Archive for September, 2012

 

A day in the life of: Curvy Kate’s Customer Service Admin Amy Davis

 

Hi, I’m Amy Davis, and I’m Curvy Kate’s Customer Service Administrator for the UK and Republic of Ireland.

I process orders, check the status of orders, check warehouse stock and deal with any returns. In short, I ensure that all the stock reaches the stores safe and sound for you all to buy!

Until I got my job here at Curvy Kate, I didn’t have a clue about my bra size. I was wearing an A cup when I’m actually a D! I was delighted when I was told this by the Curvy Kate fitting experts, as it meant I could wear all the fab Curvy Kate designs.

I have a customer service background, having worked at Camelot for the National Lottery in the past, dealing with all the lucky ticket winners. Unfortunately I never found myself amongst the list, so my shoe and handbag collection remains relatively modest.

I am originally from the Watford area, and I now live less than 5 minutes drive away from the amazing Leavesden Studios where they filmed the brilliant Harry Potter films. It goes without saying that I was amongst the first to go along to the behind the scenes attractions that they opened this year!

I went a few months ago, and as a huge HP fan I loved trying a pint of ‘butterbeer’ and seeing all the incredible sets. I’d recommend it to anyone even remotely interested in the films.

The best thing about my job:

The variety. There’s always something new and exciting going on here, and no two days are ever the same. I love seeing all the new collections, new models and competitions – and need I even mention the UK Lingerie Awards!?

The worst thing about my job:

Let’s just say, being surrounded by so much stunning lingerie is bad for my bank balance…

10 pointless facts about me:

  1. I have a freckle on my bottom lip!
  2. I hate roast dinners, to the dismay of most of my friends and colleagues!
  3. I’ve recently embarked upon the Weight Watchers diet plan and lost over two stone. I am feeling much more healthy and get so many compliments – but I miss my favourite food, Indian takeaway!
  4. I’m obsessed with Florida, and I’ve been three times and counting! In fact, I’ve already booked up to go again next year.
  5. I have and unhealthy addiction to bags and shoes.
  6. As a child, I had a rabbit named ‘Bambi’. Everyone was confused why I didn’t go for ‘Thumper’, and to be honest in retrospect so am I…
  7. I was a majorette for four years in my teens.
  8. I’ve never broken a bone in my entire life, and the idea of it fills me with fear!
  9. When I was younger I wanted to teach young children!
  10. I can’t not have my nails done and have to visit the salon every 3 to 4 weeks without fail.

Top 5 favourite Curvy Kate sets:

I must admit, some of my ‘favourites’ I’m yet to call my own just yet, and some I’ll even have to wait until next year to get my hands on! I couldn’t put together a ‘favourites’ list without my two latest lust-haves: the gorgeous purple shade ‘Tease Me’, and the gorgeous pink print ‘Lottie’ from the Spring/Summer 2013 collection. Whilst I have a fair while to wait for those, I’m kept happy with the stunning new Autumn/Winter 2012 additions to the Showgirl collection. I love the new ‘Entice’ set – it really makes you feel a million dollars. I’ve got my eye on the blue and black ‘Tempt Me’, even though I already have it in all the colours… The new ‘Smoothie’ is the perfect choice for under a t-shirt or with outfits where you need a uber smooth shape, plus I love that leopard print!

We did it! Curvy Kate take home two UK Lingerie Awards

Last night we dolled ourselves up, got our glad rags on, and headed out to the second UK Lingerie Awards Ceremony, hosted by lingerie trade magazine Lingerie Insight.

Last year we were lucky enough to win the Full Bust Brand of the Year, and the award has had pride of place in the office for a whole year, although it has been looking a little lonely so we were keen to win it a friend. We were nominated for four awards, including Lingerie Brand of the Year, The UK’s Favourite Lingerie Brand of the Year, Marketing Campaign of the Year and Full Bust Brand of the Year.

Our little golden friend is lonely no more as we won him not one but two new metallic companions!

With no less than four award nominations to keep us on our toes, I think it’s safe to say we were just a touch nervous/excited when making our way in past the paps and into the marvellous location of One Mayfair.

After an incredible slap-up three-course meal, we were presented with the ‘Full Bust Brand of the Year’ accolade for the second year running, and the highly-coveted ‘Marketing Campaign of the Year’ for Star in a Bra.

The party continued well into the night, as we rubbed shoulders with celebs and big industry names.

Following on from the swanky awards do, we made our way to the fabulous Whisky Mist club in Mayfair. The drinks were flowing and the whole team were throwing lots of shapes on the dancefloor.

