How did you get into selling lingerie initially?
It started a long time ago in Amsterdam when I was 14 years old, I already had a 34G cup. I am from the Netherlands, born in Rockville, Maryland but moved back to The Netherlands with my family when I was 6 months old, so I have dual citizenship.
In the town I grew up in, a small suburb of Amsterdam, there was one specialty lingerie shop and if I was lucky they would maybe have one really ugly bra in my size. I always left the store with an ugly bra and a body image complex. The older ladies that worked in the store had no idea how to talk to an insecure teenage girl.
When I moved from Laren, the small town, to the bigger city of Amsterdam there where a lot more choices. My first Freya bra changed my life! The fit and the design were appropriate for a young girl and gave me confidence. It made me walk straight and proud.
Four years ago I moved to New York, a city of diverse women and the city that has everything. I was so excited because I thought that the bra choices would be endless, but instead I discovered that the collection of brick and mortar lingerie stores for bustier women is still very small, even in such a worldly city. Don’t get me wrong. You have lovely boutiques in New York, but I was still missing fashionable lingerie above a G-cup, even though I knew the brands that make them, where out there. I always wanted my own business, and I decided that a Lingerie boutique was what it was going to be. I wanted to create an environment where everybody would feel welcome and comfortable. A fashionable store where normally only women with a cup size A-D can shop. The Rack Shack was going to be just as fashion forward but with lingerie for a much broader cup size range.
I added sneakers to the concept to give it a unique feel. Lingerie and Sneakers are both very important foundations in a city like New York and especially in an artsy neighborhood like Bushwick, Brooklyn. The neighborhood is full of artists and a lot of young people that have multiple jobs like working in a restaurant, bar or store where they have to be on their feet all the time, on top of their creative and enterprising endeavors.