“Luxury must be comfortable, otherwise it is not luxury.” A thought provoking quote said by none other than fashion sweetheart, Coco Chanel. Her words speak many truths when it comes to looking at what items we seek comfort in. We seek comfort in our treasured garments that deliver confidence and sophistication every time, we seek comfort in our underwear that empowers the women inside of us, and we seek comfort in the rewards we receive for our hard work and success. These are the little luxuries in life that keep us going, and these are all things that Bo MacDonald has encompassed in her very own company and lingerie collection, Bopeeps. The time and attention she dedicates to creating a lingerie collection that ticks all the boxes for us hard working women makes her this weeks Semple inspiration. We caught up with Bo to find out all about her and the gorgeous Bopeeps collection.
Tell us a bit about yourself?
I’ve traveled the world with camera crews shooting music videos in remote locations such as Kathmandu. I’ve ridden an elephant through a jungle, sat atop a volcano, flown in helicopters across the Adriatic Sea and into the Himalayas. I’ve had so much adventure in my life, that now staying home seems exotic. I am on my third career at the age of 42 which has been launching my own lingerie brand.
What is the story behind Bopeeps?
The idea for Bopeeps started in my early thirties. I have always had a fascination with lingerie. At University I lived in a sorority house with 25 girls who used to walk around in their underwear. I started to get a sense of what looked good on and what shapes were most flattering to a wide variety of body types. Many years, several major cities and a country later, I began developing my own brand. What started as a living room launch has now developed into a successful small business with a lot of repeat customers.
In your opinion, why is lingerie so important to women?
We wear it everyday. Lingerie is important for so many reasons. It can make up for what we lack, it can compress what we have in abundance, it can make us feel sexy, outrageous, secretive and protected. For Bopeeps as a brand, comfort and prettiness are key. Our customers buy Bopeeps for everyday. She will also buy Coco de Mer, but she won’t wear a feather masque and likely won’t take a whip to the office. Bopeeps can go from the boardroom to the bedroom and everywhere in between. Not many brands can say that.
What is a typical day for you and the Bopeeps team?
Every day is different at Bopeeps. For my business partner Monique Van Steenkiste and me, the only thing that is typical is how much effort goes into the brand. Some days are spent doing research and development, others on the phone with journalists. There are creative days filled with mood boards and color swatches. There are the tricky price point and margin discussions, retail sales days, manufacturing trips, IT days, and some days (in fact more often than not) that have a little of everything just mentioned.
For me, my day never stops. I wake up in the middle of the night with ideas, worries, or a jolt of guilt that I have been unable to return a call or email to someone. The success of our company depends greatly on our relationships with customers. A book that I just finished is called Nice Guys Finish First, by Barrie Bergman. In one of his last chapters, Barrie talks about entrepreneurs. He says that, “In reality you become virtually a slave to your business”. He’s right, I think. There has barely been a moment in the past five years where one aspect of Bopeeps has not been on my mind.
What do you see as the future for Bopeeps?
I see a global brand that is a well-known name among women. I see Bopeeps continuing to make flattering and comfortable, high quality pieces in chic, sophisticated colors. I also see us continuing to make one off Limited editions that are cheeky and whimsical (like our Made in London Frilly). There will also be some very interesting collaborations in the future.
What tips or advice would you give to someone who was looking to update their lingerie collection?
Throw out the knackered knickers. Just let them go. Buy some basics that you know you will need (a few good nude pieces to disappear under your white garments), lots of black and a few colourful pieces to lift your spirits on a gloomy day. Make sure you find the right fit. Too small underwear is nobody’s friend. Bopeeps will never pinch on your hips. We go the extra few centimetres to ensure that our under things will stretch perfectly.
What is your most treasured piece of clothing/accessory?
My grandfather’s gold pocket watch and all of my grandmother’s jewellery. Oh, and the Bopeeps Frilly that took us a year to make and made my hair turn white from the sheer determination in an obstacle laden path.
Is there one piece of advice you would give your younger self?
Start practising now how to psychically shield yourself from negativity. Start practising now how to let things people say go. Worrying (past a certain point) is a waste of time. I think I’d also say, hey, Bo guess what?, Diet Coke is making your cellulite worse…
Who are you when no-one is watching?
In a parallel Universe, I am a country music singer and song writer.