We were so thrilled with the two awards we went home with, and would like to thank all of the judges for both nominating us and handing us the gong!

The event was a victory, not only for Curvy Kate and Lingerie Insight, but for the British lingerie industry as a whole. Finally the efforts of the lingerie industry can be quite literally applauded and recognised with a shiny gold statue. Or two in our case ;)

Congrats to all the other finalists and winners, three cheers for the British lingerie industry!

Aussie Star in a Bra Revealed!

We’ve enjoyed getting to know each of the candidates and waited ever-so-patiently in the wings to hear who you’ve picked as your winner of Star in a Bra Australia 2012.

Star in a Bra has now gone global, and we’ve so excited to have completed our set of gorgeous girls for 2012!

And the winner is… Cassie Hayes!

Back in her top five interview, she told us: ‘I want to be a positive role model to other women and show people that you can be confident, healthy and happy no matter your size, height, weight and so on! All women deserve to feel beautiful.’

‘I think I should win because I would represent what it is to be a Curvy Kate girl- confident, happy and curvy!! I am a real woman with imperfections and flaws like anyone else, I have bad days but mostly I remember to just smile!!  I don’t need Photoshop or airbrushing to make me someone I am not. I appreciate natural women the most so with me, what you see is what you get!’

Well Cassie, we’re happy to say that, girlfriend, you’ve done it! Congrats!

We’ll see you in London in November…

A day in the life of: Curvy Kate’s PR & Marketing Manager Hannah Houston

Hello, Hannah here! As a curvy girl myself it was always tricky to find bras I could act my age in. Most were too frumpy, boring and resembled boulder holders. My mum took me for my first bra fitting when I was 15 and I knew I never wanted to wear an ugly bra again. I have had some bad fitting experiences in my time, being called ‘bigger’ and ‘wider’. Once I found there were bras out there to suit me though, there was no stopping my passion. I studied Fashion Marketing at University and in my 3rd year focused on Women’s Body Shape and the D plus bra industry. I put together a new brand of D plus, pretty bras called ‘Flirty Gertie’ and mock shot, marketed and advertised the ranges. I loved this project and knew this was what I wanted to do. I still think Flirty Gertie has a better ring than Curvy Kate but who am I to say…

My life is pretty boob and bra filled most days but apart from that I love CocoMinx Chocolate cake, old men pubs and have just started cycling everywhere – god I am so geeky. I am the only girl in a family filled with boys (4 brothers in total) and think it’s perfect that way. Being taught to play in the mud, eat as much as I like and watch rugby was a lovely start to life. I now live in central London and am trying day by day to keep my northern twang!

The best thing about my job:

Curvy Kate all happened very quickly but has been the best few years ever. I have met some really cool people and it feels more like a family than a place of work. In fact I wouldn’t really call it work – looking at boobs and bums all day is a pretty fine way to make a living. I do love seeing our products in print though, although we’re a new brand the big mags are now picking up on what we’re doing and that’s really rewarding. Oh I really like awards evenings too…dressing up and drinking prosecco is really tough.

The worst thing about my job:

Finding 10 amazing curvy girls in the Top 10 of the Star in a Bra competition and having to say bye to 9 of them. I want them all! Bring on the #curvearmy

10 pointless facts about me:

  1. I am excited to be asked to be my brother’s best man in September 2013.
  2. I was born in Preston, where they havethe most church steeples in the UK.
  3. I can still do a crab and walk around, I try it again every summer.
  4. Montepulciano is my favourite wine. I think that Italy is the best place on earth.
  5. I look like a Lion in the mornings.
  6. I am very good at making fried eggs and risotto – not together as one though.
  7. I have the brain of a sieve and have to write every detail of my life down.
  8. I hate Thai food.
  9. I would love to live in Melbourne again with the Broadstons.
  10. I found a slug in my sink last month – it was very large and horrid.

Top 5 favourite Curvy Kate sets:


This is probably the hardest question you could ask me – can I have a top 10 at least? Ok, right, let’s think about this. Well the ‘Princess’ is a favourite for sure and I’m always proud to wear my hot pink colour-way as it’s the ultimate ‘Curvy Kate’ shade. The new ‘Tease Me’ in cherry is a fabulous colour, and again, the bra is such a CK classic. I’m pretty sure I’ve had every colour that has come out because I can’t resist all the new additions! The ‘Emily’ in midnight and the ‘Gia’ in black have become my two ‘every day’ bras, and I love the shape and uplift that they give. Finally I’ll have to say the ‘Flirt’ halter bikini, especially since I’ve been lucky enough to bag a sample to take with me to Ibiza when I go on holiday next week!

