If you have the ability to help others feel confident about themselves, do it.
That’s one of the mantras Amy Pearson and Ashley Holden live by as the names and faces behind Stole My Heart – a lingerie retail store in Toronto and e-commerce site designed to encourage women of all ages and sizes to “feel sexy and beautiful on their own terms.”
If you ever get a chance to visit 1504 Dundas St West, do it! Their showroom is breathtaking. Moreover, their thoughtfully curated collections by women for women will remind lady friends to take pride in their feminity before they walk out the door every day.
As we kick off a brand new month, I knew Amy and Ashley were the perfect sources of inspiration to simply go after it! And with Valentine’s Day just around the corner, I knew they’d be the perfect go-to shopping gurus with some valuable tips.
BT: You’ve made it your mission to help women feel amazing about their bodies. May I just say, thank you?! What’s the driving force behind what you do and do you feel that there is a connection between yourselves and the current issues surrounding women’s rights?
A+A: You are SO welcome! The driving force behind Stole My Heart is just what you said – to make women feel beautiful and amazing about their bodies. It sounds simple, and maybe it is, but we just really wanted to create a space that is supportive and accepting. And, that encourages women to feel sexy on their own terms.
There is absolutely a connection between Stole My Heart’s mission and current women’s issues. By creating an inclusive and body-positive environment, we’re working to help women feel confident in their own skin. We are committed to empowering women to embrace their own version of sexy and beautiful, not fitting into someone else’s. Images of women, especially when it comes to lingerie, seem to exist purely for the pleasure of men and that’s not ok with us. We refuse to show women in sexualized imagery. Sexy, yes. Sexualized, no. We’re definitely part of a bigger conversation that’s happening surrounding female sexuality and a woman’s ownership of that.
BT: Teamwork really does make the dream work. Why was SMH a venture you wanted to pursue as partners?
A+A: Some people will tell you not to go into business with your best friend. Well, we wholeheartedly disagree! Getting a new business off the ground takes all of the time and energy, so having a partner that doubles as your best friend is amazing. It’s like having a built-in support network. We’ve been best friends since 16, so there’s also a level of understanding there that makes our partnership one that is easy, respectful and powerful.
BT: Together, you have created an environment where women can feel comfortable, calm, and confident. Where do you feel your best?
A+A: It feels pretty great to walk into the space that we built together and that is our dream fully realized.
BT: You’ve been able to take full control of your brand in the digital age where consistency is king and community building is possible from the palm of your hand. How important is social media in building your brand?
A+A: It’s been our number 1 tool for reaching new people and engaging with clients. We took a whole lot of time planning our social strategy and key messaging because having a consistent voice is so important! Especially for a new brand like ours.
BT: Your vision and your brand have captured the attention of many women, #trubosses, and content creators in the city. For good reason! Do you see yourselves as “influencers” for the truth you speak, the opinions you share, and the community you’re creating?
A+A: Yes, we definitely do see ourselves as influential. The most rewarding thing is to hear from women that we’ve brightened their day or changed their perspective for the better! The fact that our message is resonating in person and online is wonderful!
BT: It would be very remiss of me not to mention Valentine’s Day which is just around the corner! What are some of your favourite pieces from your current catalog?
A+A: We never bring anything in that we aren’t over the moon about, but we do have a couple of new pieces that are on the top of our list! You can browse our full Valentine’s Gift Guide here:
Dare Embroidered Balcony Bra + Dare Brief or Thong
Charlotte Bralette + Vivienne Brief
BT: What kind of advice can you offer those who are looking to purchase lingerie for their partners – perhaps for the first time?
A+A: First and foremost, find out her size! Sneak a peek in her underwear drawer – we promise it’s not creepy and she’ll thank you for it later. When buying lingerie as a gift, remember that it’s for her. Consider her taste and style preference – if you’ve never seen her wear a thong, buy the brief!