As a part of the Morning Lazziness series about strong women leaders who attained success with their incredible ideas, I had the pleasure of interviewing Shauna Allan.
“Embrace your beauty, and your confidence will shine through.”- Modern Match
The founder of ‘Modern Match Lingerie’ and the ‘Bra Bra Sisterhood,’ Shauna Allan supports and empowers women to step into their confidence through her Lingerie Line.
She started her journey towards business in 2019 and spent the next year designing and developing her product while building up her community and learning about e-commerce concurrently. The Collection’s vision to make its customers feel empowered and beautiful.
Believing in “No matter what industry or path you chose for your life; whether you are career-focused, family-focused, or both, you being a woman is what leads you to where you are. Your persona and professional roles in life do not define you. YOU define You,” Shauna is on a mission to bring change to this world.
Many thanks for doing this for us; please let our users know about yourself and your business, “Modern Match Lingerie”?
My name is Shauna Allan, and I’m the founder of Modern Match Lingerie. Armed with a cup of java, I started designing my first collection of bras and underwear back in 2019. At the same time, I also started building a community. Sisterhood is the essence of our brand and became the threads in our line, lingerie designed to live with you no matter what life throws your way. In 2020 we celebrated the launch of our small collection of undergarments for women, and we also celebrated our exclusive community, the Bra Bra Sisterhood.
How is your journey as a successful entrepreneur, and what inspires you to open a “Modern Match Lingerie”–A Modern Fit For A Modern You?
We, as women, are really great at taking care of others before ourselves. I was on a mission to create a tool for women that would boost their confidence whether you’re shuffling the kids to school, working a 9 to 5 job, or building your own business. The very bras and underwear you wear should evoke the feeling of empowerment that you can handle any situation and feel incredible while doing it.
What makes you start a lingerie business? Are bras women the best companions?
There is a point in our womanhood journey where we’ve outgrown the fast fashion of inexpensive bras and underwear to wanting quality and comfort at an affordable price. I was paying attention to the market that serves women between the age of 30 to 40, and what I was finding was designs that focused on comfort but didn’t make me feel good about myself. The items that sit closest to our skin should be comfortable, but they would also empower us.
What are your plans for the future, how do you plan to grow this company?
Modern Match has developed into a resource for women through our lingerie line and community. We work within the sustainable fashion industry, developing products meant to last, and so does our community. Our community is forever evolving as well. We’ve grown from just having an exclusive Facebook community, to a blog, to guest blog posts from community members, to virtual zoom rooms to provide value in your life.
Who has inspired or continues to inspire you to be a great leader? Why?
Gay Henricks is currently on top of my list – the author of The Big Leap. He teaches about being the source of a transformed world. The ability to take a stand, the power of vulnerability, and we attract what we are. Qualities that become a way of being instead of just doing.
As per you, why women should invest in good quality and comfortable lingerie?
Our bras and underwear were designed to be your armour. Your confidence boost to tackle the day. When we shift the focus to ourselves first, we can then better show up for others. An empowered mother and friend empower her children and community. When you invest in sustainable fashion, fashion is meant to last; your money goes further.
What makes your marketing strategies different from other companies? How do you make it productive?
Just as you’re more than just a woman, we are more than just a brand that sells bras and underwear. We created a community of women to connect, share and grow together. Whether you join our Facebook exclusive group, involved in the contributor community within our blog, or attend our monthly virtual Empower Hours, we have a space for you. By providing high-value content to our community, we build lasting customer relationships.
What would you say are the top 3 skills needed to be a successful entrepreneur, and why?
- Endurance – you need the courage to ride the storm and see the vision beyond.
- Servant’s heart – providing a product and content that serves your community is what keeps people wanting to stick around.
- Vulnerability – the power of vulnerability deeps our connections, allows us to ask for support, and builds community.
There is no shortage of good ideas out there, but people seem to struggle in taking a good idea and translating it into an actual business. How did you overcome this challenge?
Be in a relationship with failure. What stops us from taking action is the fear of failure. However, failure is a stepping stone to success. It’s going to happen in some form or another, and the faster you can welcome it, the faster you’ll launch your successful business.
I use to make a list of all the things I failed at. This showed me that it happens and areas I could grow from. Looking at your mistakes from a lens of ‘what worked and what didn’t’ helps you avoid making the same mistake again.
What were the top three mistakes you made starting your business, and what did you learn from them?
- I took too much advice from people who were not on the same path as I was. This resulted in a lot of trial and error and wasted capital. Feeling the hardship of taking ill-fitting advice gave me the courage to create boundaries.
- In the beginning, I focused more on obtaining new community members when I should have focused on retaining them first. It costs less to retain and strengthens relations and builds long-term clients. This is where your focus should always be.
- I launched with too many ideas. Have you heard the saying, “get really good at one thing before starting a second”? There is a lot of value with picking your marketing vehicle and A/B test until you have a great resource.
What have been your biggest challenges, and how did you overcome them?
Finding an ethical, quality manufacturing team was a challenge, and I experienced a lot of failed attempts. Just like finding a life partner, you need to kiss a lot of frogs. ?
What helps you stay driven and motivated to keep going in your business?
Self-nourishment! A depleted leader isn’t good to anyone. Creating time daily to exercise and get some rest is essential to how I show up for work every day.
A close second is the power of networking and community. Surrounding yourself with people who understand your struggles as an entrepreneur is essential to your success.
If you start your business again, what things would you do differently?
Everything I experienced, all the emotion, branding, messaging, failing, and finding my voice, has made the brand which it is today and me. There is no get-rich-quick plan when you’re building a brand for the long game. Don’t fall into the trap of “I can make you a million dollars in a month.” Stay your course. Your audience signs up for emails follows you on social and buys your product because they believe in you and your journey. Trust the process.
How have you used your success to make the world a better place?
As a brand that puts things into the world, it’s important to always be giving back in some capacity. We offer free monthly Empower Hours for women to connect with one another, share and grow. A free resource focused on our community members’ wellbeing.
We also started the Worthy Worries initiative. When we receive inventory that is less than perfect but still a perfectly great product, we donate it to women who are escaping a life of abuse. Since COVID-19, domestic violence is at an all-time high, so we felt we could support these women and children by removing an expensive so they could focus on more important things.
Has there ever been a moment when you thought to yourself, “I can’t take it anymore, I’m going to get a “real” job? If so, how did you overcome it?
No, not even once. I am committed to my vision and what we’re building at Modern Match. My vision is bigger than me, and that’s what keeps me growing. This is not to say I don’t have bad days. Have I cried over a glass of wine after a challenging day? Yes. More than once, haha.
Thank you for these fantastic insights. We greatly appreciate the time you spent on this.