Star In A Bra Australia top five interview – Cassie Hayes

The sun is shining and we’re being treated to our number one favourite thing – chatting with gorgeous curvy ladies! We feel like we know some of them so much better already, but we still have two stunners to hear from, so don’t cast your votes just yet!

Next in line to tell her story is the fabulous Cassie Hayes.

Hi Cassie, so delighted to have you back again for the next part of the competition. The end is in sight, and it could be any of these girls! We’ve heard some gossip from your top twenty interview, but for those who want to hear a little more, why don’t you tell us a little more about yourself?

My friends call me Cass, I am 21 years old and currently in my third year of an arts/law degree at the University of Tasmania. I have an older brother and sister and I moved away from Launceston, my hometown, to Hobart 2 years ago to study and currently live with a couple of friends from high school. We have far too much fun together and enjoy cooking and going out partying! My parents, extended family and many friends still live in Launceston so I try and get back and visit them as much as I can. I love sport; swimming, rowing, dancing and I play in a social basketball team with some lovely ladies. In my spare time I love to listen to music and read, have a glass of wine, anything relaxing really! I am a massive outdoors person, love bushwalking and getting out into nature. I am a huge fan of summer and hot weather and love to travel and adventure-I’m always keen to try new things! Recently, I travelled to Indonesia for a language course and it is the best place I have travelled so far. The laidback lifestyle, hot weather, friendly people and awesome food makes the whole place magical. It would be a dream for me to one day live in Indonesia, by the beach and continue to learn the language. I work at a pharmacy part time with some amazing people  and I have a huge passion for health and wellbeing. My friends would describe me as outgoing, friendly and bubbly!

What sizes do you usually wear when it comes to lingerie? Were you refitted at the shoot?

I am a size 12 generally, and a size 12DD in bras. In some of the Curvy Kate styles I was refitted into a 12E but mostly, a 12DD fits perfectly.

Why did you decide to enter?

I decided to enter as I have always had body image issues and was inspired when a friend of mine, Bec, entered last year. I thought she looked gorgeous so I thought I would give it a shot too!! And here I am!  Mostly, I want to be a positive role model to other women and show people that you can be confident, healthy and happy no matter your size, height, weight and so on! All women deserve to feel beautiful.

If that’s not an amazing reason to get involved with Star in a Bra, we don’t know what is! Good for you. How does it feel to be in the top five? How have your loved ones reacted?

It’s amazing! I never thought I would make it to the top 5 with so many other gorgeous contenders. When I found out, I had to check again and it wasn’t until I started getting texts and phone calls to congratulate me that it really sunk in! It was an amazing feeling and a huge confidence boost! I was unsure of the reaction I would get but my family and friends have been very supportive of me and I am thankful for that. Even strangers have come up to chat about the competition and are all very interested and positive about it which is great!

How did you feel before and after the shoot?

I was extremely nervous on the flight up to Queensland to take part in the shoot. I hadn’t managed much sleep the night before due to excitement and nerves! Once I got there though I felt so at ease with everyone, everyone was so kind and ready to help. The photographer Andrew was fantastic and made me feel very comfortable. By the end of the shoot we were all prancing around in our underwear. I felt a million dollars on the flight home and even had a nice steward on the plane come and give me a gift- it was all very flattering!!

What were the best and worst parts of the shoot?

The whole shoot was awesome! I especially loved having my hair and makeup done professionally! I found the posing difficult to grasp initially but everyone was so helpful and I quickly got into the swing of it all. I loved meeting the other girls and watching them get their photos done as well. They all looked super beautiful and I felt so proud to be a part of it.

Do you struggle to find clothing and lingerie to fit your curves?

I used to absolutely hate bra shopping- my Mum can vouch for that! It is so difficult to find nice lingerie to fit my bra size but Curvy Kate fits me like a glove. Clothing wise, it is difficult to find flattering clothes sometimes. I mostly have the issue with trousers, always too big around the waist but don’t fit my legs and tops fitting around my breasts.

We’re so happy to hear we’ve laid to rest your bra shopping issues! Do you have any favourite Curvy Kate sets?

My favourite set is actually the one I wore for the suit and it is called ‘Elegance’ but I also love the ‘Tempt me’ and ‘Tease me’ sets! Mostly I just love anything feminine and sexy so it’s not hard to find something nice in the Curvy Kate range.

What do you think defines a Curvy Kate girl?

