This blog post is a long time coming, I’m going to give you a look behind the brand, Burgundy Fox. You’ll learn about me, the founder, and the path that inspired me to start a subscription lingerie business. I don’t know that there was any one defining point, but a series of events and inspiring people that led me to do the unthinkable, quit my full-time corporate job and jump into the utter uncertainty (but limitless possibility) of entrepreneurship.
I’ve always believed in the power of women. I was raised by a ferocious and loving mother who worked full-time ever since I can remember. Okay, ‘full-time’ is a gross understatement. She worked 24/7 and was the constant force of nature that got 3 girls and 1 grown man out of the house with oatmeal in our stomachs and lunch in our hands, worked a 9-7pm job in personal financial planning and mandated we eat a home-cooked dinner as a family every night. Amidst our lives full of countless doctors appointments, band recitals, teacher meetings, proms, the occasional detention or court hearing, she somehow managed to succeed at work, receiving promotions and national awards-she was my first example of a woman kicking ass.
Looking back now, I always wanted to be a boss. My mom glamorized work for me–her colorful array of power suits, talk of stock options, and the etched glass awards she’d bring home that said ‘Susanna Wong #1’. I always knew I wanted to be a very successful person and I learned at a young age that there was one way to attain that, by working harder than everyone else.
The thing I never saw from my mom’s experience, and was ill-equipped to face, were the ugly obstacles unique to women in this world. While in high school, I had my first encounters with sexual harassment and sexism, as I suspect many of you have. The frequency of these instances happening to me and people around me, only grew as I continued through college and into my career. I was becoming more aware and slowly began to find my voice in the fight against gender bias, inequality and harassment, covert and overt, man to woman and woman to woman, in media and in the workplace. It took a lot of self-growth to find the confidence to speak up and now I see that standing up for women is not only a necessity but an obligation to improve the experience for future generations.
Without cultivating strong self-confidence, you cannot have power. It won’t take long to find examples of how women are held back by lack of confidence, more so than men. From the Toys R Us aisles to bodega magazine racks, we’re fed subliminal cues that our bodies and voices are not enough, that we are objects to be saved or consumed, mere receivers lacking power and not actors.
Maybe you’re thinking, “that’s advertising, why lingerie, Leslie?” It wasn’t until I started
shopping for lingerie did I realize the juxtaposition that lingerie presented. One one hand, it was awkward and intimidating going into a store to chat everything from your breast shape and sex life with a complete stranger. On the other hand, once you found something you felt confident in, you felt like Beyonce–the world was yours for the taking. Too many of my lingerie shopping encounters made me feel less than adequate when I put the garments on, and I’d leave empty-handed. I was trying on things that Gisele would rock down a glitter encrusted catwalk–that wasn’t me. Worse yet, it made me judge myself if I didn’t fill out a bra or have a flat stomach-these expectations of the ‘ideal’ body for lingerie are simply unrealistic yet we hold ourselves to this standard. I wanted lingerie that let me feel comfortable, confident, in control of my own interpretation of sensuality, not someone else’s definition of sexy.
I wanted to create a way for women of all shapes and sizes to experience lingerie in an accessible way, without the intimidation, awkwardness and unattainable body comparing. The world is changing and the beauty of this is, that we have more ways to let our voices be heard. Where we want change, we can create it.
Burgundy Fox is more than lingerie, it’s my desire to change the way women are portrayed and allowed to feel about themselves, through highlighting stories and images of real women–businesswoman, founders, bankers and mothers– looking beautiful, feeling confident and kicking ass.
If you’re reading this, you’re truly building this brand alongside me and I can’t thank you enough. Your kind words, encouraging texts and Insta-hearts remind me that I’m not doing this alone.
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