For Nicole Martin, owning a lingerie store was not always her dream job -- but after struggles in the health care field, she took the opportunity to help her mom run the family lingerie store, Bertha Church in Burlington, VT, and simply fell in love. "Since I, myself, am a very hard-to-find bra size, I’ve always had a clear understanding of why women need the services that a bra fitting boutique provides... but actually getting to work with other women helped me gain a whole new appreciation for the business. This right here was the biggest motivation I had to opening Belle Mode Intimates at Fairfax Corner." According to Nicole, a good bra fitting can improve your health, relieve pain, and enhance your appearance. "I genuinely get excited when we are able to give the ladies in the community a customized and personal experience."
Describe yourself in three words:
Hard working, fun loving, motivated, kindhearted, independent
What do you consider your greatest professional achievement?
We’ve been nominated and won a few awards including Northern Virginia Magazine's "Best of 2013"! That's a great success for our first year in business!
What are your professional goals for the next six months?
To keep spreading the word about Belle Mode and the services we provide. We are somewhat hidden within Fairfax Corner and not many women know that we exist yet, but when they find out they are thrilled! Stores like us are few and far between, but important for every woman. Customers have called us the "neighborhood lingerie store" and that’s exactly what we are aiming for :)
How does your company stay connected through social media?
We are very active across social media. It's a great way for us to stay in touch with our customers and share promotions, specials, and events happening in the store. We're on Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram (BelleModeNicole) and we blog!
What profession other than yours would you like to attempt?
I’d love to be a CIA agent working undercover, some sort of spy... or more realistically speaking, design my own clothing line.
How do you maintain a work/life balance?
This is not something that I have right now, but I am currently working on. It’s very easy to get lost in your work when you own a business. And with technology advancing, it has become easier to work from anywhere you go, which I often find myself doing.
What websites do you visit every day?
Pinterest, TheLingerieAddict, iamOTHER.com, Refinery29, Huffington Post, and Pandora.
What is your favorite drink – and where can you find it in Northern Virginia?
Lucky Lounge Lemonade from Coastal Flatts
What are your top 3 favorite people/places/things in Northern Virginia?
- I love a good brunch with my girlfriends. Somewhere local, cute, and that has bottomless mimosas!
- Hiking in Great Falls.
- Hookah bars. I had never been to one before moving to VA and now I just can’t get enough!
What is your goal for retirement?
Surprisingly enough, retirement isn’t a vision I frequent very much. I’m so busy planning for tomorrow, and next week that it seems unreal to think about that far down the road. Ideally I’d like to be able to pass my business(s) onto a child of mine or someone I trust to carry on my legacy … then I shall be Cali bound!
Do you have any advice for women who would like to start their own company?
Be sure you have good people around you that are rooting for you and will help you out when needed most -- and find mentors. My mom has mentored me when it comes to the lingerie industry and my dad on everything business related. Alicia Russman, the owner of Undeniable Boutique and my neighbor in Fairfax Corner, has been a saving grace and mentors me on everything in between.
CONNECT WITH BELLE MODE INTIMATES:Fairfax Corner Shopping Center
11889 Grand Commons Ave.
Fairfax, VA 22030
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If you own a woman-run business and would like to be highlighted in our Leading Ladies series, please apply here: Leading Ladies Interview.
Hi! my name is Andrea and I'm a not-so-average Northern Virginia blogger, mom, and transplant from the Midwest. I host Girls Night Out events, meet ups, and write about events and my adventures in the DC area. I love to travel, brunch, and drink wine with my neighbors! I'm known to live on the wild side and order Venti iced double shots at 5pm.