Forever Yours Lingerie in downtown Langley has always prided itself on offering the best lingerie-shopping experience possible to every customer who steps inside their store. From the beautifully-set stage of hardwood floors, pink and black walls to the sparkling chandeliers and professionally trained fit specialists, it’s a haven that has helped women of all ages and body types to look and feel their best. Myself included.
In continuing with our Covid in the Community series, we talk to FYL owner Sonya Perkins from Langley, B.C.
This Valley Mom of two teens and three fur babies dishes on how she’s coping as an entrepreneur, mom, and as someone who struggles with mental health issues amid a major health crisis.
While the forecast for many retailers has been dismal, some have been able to weather the COVID-19 storm by utilizing e-commerce, delivery, and curbside pickup.
Here in the Fraser Valley, business for Forever Yours Lingerie has been booming thanks to innovative online shopping options and a strong community of loyal customers
On March 16, owners Sonya and Brian Perkins decided to close the doors of their boutique, located at 20460 Fraser Hwy, in the heart of downtown Langley, to the public.
All staff was laid-off, except for one to maintain the website and deal with online orders.
As commerce began to slow worldwide, the Perkins feared their website would only see a trickle of orders come through. The Langley couple was in for a big surprise.
“Oh man were we wrong,” said Sonya, who opened the store 24 years ago, offering a wide selection of bras, lingerie, sleepwear, swimwear —even an extensive men’s section full of boxers and loungewear.
“Our community has come out strong for us! We have had to hire back three staff on top of the original one to keep up with orders and customer inquiries. We started out just doing shipping, but as more customers requested it, we have opened it up to curbside pickup.”Sonya Perkins, owner of Forever Yours Lingerie
Events around the country have been canceled indefinitely, which means FYL will not have its annual Spring Fashion Show this year. Even so, the show must go on(line).
“Our followers submitted their video clips of them walking in an outfit that made them feel fabulous, and we made an IG (Instagram) stories fashion show!” said Sonya.
A significant part of the experience at FYL is meeting one-on-one with a personal fit specialist. These women teach customers how to wear a bra. They also show how the right styles, combined with the right fit, will provide comfort, an improved body image, and a new outlook on life.
Social distancing measures have put this in-person service on pause.
On May 1, Sonya launched a no-contact virtual bra-fitting service with her team of trained Bra Fit Specialists.
“Through a simple and easy process, we will be able to assist you with your bra fitting needs and questions quickly and securely,” she said.
The session requires a $10 deposit that will be credited towards one’s purchase.
And while Sonya says the timing may not be ideal, she recently announced some big news — they’re opening a second FYL location in North Burnaby.
“We signed all the papers in January, and then this happened. So timing may be off, but we are hoping to be open sometime by the end of this year!”
Sonya often speaks freely about her mental health struggles. She says COVID-19 has taken its toll on her sanity the past month, but she isn’t about to let it take her down.
“My depression was kicking my ass,” she said. “The uncertainty of what would happen to my family and staff and business was so scary, but I realized that there is nothing that I can do to change the situation. I had to adapt to it. So I did what I do best, put my head down and powered through.”
Today, Sonya says she’s doing okay, but can’t wait for social distancing to be a thing of the past.
“I have two teenagers, a husband, two dogs, and a cat at home. As much as I love them all, I am so looking forward to getting back to my FYL baby! I would love to give all of my staff a big hug and then go for dinner that I didn’t have to cook and a movie out of my house!”
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With many small businesses worldwide traversing really difficult terrain in the next few months, and many unlikely to survive, Sonya says its more important now than ever to support our neighbourhood businesses right here in ‘the Valley.’
“The big box stores will be fine after this, but it is going to be so important that our local neighbours and friends spend their money wisely. So frequent small shops (or shop online) eat (or order take out/delivery) from local restaurants. Use local services. We need your patronage more than ever! Please support your local communities and economy during this time. Above all, wishing you and your family continued health during this crisis.
Thank you, Sonya & the FYL team💗”
Forever Yours Lingerie was founded by Sonya Perkins and born out of the frustration to find fashion-forward, contemporary bras, lingerie, and swimwear for the curvy woman. With unique brands sourced from across Canada, the United States, and Europe, their knowledgeable team of fit-specialists will allow you to have fun with foundation-wear fashions regardless of your size. To learn more visit foreveryourslingerie.ca.
ValleyMom. ca is pleased to partner with Forever Yours Lingerie to give away a $75 gift card. To enter, head on over to our FACEBOOK PAGE.
Psst….here’s a fun little throwback to a pinup photo session I did with FYL.