business?
There have been a few exciting times within my journey. Creating my label was a dream of mine for many years, possibly even 10 years before the actual launch date, so of course the day I finally launched I was incredibly excited.
Then comes other small exciting things, all the “firsts”- first order (non friend or family -haha), first overseas order, first stockist, first pop up store, first google review/kind words from customers, first repeat order, etc. However, a huge one for me would have to be switching from handmade to manufacturing (I handmade every single piece for the first 3.5years). I think it is always important to celebrate the small wins along the way.
What are some of your favourite Aussie brands and businesses?
I truly do believe Australia has some of the world's best designers. Some of my favourite Aussie brands are Zimmermann, Camilla & Marc, PE Nation. I am a huge fan of emerging labels/independent designers too, some of my favourites being Cedar & Onyx, Isabelle Quinn & Jasmine Alexa.
What is the best compliment you've ever recieved about your brand/product?
My eldest customer that I know of is 93 years old and she said she loved wearing one of the bralettes from my very first collection under her clothes because it made her feel beautiful and empowered. This made my heart melt and is probably still my favourite compliment.
What part of Australia are you based? Has this influenced your product?
I am based in Sydney, Australia. Being originally from Adelaide, it was beyond difficult to enrol in the right courses that were suited to my journey. So yes, making the move to Sydney definitely influenced my products and I know it most definitely helped living in Sydney when it comes to networking with other designers and industry related people. I don’t think I could be where I am at today if it weren’t for the move. It may still have just been a dream.
What is most important to you when it comes to the way you run your business?
I think the most important thing is to easily adapt to change. This isn’t something that comes natural to me and I have learnt to master it. The to-do list is never ending and a lot of the time surprises pop up, so making sure to list out what is priority has always been important. Making sure I am getting the most out of my time and that the working hours are productive.
What makes your business/product unique?
My label is a 100% wireless intimates brand. None of our bralettes will ever be made with underwires. Our bralettes are all made from luxe stretch fabrics with which we never compromise comfort for style.
They have adjustable options like having sliders along the back strap of the bralette or on the sides of the g-strings to make sure that they can adjust to perfectly suit the body shape they are on.
What's been the hardest part of running your business?
I think when I was hand making everything myself and then got incredibly busy. I remember sewing 10 hour days for 6 weeks straight earlier this year. Also the fact that I am running the brand completely solo, sometimes I can feel extremely guilty about trying out the work/life balance thing. Something I have been better at in the past year but yes; like I mentioned earlier that to-do list never dies. Also, mix in the fact that I am a creative/designer on top of that - always thinking up ideas. So many ideas and you want to do them all and all at once!!
What's a piece of advice you would have given yourself at the start of your business journey?
Just start! Don’t delay, even if you start small you need to start somewhere. This was honestly a “dream” of mine for over 10 years before I was “waiting for the perfect time”. It is about the journey and your mistakes. You're always learning lessons, and if you're anything like me, you will learn a lot! But enjoy the journey because you will look back and smile.