In Series 4, Episode 3 of Raw Talent Tanya Robertston Founder of Womanhood tells us about the inspiration behind her online store Womanhood, a showcase of curated lingerie by female founders offering multiple sizes and styles. Womanhood reflects representation, authenticity and women reclaiming their bodies. It is a joining of forces showcasing brands that share the aligned values of diversity, inclusion and body positivity with the aim of building a community of confident, empowered women whilst championing diverse, ethical and independent brands, who create their products with love.
Tanya is a born and bred Londoner, she studied film at the University of Sussex eager to do something different and that she enjoyed, which led to a couple of amazing years working in digital PR for Sony pictures. However, Womanhood had been on her mind from the age of 18 after going underwear shopping with her mum growing up, Tanya observed her frustration at not being able to find the sizes or styles she really wanted.
Having spotted a gap in the market, she took her time to develop the concept of Womanhood offering women the space to shop and be themselves and in 2019, Tanya became a woman on a mission eager to address the negative connotation woman have around body image.
As a sole proprietor, she has had to learn to ride the wave of managing everything, having the confidence to keep going, finding balance and knowing when to ask for help.
Womanhood has enjoyed a phenomenal customer response offering an alternative to the traditional department store experience through the power of social media by listening and responding to what people are saying across all channels. Taking customer feedback on board to build and shape the business by offering products people want to buy. It is a real two-way street.
Womanhood launched in 2019 with 6 brands, which has since grown to 12 brands and Tanya shares that the considerations in deciding which new labels to stock are based on them being female founded in line with their ethos and supportive of their mission to solve a problem. Diversity and inclusion, empowering the customer must make sense as a narrative.
It is the sustainable brands that are proving most popular with emphasis on colour sets championed by British lingerie brand Dora Larsen and New Zealand label Lonely. Natural fibres are a big request alongside bralettes in hot weather. Microfibre is used a lot by brands to provide incredible support and comfort.
The business had only been going a couple of months when the pandemic hit however, Tanya has navigated through by maintaining strong customer engagement and in the coming months, Womanhood is introducing a fit technology, as it seeks to evolve and achieve its next milestone.
In BBC News CEO Secrets, Tanya explains the awkwardness of speaking with male investors when seeking funding with investment firms largely made up of men, who can get uncomfortable hearing her talk about bras.
They have many requests for mastectomy and post-surgery bras with more brands, styles and sizes to come in 2021 there will also be more photoshoots with customers, where they often see women go from nervousness to showcasing their inner Beyonce.