Cincy Chic: Why did you decide to open La Silhouette Lingerie?
Britt Cruikshank: It came from pure frustration, actually. Cincinnati didn't have a luxury lingerie shop with the European brands I grew up with. Sure, there are lingerie shops here, but not with these brands and not with this European environment. We want women to feel pretty just being here. Some of my best clients don't always come to shop; they often come in for a cup of tea and a nice conversation.
Cincy Chic: How does being Swedish help you bring a different type of lingerie boutique to Cincinnati?
Cruikshank: I was always told to dress from the inside out. A good brand and a good fit with your undergarments make you feel differently; more comfortable, more sexy and more confident. A European woman is proud to show a little lace and her femininity. That's something American women often struggle with. But once they experience feeling this feminine and pretty, they don't want to go back.
Cincy Chic: Why did you choose to open the store in Madiera?
Cruikshank: It's a very cute and quaint part of town. There are also a lot of pedestrians here, which is nice for people that can just walk in on their way to grab coffee or a bite to eat. The building is also very beautiful. The way it's set up, it feels like you walked in off the streets of Paris.
Cincy Chic: What can a good bra do for a woman?
Cruikshank: Most of us – 85 percent – are wearing a bra that's the incorrect size. Most women are fitted at an early age, and they think they're always that size for the rest of their life. I suggest getting fitted once a year, and more often if you're young. Things like birth control, having children and maturing in general can alter your size. Having the proper fit not only makes your clothing lay smoother over your undergarments, but it also makes you more comfortable throughout the day and helps you carry yourself better.
Cincy Chic: You say that you're different than any other lingerie boutique in the area. What exactly makes you unique?
Cruikshank: Aside from our European environment, our brands truly set us apart from anyone else. We have Elle MacPherson, Chantelle, Wolford, Betsey Johnson, La Perla, Oscar De La Renta, Vera Wang, Millesia and Prima Donna. It's not all high-end, but they are all high quality. Our prices range from $28 to $240 for a bra, for example.
We also have a very knowledgeable staff that's trained in traditional bra fittings and also post-surgical fittings. We have many cancer survivors that come to us for our private fitting area and helpful service. You can even make private appointments where I open the store just for you to shop. This helps many women, because when buying lingerie, you often need that additional TLC.
And since it's wedding season, I should also mention that we do bridal registries. Believe me, people would rather by you something fun like lingerie than a bath towel or serving spoon!
Cincy Chic: Valentine's Day is coming up. Do you have any make-him-go-weak-in-the-knees suggestions?
Cruikshank: Oh, yes. Men love softness, so go for soft, feminine fabrics. We also have many red, pink and pink and black items that are very popular for Valentine's Day.
Cincy Chic: Any trends you're noticing in the lingerie industry?
Cruikshank: We're seeing many more spring colors come through in the various lines. Pastel colors, mostly. Materials and cuts will be staying the same, though.
Cincy Chic: What's your favorite thing about Cincinnati?
Cruikshank: Well, I certainly can't say the weather! I can say that I love the people here, though. They are so friendly and helpful. It's a nice place to raise a family. I also love the water downtown. There's just something about it. Maybe it's because it's the closest thing to an ocean I can get!
Click on the play button below to view a Webcast with Cruikshank as she takes you on a tour of her beautiful new lingerie boutique, La Silhouette Lingerie.