How did Sophie Hines Lingerie come to be?
I’ve been sewing absolutely my whole life- I started when I was three! I just love making things, and sewing makes the most sense to my brain. I always knew I wanted to work for myself, so I figured that if I started when I was in high school, I’d have a valid business ready to roll by the time I graduated from college. Ka-blam, what do you know! It worked! I really made whatever interested me at first- jewelry and accessories, clothing, repurposed vintage pieces, just about everything! I started experimenting with lingerie patterns my freshman year in college, which is when I started putting a lot of time into my Etsy shop, and focused on intentionally building my brand.
What inspired your collection?
My biggest influencer is a sense of industrial utility. I like to be able to be hard on my clothes and jewelry, and I want my garments to be the ones you reach for when you have stuff to do today.
I love pushing myself when I design, to make things that aren’t just my take on a trend, but to actually innovate in some way. With lingerie, it’s even more difficult, because there’s only so much space to work with, and each of the different pieces have a specific function and need to work to be wearable. I love taking inspiration from architecture, nature, human anatomy, and geometry, and bring all these things into the lingerie world and make things that are unique! Each of my pieces is named for a mathematical component within the design, so it’s kindof a fun game to see if people ever notice!
What does your lingerie mean to the modern woman?
I’ve always loved lingerie, I just didn’t realize it until I made a couple bras for fun and became irrevocably obsessed! I love the freedom of choice with lingerie. No matter what you wear on the outside for whatever reason, your underwear can be whatever you want, tell whatever story you want. Nerdy, glittery (I own a lot of that), lacy, practical, luxurious, or nothing at all- you can wear whatever lingerie you want without people giving you weird looks, or judging or questioning you. There are so many elements in the world that critique and police women’s bodies and actions, it can become really overwhelming if you stop to think about it. So I’m constructing a respite from sexism for myself, and hopefully others, by creating lingerie solely for women, completely disregarding the male gaze and not using pictures that fetishize women’s bodies. My garments are made solely to make women feel comfortable and confidant, and to encourage them to go out and have an amazing day. Kick ass and get shit done! Hell yeah!
How do you see your company developing in the next 5 years?
Who can even know? So far, all of my business evolution has mirrored my own growth as a human. I recently got a business advisor who has been helping me a ton- it’s been really awesome to get all the behind-the-scenes business stuff legitimized and solidified. I’m very excited to see all the opportunities this opens up, and I’m looking forward to building a business based on encouragement and spreading respect and love! I support a variety of charities with the profits from my sales, and I’m super excited to see how much I can give to people who really need it! This spring, I’m donating 10% of all of my profits to charities that are aiding Syrian refugees who have been detained in Greece, which I am THRILLED to be doing. You can find more information about these amazing organizations on my webpage!
Who would you want to see wear your lingerie?
I make lingerie for the women who want something different, something beautiful and luxurious, but who aren’t necessarily reaching for luxury brands and pricetags. My garments are the everyday pieces that make you smile when you put them on, and are so comfortable that you forget you have them on.
What is your take on the innerwear as outerwear trend?
I’m super into it! I think that the more people make awesome lingerie, the more people will want to show it off! I love when women feel comfortable utilizing their undergarments as an element in their outfit.
I have heard some women say lingerie intimidates them, what would you say to that woman?
True, there are tons of options out there. But you know what you feel comfortable in! If you don’t like wires, go to a boutique or department store and ask them to bring you ones without wires. You don’t have to know everything- there are people who can help, and who can bring you options and help guide you towards the styles that work for you. Just remember, nobody knows more about lingerie than you know about your own body. Also, I think it’s important to not get hung up on sizes- there’s no one ‘right’ size for any body. Pick pieces that are comfortable for you, that fit you the way you prefer. You’re the only one who will be wearing them, so wear what you like!
What is the best advice you have ever received?
If you find yourself constantly apologizing for not doing a specific task or project type well or on time, it’s probably not in your wheelhouse. There’s someone out there for whom it comes easily. Outsource that shit.
What advice would you like to give other entrepreneurs?
Go for it.
Also, look up SCORE. Free small business mentoring. YOU’RE VERY WELCOME.
Here's my SOPHIE recap:
1. FOLLOW YOUR PASSION (omg she started sewing at 3!)
2. MAKE IT INDUSTRIAL BABY. WOMEN HAVE SHIT TO DO. NO ONE IS GOING TO LOVE YOUR PRODUCT IF IT FALLS APART AFTER TWO WEARS.
3. LINGERIE IS A FEMINIST ACT--DESIGNERS PLEASE START DISREGARDING THE MALE GAZE--WOMENS BODIES ARE FETISHIZED WAYYYY TOO OFTEN--WE WANT A RESPITE FROM OTHERS POLICING AND CRITICIZING OUR BODIES. OUR UNDIES SHOULD MAKE US FEEL COMFY AND HAPPY, NOT TELL US HOW WE SHOULD LOOK FOR MALE PLEASURE.
4. DONATE TO CHARITIES YOU LOVE. IT MAKES YOU FEEL GOOD. IT MAKES YOUR CUSTOMERS FEEL GOOD. IT MAKES THE WORLD FEEL GOOD.
5. LINGERIE SHOULD BE SO COMFORTABLE YOU FORGET YOU'RE WEARING ANY
6. IF LINGERIE INTIMIDATES YOU, SEEK OUT SUPPORT--THERE ARE TOO MANY OPTIONS OUT THERE FOR YOU NOT TO FEEL ABSOLUTELY IN LOVE WITH YOUR UNDERGARMENTS
7. OUTSOURCE SHIT YOU ARE NOT GOOD AT. PERIOD.
8. IF YOU HAVE A DREAM. GO FOR IT.
please DM me on Instagram or email me your feedback my beloveds! I wanna keep bringing you things you love and it's oh so so helpful for me! X