Business profile - See-Saw Lingerie, Hale

Johanna Bolhoven

Johanna Bolhoven - Credit: Archant

See-Saw Lingerie has recently celebrated 25 successful years of trading on Hale’s high street. We caught up Johanna Bolhoven to learn the secret to their success.

Prima Donna Divine Seamless

Prima Donna Divine Seamless - Credit: Archant

Johanna has taken over the reins from Penny English, one of the founders of See-Saw, so Penny could ‘retire’ to spend more time with her family and partner. Penny still plays an active role in the business and as well as attending buying shows with Johanna, she occasionally works in the shop and makes appointments to fit customers.

‘I have worked in various areas of the fashion industry for over 20 years,’ Johanna says. ‘in marketing and PR, fashion buying, photo-shoots and fashion shows, and writing style editorials for magazines. I’m also a personal shopper and regularly talk to my clients about the importance of well-fitting lingerie!

‘A properly fitted bra doesn’t just make your clothes hang better, but is better for your breast health, comfort and posture. In this respect, the service delivered by an independent lingerie specialist such as See-Saw is simply unbeatable.

‘Research has shown that as many as 80% of women are in the incorrect bra size. I see this all the time in my work as a personal shopper. Women often don’t appreciate that their bra size can fluctuate as much as their dress size. Different brands fit differently too; just as you might be a size 12 in one shop and a 14 in another, your bra size will change depending on the brand and style.

‘We recommend that you are measured every time you buy a bra. A well-fitted bra will not slide up your back; the shoulder straps should not cut into the flesh causing soreness – some bras make red marks but they don’t hurt at all; the underwiring should sit around the sides of the breast and not across it.

‘It’s the same with swimwear; one-pieces and bikinis should fit to support and flatter, and choosing brands that are known for their expertise with bras is a great place to start.

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‘At this time of year we see a lot of brides seeking underwear for their wedding day and also talk to their mothers about their outfits. We suggest they bring in their chosen outfit so we can fit them into the right lingerie to enhance the finished look, while guaranteeing daylong comfort. Ladies will invest a lot of money in clothes for a wedding and other events and it’s mad not to extend this investment to properly fitting underwear, which, let’s face it, you will probably wear a lot more often!

‘We carry some beautiful brands here. French brand Marie Jo is a consistent best seller. The fit is always excellent as they have invested a lot in getting the design and cut exactly right. Brands such as Prima Donna, Empreinte and Fantasie are perfect for the fuller figure. Simone Pérèle and Aubade are simply beautiful; the straps almost designed to be seen, making them perfect for this season’s ‘cold shoulder’ trend.

‘We’re also the largest stockist in the North West of Roidal, a Spanish swimwear brand that specialises in high quality, perfectly fitting swimwear.

‘And our collection of very clever Backless Angels for low back dresses, sew-in cups, adhesive cups, swim shapers…means we have everything a woman needs for a super-supported summer!’

Ashley Road, Hale | 0161 928 1072

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