Being a Curvy Kate girl is being happy with yourself and accepting who you are! It is all about being confident and letting that shine through any insecurities- we all have them!  After all ‘‘a smile is a girl’s best curve’’!!

We couldn’t agree with you more. Hold your head high and you’ll hold yourself better, your personality will shine through and you’ll make a lasting impression for all the right reasons. Do you have any advice for people thinking of entering next year?

Do it!!! I honestly would never have imagined I could go this far and have such an amazing experience! It is a great competition, with a great message to send and I strongly encourage any women thinking of entering to grab a girlfriend, a glass of wine, take some cheeky shots and enter!!

What would be the best part of winning?

Winning this competition would be a huge achievement for me and I would be so proud to support such an amazing brand! I know my family and friends would be super proud of how far I have come and would love to see me win as well.

Oops, it’s time for that all important final question… Why do you think you should win?

This is always a difficult question because the other girls are all so lovely and would represent the brand perfectly! I think I should win because I would represent what it is to be a Curvy Kate girl- confident, happy and curvy!! I am a real woman with imperfections and flaws like anyone else, I have bad days but mostly I remember to just smile!!  I don’t need photo shop or airbrush to make myself someone I am not. I appreciate natural women the most so with me, you really do get what you see!

To vote for your WINNER, head on over to the Curvy Kate Australia Facebook page and click the ‘Vote Now’ tab.

Star In A Bra Australia top five interview – Sophie Shaw

I think that’s just about time for a cup of tea! Ahh.

What a pair of stunning role models we’ve heard from so far. The next gal is not different, let’s hear from the delicious Sophie Shaw.

So great to see you back again, Sophie! we learnt a lot about you in your last interview, but for those of you who haven’t seen it yet or for those who want to know even more, could you let us know a little about you?

Hello :) I’m Sophie Shaw, a 21 year old university student from Melbourne. I’ve been lucky enough to grow up in a very tight knit family with Mum & Dad, and my three beautiful older sisters (5 women – poor dad!), where we’ve lived in Melbourne, Adelaide, Tasmania and Perth at all different stages of my life. I’m a very family-orientated person, my sisters are three of my best friends and my little 2-year-old nephew Benny is the absolute love of my life.

I’m a very independent, driven young woman – one who is very determined to be successful in either television or radio once I graduate. At the same time, I like to consider myself a very positive and lively person who can have a laugh…especially at myself :) On the weekend you’ll either find me at the footy (AFL), or out with my girlfriends having a dance and a wine (or 5!)

My whole life I have been extremely active with sports and still to this day I am a very competitive netballer – which explains my athletic body type. I can honestly say I don’t think I could play netball the way I do without the shape and build I’ve been given. The positives to big boobs & bum! 

We have to say we’re rather envious of your enviably flat tum and toned pins! What sizes do you usually wear when it comes to lingerie? Were you refitted at the shoot?

Growing up, I thought the day would never come when my boobs stopped growing haha! I reached a 10G and have been wearing that for the past two years. I also wear a 12 down the bottom.

Why did you decide to enter Star in a Bra?

As a big Curvy Kate fan and follower of the Star in a Bra competitions overseas for the past few years, I often wondered when I would gain enough confidence to enter myself. I came very close last year but I let my fear get the better of me. Then after seeing all the beautiful courageous girls that entered in 2011, and then to see Julia and that beautiful smile of hers showcasing this wonderful brand, I was gutted that I had not had a go. I really had a feeling of “I can do that” that made me regret my decision immensely!

2012 also started as a terrible year for me. In February I was sent for scans on a little lump I had found in my left breast that was believed to be just a cyst, and therefore scans were purely precautionary. The lump did in fact end up being a cyst, but it was the tumor at the very back of my breast that was found during this scan that caused a severe headache. As a 21 year old girl I was contemplating life with breast cancer, something I never thought would happen to me. Luckily a biopsy showed the tumor to be benign breast lesion, but it still didn’t make the experience any easier. I had surgery to remove the mass and am now left with a scar. Although I should be grateful that all I ended up with was a scar, it is still something that I look at everyday that reminds me what could have been, and I guess it now gives me the cliche outlook on life to live it while you can as you never know what is around the corner.

So this time around I wasn’t going to let anything stop me! I didn’t want to have that same feeling of regret again – so I bit the bullet and went ahead with it.

I basically just want to help drive and promote this amazing message that Curvy Kate and Star in a Bra provides to women around the world. I really have learnt to love my body – flaws and all – and really embrace what I’ve been given. And I really want to inspire ladies around the world to do the same. I want more girls to feel it’s ok to say, “yes, I feel good and I look great!”

