CrowdInk had the opportunity to sit down (virtually) with Ingrid Bonnor, the entrepreneur behind Homebodii. Homebodii is a sleepwear and intimate apparel range that has partnered with Revolve Clothing and Antropologie. They will be visiting New York Fashion Week for the first time this September.
CrowdInk: Tell us about Homebodii. How did you get started? What was your inspiration?
Ingrid Bonnor: From an early age, I watched my mother live her life’s passion for ballet. She followed her dream, and went on to become a ballerina and ballet teacher. Some of my earliest memories revolve around ballet halls, watching the ballerinas drift across the floors, myself dreaming of becoming a ballerina, and living in my pink leotard. My mother had made a life out of her passion and unbeknownst to me, showed me the joy of following your heart and own path in life.
The idea for my small business ‘Homebodii’ was born when I was pregnant with my second child and was on the hunt for a beautiful robe and pajamas that I could have with me in hospital. I wanted functionality, however I still wanted to feel stylish and modest enough for family and friends to visit me in. I couldn’t find anything to suit my particular style so the ‘Ah Ha’ moment of Homebodii was born, along with my beautiful baby girl.
At the age of thirty, and after a career in marketing and journalism, I decided to take the plunge and put into reality the dream that was Homebodii. I was prepared for long nights with my baby, however the demands of the small business were equally as challenging. All I had to start was my determination. I created the first collection with the help of a local dressmaker and took the designs to a local market. Talking to other women and getting their feedback was the best market research I could ask for. The importance a quality product was something I wasn’t willing to compromise on.
The realisation of running a small business on my own was just as tiring and demanding as a newborn. Late nights, and not knowing if you are doing the right thing. I trusted my instincts and hoped for the best. It has been four years since the launch of Homebodii and our little brand is growing stronger each year. We are one the bestselling PJ brands in Australia on The Iconic, along with representation and exclusive collaborations internationally in leading stores such as Anthropologie and Revolve Clothing. This September will see our debut show at New York fashion week.
CI: What makes your brand unique?
IB: As busy mothers, wives, sisters, and friends we put ourselves at the bottom of the priority pile. The simple act of putting on a pretty robe in the morning can take you to a place where you feel beautiful. If we feel good within ourselves, it reflects in our energy and is contagious to those around us. It’s a nice feeling to create garments that provide a little piece of beauty and luxury into the lives of everyday women. I created Homebodii to serve as a brand that sees women wearing our garments for all types of memorable occasions, whether that be for a bridal party, a gift for that special person in your life, the special time in hospital for the birth of your child, the go-to garment for ‘me time’, helping you feel feminine before and after that warm bath, or while having that early morning cup of tea. Homebodii is unique in the way all our designs and prints are developed from scratch and exclusive to Homebodii. We are a brand focused around experience, quality, and provenance, and hope all women’s experiences with Homebodii are a beautiful one.
CI: What’s your number one tip for aspiring entrepreneurs?
IB: Try to put yourself out of your comfort zone and venture into the unknown. I have found in the past, inspiration and ideas come from the most unusual places. Pay attention to the opportunities that present themselves and discern which ones are best for you!
CI: What’s your favourite intimate and sleepwear piece?
IB: Now that’s a hard question! When we create a new style and the sample arrives, I’ll personally sleep in it for a week. Whilst it’s important that our designs follow the feminine aesthetic Homebodii encompasses, functionality is very important. It has to pass the comfort, support, and washing test. Recently we have designed a number of built in bra/breast support sleep sets. After two children I must say they are on high rotation!