After an inspirational trip to France, High School teacher Natalie Grunberg decided she wanted to give a piece of French style to everyone. The Canadian native teamed up with her college pal, Lori Sholzberg, to create “Panty By Post.” Members subscribe to receive a selected number of French-inspired panties per year, sent directly to their mailbox. Natalie took a lunch break with LadyLUX to discuss her moment of genius at a French café.
LadyLUX: Where did you get the idea for Panty By Post?
Natalie Grunberg: I travel to France every other year. I got the inspiration from an experience sitting at a café and observing all the beautiful people as they passed. It seemed to be… No matter who walked by, whether they appeared wealthy or not, they all took a lot of care and precision in the way that they choose their clothes. They put a lot of work into it. It got me thinking how beautiful it was that there was so much pride and self-care. I also do a lot of shopping for underwear in France and I was thinking about what they wear under their clothes…. and how even their underwear was beautiful. I thought, “if only I could bring this self-esteem and beautiful fashion in a small tangible way back home”… And then I thought Panties by Post! Send the panty in the mail! I sent the idea to Lori when I was in France. She thought it was a great idea. As soon as I got home we got right down to it.
LL: How did you come up with the “post” idea? It’s so creative.
NG: I wanted to come up with something small that I could send to each person. Kinda like sending a little bit of France. I also wanted it to be an approachable item. I didn’t want to start a huge retail business importing lingerie from France. I wanted to transmit…a little panty that was going to inject a little French style, French self esteem and the way that they present themselves.
LL: Where are the garments made?
NG: We found a company based out of Canada, in Montréal, and that’s why we call it “French”…French Canadian. They make French cut styles and inspired panties. The best thing about them is that they’re not as expensive or scratchy as French panties, but they’re much more durable. We married the North American and European aesthetic. We have the North American…they’re inexpensive, durable, cute and comfortable. But we have French style of the beauty and the color.
LL: What’s unique about Panty by Post?
NG: If they came from France they’d be $50 a pair instead of $13 to $16. The whole concept was to send a little bit of France to everyone and we wanted to make that approachable for everyone… in Canada, the U.S…we actually have customers all over the world now.
LL: Are people in Europe buying your panties?
NG: Yeah, they do. Here and there…in the UK, Sweden, Spain. Actually, the lingerie trend right now is to be importing from North American into Europe. It’s interesting. The Europeans are appreciating our new ideas and our style a little bit, so that’s kind of cool.
LL: How does it all work?
NG: You can sign up as a gift for yourself or for someone else…or both. You can either choose the panties you like by going to the gallery and selecting them, or you can choose to be surprised! We were concerned originally…we really wanted people to go for the surprise but we also wanted people to get what they wanted. In the beginning people wanted to choose a bit more. But now, since the idea has gotten more popular, they like the idea of the surprise. I find that most customers choose the surprise.
LL: That’s fun.
NG: It’s really fun. They end up surprising themselves by liking a certain style of underwear they would never have purchased normally.
LL: Blush is your main lingerie line, do a lot of other retailers carry them?
NG: I’ve done a price comparison and we come in way lower than the couple North American retailers that carry them. Blush is in very few places. You won’t get the same amount of styles anywhere else. Currently, we have 20-30 styles available. Plus, we make the price points really approachable and we add the component of the “monthly surprise” that no other company does.
LL: Any options you’d like to add in the future?
NG: For the men’s line we use a company called JM and they use environmentally friendly fabrics. Eventually, we’d like to have environmentally friendly options for women too. We’re also planning on adding a maternity package. We’re going to have a men’s shop so there’s more options for them. Expanding the plus size line would be great too. We will want to focus on the meat and potatoes of our business, which are the panties.
If you’re feeling like an intimate gift would be a fun surprise for you or a friend, head over to their Web site at PantyByPost.com for a look at their undergarments and the chance to be stunned by French lingerie on a monthly basis.