I don’t think anyone in this day and age should be made to feel like they are not good enough and there most certainly shouldn’t be one image that people believe you need to look like. Every girl wants to be ‘thin’ and ‘perfect’, and society makes you feel you should be. But what this world needs to realise like Curvy Kate has is that ‘thin’ is not perfect – there is NO body type that is perfect. Every woman young and old, short tall lean or voluptuous should know that they are individually beautiful in their own way, and I really want to join Curvy Kate in helping women around the world feel like this.

And also – if a brand like Curvy Kate is preventing girls crying their eyes out in change rooms across the country like I did for many years ’cause they are unable to be fitted in a bra that suits them – then I’m on board!

We can’t argue with that! How does it feel to be in the top five? How have your loved ones reacted?

By simply entering myself in the competition I received such a confidence boost and I was really proud of myself for being courageous enough to even put myself forward…then I made the top 5! I really didn’t think I’d get this far, and when I was contacted to tell me I was lucky enough to be a top 5 I just couldn’t wait to let the whole family know. There was definitely a rather large group message sent out that morning I think!

Honestly, I’m so touched that I was voted to be a top 5 contender. It really made me feel like I was able to relate with women around Australia and just to be part of such an inspiring competition with such fantastic people … well it’s just motivated me to do even better!

My family have been absolutely fantastic. They have always supported and loved me for my curvaceous figure, and supported me when I would have a meltdown because I could never find a bra to suit a young big busted girl. Glad those days are long gone!

I initially thought my Dad would find the whole thing a little …uncomfortable perhaps… yet he has been my number 1 supporter getting around me on twitter and telling everyone to vote for me – he is just really proud I’m making a stand for us curvy girls :)

It’s so good to hear you’ve got your family and friends behind you. How did you feel before and after the shoot?

If you ask my parents they will tell you that growing up as a little girl I always loved being in front of a camera and now at 21 nothing has really changed haha!

No in all seriousness I had very mixed emotions leading up to the shoot. One side of me was jumping out of my skin ’cause I was so excited to get up there, but of corse I had the nerves that came along with not really knowing what to expect. The idea of having your photo taken in your underwear would scare anyone I would think! Yet, once I got to Brisbane and met the other four incredible girls – along with the whole crew for the day – I instantly settled in and was raring to go. The other girls kept laughing because I was so impatient to get out on set that I couldn’t sit still ! It was just a really enjoyable day that none of us wanted to end. We were able to meet, talk and relax as the day progressed and to do it with such a genuinely lovely group of ladies made it that much better.

What were the best and worst parts of the shoot?

Am I allowed to say there wasn’t any bad parts? If I had to choose one, it would be that I was too excited the night before that I hardly slept and ended up shooting all day on 3 1/2 hours sleep. Silly Sophie.

The best part of the day..narrowing it down to one will be impossible so I’ll name off a few.

As I mentioned, meeting and spending the day with Cassie, Mindy, Cherine and Carley was so much fun. We all got along so well, and they were so supportive of me it really made the experience one I’ll never forget. I always love getting my hair and makeup done so I also enjoyed feeling like a superstar being dolled up and pampered all day by the team. Standing there with the fan blowing in my face and camera flashes going off everywhere … it was an experience that I soaked up while I could it was so much fun. What I really really really enjoyed about the day was being able to sit down with 2011s winner Julia who was so encouraging and motivating. She really listened to me, gave me some fantastic advice that I could take in, and she is just such a beautiful girl inside and out it’s no wonder she was able to win last year.

Do you struggle to find clothing and lingerie to fit your curves?

Up until I came across Curvy Kate, I hated bra shopping with an absolute passion. I’d avoid it at all costs because 99.9% of the time it ended in failure and tears. Now that problem is a thing of the past …yay!

Clothes wise I still struggle due to my defined hour-glass figure that I have. Although I’m a size 10/12 up top and bottom, I can get away with wearing a size 6 around my waist. This is why I’m more often than not wearing tight, figure hugging clothes. I find it more flattering on my body type to emphasise my curves rather than try and hide them with baggy, floaty clothes that only make me look bigger and that I certainly don’t feel confident in.

If we had a figure like yours we’d certainly show it off as well! Do you have any favourite Curvy Kate sets?

Without a doubt the Entice set from the Showgirl range hence why I was ecstatic when I arrived to the shoot to find that I got to wear it! As it’s shaped and slightly padded, it provides me with such an uplift that is normally so hard for such large breasts. But it’s able to make me feel young and sexy which is exactly what you want at 21!

I’m also in love with the Emily nude set for your perfect everyday lingerie.

What do you think defines a Curvy Kate girl?

A Curvy Kate girl has the confidence to tell the world she is beautiful, and the ability to influence and inspire other women around the world to do the same.

That’s such a lovely way of putting it. Do you have any advice for people thinking of entering next year?

DO IT! Please don’t have any hesitation in entering. Of corse it’s daunting but it is SO worth it! When I first found out I made top twenty, I had girls contact me to congratulate me on having the courage to do such a thing … some of these girls I hadn’t spoken to in years! It was such a confidence booster than almost immediately any sense of doubt and embarrassment was erased.

On that note, I was recently out on a Saturday night having drinks with some girls when a lady – who later told me she was 29 – approached me and said “You’re Sophie from Star in a Bra aren’t you?” This beautiful lady then sat down and talked to me for five minutes telling me how much I inspired her, and her exact words were “You’ve made me say ‘I can do it’ too.” It was honestly one of the most beautiful and touching conversations that I’ve ever had with someone as she sat there and talked about how she admired me and my body, and how she was definitely entering in the 2013 competition. I was on cloud 9. It was just so lovely to hear a stranger tell me that I had made a positive impact on her life. And that’s exactly why you should enter in 2013 – to make people feel like that too.

What would be the best part of winning?

I’d love to win to become a team member of CK and an ambassador for the message it provides. I want to join Julia, Sophie, Krista and all others on the CK crew in being a voice that promotes this positive body image message across the world. I want to be able to see myself advertising CK lingerie, and be proud of myself and the courage I displayed to get here.

Last but not least, it’s the tricky question that no one likes to be asked – why do you think you should win?

Everyone always leaves the tough question till last don’t they!

I’ve spoken previously about my dedication and drive to be successful in everything that I do and this another one of those things. I’ve always been very strong in my values and fighting for what I believe in, and Curvy Kate’s positive message is no different. I really feel like I have a grasp on what Curvy Kate is all about and I think not only do I have boobs, bum, hips and everything else to make me physically a ‘Curvy Kate’, I believe I have the attitude and personality to go with it. I’m never going to conform to standard ideals of what a woman should be and Curvy Kate will provide me with the opportunity to represent all of that ladies out there who refuse to settle for that either. My big personality and even bigger smile will be a great Star In A Bra 2012 ! :)

In saying that, I’d love any of the other girls to win. Each is so individually beautiful, but with the one thing in common I would be happy to see anyone crowned. Wishing you all the very best of luck. Now lets get voting people!

To vote for your WINNER, head on over to the Curvy Kate Australia Facebook page and click the ‘Vote Now’ tab.

Star In A Bra Australia top five interview – Cherine Exadactylos

We’re just dying to hear more from our next curvy compadre, so let’s not spare another moment and catch up with the gorgeous Cherine Exadactylos!

Hello Cherine, nice to hear from you again! You’re through to the next stage in the competition, so why don’t you tell our readers a little more about you?

Well as you may or may not know my name is Cherine I’m 21 years old, I hope to graduate my course and become a youth psychologist. I have a slight (or extreme) obsession with leopard print. I love being around my family and friends I believe they are the most important thing to me in the world. I also love to belly dance and am currently attempting to make my own belly dancing bra and belt set cause there isn’t much that caters for the curvy girl there either!

Hello, my name’s Cheryl and I have an addition to leopard print. Let’s enrol on a 12 step program together? What sizes do you usually wear when it comes to lingerie? Were you refitted at the shoot?

Before entering Star in a bra I wore a 10G, I then got fitted before the competition and before the shoot and I’m an 8GG/H. I can’t explain just how much better it feels to wear a bra that actually fits and have straps that stay on my shoulders or a band that stays where its supposed to and doesn’t ride up. And of course how important it is.

I think it’s so easy to forget how vital it is for fuller-busted gals to be in the right size. It’s only when you are put in the right size that you realise just how wrong you had it before! Why did you decide to enter?

I am a firm believer in doing things if you have the opportunity to, and after just missing out on entering the competition last year I decided I would go for it this year! I also entered because I would love to be able to show other curvy girls like myself out there that if I can be confident with my curves they can too!

Also I was younger I had always wanted to be a model, but after hitting puberty and developing my curves I thought it wasn’t a possibility considering most models I had seen were gorgeous and skinny, so when I saw the Star in a Bra competition I thought why not? What’s there to lose?!

How does it feel to be in the top five? How have your loved ones reacted?

Amazing! I honestly never thought I would make it this far! But it’s so exciting and it’s great to able to have and share this experience. My family and friends have been very supportive through the whole experience and have backed me up 100%, it’s been a really nice to have such a big support group, I’m so happy to have made it this far.

Aww good for you. All of your girls throughly deserve to be where you are and you’re all amazing candidates to be our next Aussie bra star. We don’t envy the fans who have to pick just one of you! How did you feel before and after the shoot?

Excited! So very excited. I don’t think I had ever been so awake and energetic as I was in the very early hours of the morning I flew up to sunny Brisbane for the shoot. Before the shoot I was a little nervous but once you’re up there in front of the camera you relax and have fun. The crew on the day and everybody there were so helpful, especially considering that none of us have had any real modeling experience. They were awesome! After the shoot I was still buzzing from being there and meeting the other 4 girls, I didn’t really want to leave.

What were the best and worst parts of the shoot?

Oh do I have to choose just one?! The whole day was the best! Meeting the girls, the Curvy Kate ladies, the bubbly teams from Take 5 and Channel 9, our very own winner from last year Julia McLean, having your hair and makeup professionally done! What’s not to love? If I had to choose a worst part in the shoot, I’d say leaving!

Do you struggle to find clothing and lingerie to fit your curves?

Yes! I really do, and it is so frustrating at times. It’s hard when you walk into a shop and see a gorgeous dress on a mannequin and you grab it to try it on yourself and it looks horrible! Most of the time I find dresses can be too tight up top but fit perfectly down the bottom, or the fit nicely up top and are way too loose on the bottom. It is really hard to find something that flatters a curvy body. It’d be much easier if clothing stores realized this, also I find that it’s unrealistic to have a mannequin in the window that is quite literally straight up and down as appose to a mannequin that would represent the everyday Australian woman.

I can’t tell you how many times we’re had one of those devastating changing room moments when you just have to walk away from something you love because it just doesn’t fit. At least we can have gorgeous lingerie that fits perfectly! Do you have any favorite Curvy Kate sets?

Ummm can I say the whole Showgirl range?! Haha I think they’re absolutely gorgeous! But if I had to pick I’d say the Entice and of course Wild (its the leopard obsession) oh! And Portia…I have a couple favorites.

What do you think defines a Curvy Kate girl?

I believe a Curvy Kate girl can be anybody! Of course you’d have to be between a D and a K cup to wear their gorgeous lingerie, but just like beauty, there is no set definition.

Amen to that! Do you have any advice for people thinking of entering next year?

Yes. DO IT! It will be one of the best experiences of your life. It may be a bit daunting at first to work up the courage to strip down to your bra and knickers and take a couple photos but I promise it’s not that bad!

What would be the best part of winning?

Honestly, the opportunity to show other busty and curvy ladies like myself that there is absolutely nothing wrong with having healthy curvalicious bodies and that girls like us can make it and do anything we set our minds to! Girls with curves can be models too!

They can indeed, and they can look amazing in the process! Why do you think you should win?

This is always the hardest question! I believe I represent the regular curvy girl, I know what it’s like to walk into a shop and see a gorgeous dress or top and try it on only to have it not fit in the right places, or the shop assistant who insists I’m a size smaller than the one I have picked up on to try it on and be busting out at the top. I understand how irritating it is to go to major bra shops and only have the ‘granny’ sets in our size. I would love to win so I can show and tell everybody out there that curves are beautiful and you should be proud of what you have! People pay for busts like ours and we’re lucky enough to be blessed with them! I know I know easy for me to say right? Coming from the girl who stripped off and made top 5 in a modeling competition, but I promise you, I haven’t always been this confident and comfortable with my body, and granted there’s still parts I’m not happy with but I don’t care anymore, and you can be just the same! I’d love the chance to just show other ladies out there that they can do it too.

To vote for your WINNER, head on over to the Curvy Kate Australia Facebook page and click the ‘Vote Now’ tab.

Star In A Bra Australia top five interview – Mindy Reading

It’s the post you’ve all been waiting for! That’s right guys and gals, it’s Star in a Bra Australia voting time, and this time it’s to pick the winner! The girl who will be flown to London and feature alongside our gorgeous Sophie Morgan and Krista Cousins in our Autumn/Winter 2013 catalogue and all marketing material for the season.

Since we’ve only got a few days left to go, we’ll be posting all the interviews today, just so you’ve got enough time to read them all and make your decision!

So who’s up first, you ask? It’s the one and only Mindy Reading.

Hi Mindy, and welcome back to your second batch of blog interviews! Congratulations on making it to this stage – your professional shoot pictures look incredible! We know a little about you from last time, but can you introduce yourself to our readers?

My name is Mindy, I am currently in my second year of studying Nursing at the University of Canberra and I work in child care. I am the youngest out of 5 and I’m an Aunty to 14 nieces and nephews. when I finish my Bachelor of Nursing I hope to travel overseas and put my skills to work with people who desperately need it. I’m a pretty easy going girl who enjoys family events, hanging out with friends, random road trips and singing like no one is listening.

You sound like our kind of girl! What sizes do you usually wear when it comes to lingerie? Were you refitted at the shoot?

At the moment I’ve been wearing a 12F-FF bra and about a 14-16 bottom, of course this would depend on what brand or style. I was refitted at the shoot and it turns out I’m wearing the wrong size bra, I am now a 10G. This doesn’t mean I’m a size 10 all over, I still wear size 12-14 tops.

You’re certainly not the first to leave the shoot in a new size! Why did you decide to enter?

I guess in a way I wanted to see how far I’d get. I always have my friends and family complimenting me on my shape and encouraging me to try new things. I lost a lot of weight recently (30Kgs) and I wanted to enter last year but my self esteem was incredibly low that I did not think I could handle the rejection of not getting in. This year I was in a totally different mind set, I’d talked to a few family members and friends and decided that I would enter and if I didn’t make it, Id just try again next year. I guess I entered to prove to myself that I could do it and look where this small step has gotten me.

Congratulations on your ne found confidence! We’re so pleased to have you get this far, you should be so proud of yourself. How does it feel to be in the top five? How have your loved ones reacted?

It feels like a bit of a dream I guess, I had hoped to get in and making it to Top 20 was great and then being told I’d made the Top 5 was like someone telling me I’d just won the lottery. I couldn’t stop smiling the whole day, someone could have slapped me in the face and I probably would have kissed them!

There were a few mixed reactions within my family, I had spoken to a few family members about entering and some advised me not to and others thought it was a great idea. When I found out I was in the Top 20 I was so excited and then I remembered that i=I would now have to tell those few family members that told me not to enter, that I had entered and gotten through to the Top 20. Over all I think everyone was really supportive, I mean without the support of my friends and family I would never have made it to the Top 5.

How did you feel before and after the shoot?

On the plane I was as cool as a cucumber, although I was extremely excited on the inside. On the car ride over to the studio with two of the other contestants, who are absolutely gorgeous, was when the nerves started to build. I just did a lot of slow deep breathing. When we arrived at the studio we hadn’t been there long and my mother called me to ask how the flight was, it was at this point where I was so nervous that I had that hard ball in the throat feeling you get when you are forcing yourself not to cry. Once I’d settled down and was fitted into my lingerie the nerves just kind of stopped. During the shoot I had so much fun, the photographers and Curvy Kate team were so kind and supportive, it really made the whole experience so much fun. When I went home I was just in the best mood ever,  I met some awesome people on the plane and told them all about Curvy Kate and what they stand for, it was like I was already an ambassador for Curvy Kate.

What were the best and worst parts of the shoot?

This is a hard one as the entire day was just great! I think the worst part was not being able to spend more time the the other contestants, we all just got along so well. My most favourite part of the day, besides the photo shoot, was getting my hair and make up done. I’m much more girly than I used to be but I still don’t spend a lot of time doing my hair and make up, so having it done by some absolutely amazing ladies made me feel like a million bucks! Having it done just gave me a extreme confidence boost.

Do you struggle to find clothing and lingerie to fit your curves?

The simple answer is YES! I can walk through the shopping centre all day and only come away with one or two things or nothing, I find I have to search to find something that flatters my curves at a decent price. I have ALWAYS love the 1950s/pin up style and have recently just started wearing that style more often and every time I wear my dresses I get compliments. I think finding a style that suits you can be hard but once you’ve found it, wear it, even if its just to the shops.

We’re quite the fan of the pin up style, too! You really can’t go wrong with it when you have a curvy figure. Do you have any favourite Curvy Kate sets?

I really like all of the Curvy Kate collection and I do find it hard to say i have a favourite but I really do like the Showgirl range.

What do you think defines ‘a Curvy Kate girl’?

I know there was a lot of talk that the girls who made the Top 20 and even the Top 5 were not ‘curvy’ enough for some people. I had spoken to some of the Top 5 contestants about how they felt and we all said pretty much the same thing. