White Ivy is a boutique lingerie store, based in Double Bay, that curates a selection of fine merchandise from France, Italy and the United Kingdom. Originally opened in 1949, White Ivy is now operated by sisters Primrose and Alex, who have helped it blossom into a local favourite. Our team was delighted to visit them and talk about the success of their business and their thoughts on BahamaBrown.
Visit www.whiteivy.com.au to find out more about their range of products and their esteemed list of clientele, including Luciano Pavarotti and and Queen Elizabeth II.
Tell us a bit about White Ivy
P: The business has been going for 70 years this year, so it’s our anniversary and we’ve been involved for 30 something years. Sisters obviously, so a personal business. It’s not only, well it is about making money, but its not only about making money. We look after our customers and then they look after us so it’s a relationship.
A: Yes, the lady who started it was a single lady and banks didn’t lend single women money and they most certainly did not work or run their own business. So her friend, Ms Ivy White, lent her the money so she called the shop White Ivy.
P: 50 pounds to start the business!
A: To buy the building I think actually, haha!
P: She was a real pioneer.
What do your customers love about White Ivy?
A: Of course! I think they love the fact that when they come in we know them. I think they trust us if they’re a bit undecided about something. We talk about it and get everything sorted out.
P: Well we’ve formed relationships with a lot of them too. They’ll call in one day with a bottle of champagne and we’ll conduct our business. We have generations that introduce their children to us and then their children, so we know them quite well.
What are your personal opinions on the tanning industry?
P: Haha, where do you start?
A: Well there’s so much out there. If you walk into a pharmacy or wherever, you’ve got rows of bottles. You don’t know where to begin. Too much to choose from.
P: Well again it goes down to personal experience and relationship building. Our customers say to us, “well what do you recommend?” and we say, “well we’ve got the product.” They don’t have to go and look at the shelves and decide between 30 different products from $10 up to $100. They just know they can get it right the first time.
How does BahamaBrown compare with other self-tanning products?
P: Oh I can answer that with an experience. I bought a product years ago and it was a spray one and I sprayed it on me in the bathroom. It took me 2 hours to clean the bathroom. Couldn’t get it out of the white towels so it went into the garbage bin. Then you go buy another product and you use it and think “no, this is rubbish” and it goes into the garbage bin. So finally, [BahamaBrown has] easy application, don’t have to clean the bathroom for 2 hours afterwards.
A: It’s like trying to find the perfect white t-shirt. Once you find the perfect one, stick with it.
P: So it’s very different from the other products in my opinion.
A: Much much better.
BahamaBrown is made from 26 superfoods. What does this mean to you?
A: Good for the mind, so that’s a good thing haha!
P: Good enough to eat! Well you know, there’s so many chemicals flying around out there and putting something on topically and its going into your skin, its going into your system as well and I think, “well I’ve got enough chemicals in mine. I don’t need anymore.” I need a few of these plants in there to help.
A: Isn’t your skin the biggest organ of your body, I think? So whatever you put on your skin is going to go into you.
P: You know we’re getting a lot more aware of our environment so there’s also production, the waste and all that.
A: You don’t want to be putting all that muck ultimately into the ocean.
How did you find out about BahamaBrown?
P: A phone call from our friend, Matt! And he was talking about it and we thought, it could actually be quite a good fit with us because people are coming and buying things to take on their vacation or new underwear or whatever. If you fly north for the summer, escaping the winter, then you’ve got to have a bit of colour so it’s a bit of a one stop shop too.
A: People are going off getting married and all that sort of thing and the fact that we can say “if you’re going off to a summer vacation or a wedding or whatever, the colour won’t come off onto your white underwear.”
What do you think is the best thing about our product?
A: Ah, lots of good things.
P: Well it’s natural, it’s organic, it’s easy to use. Comes with a little glove which is excellent. I tried to do it with bare hands but the glove is much better. And it doesn’t stick or anything.
A: It doesn’t stain your linen or your towels or your clothes.
P: And you don’t smell like you’ve just put tan on because that’s a bit of a tell-tale sign.
A: And it’s a good colour too. You don’t go orange and carroty like a lot of them.
P: No because its your colour, what you are. Love it!
A: It’s very clever.
Would you recommend BahamaBrown for your customers?
P: No. Hahaha! Yes, of course we would!
A: I think that’s a no brainer don’t you?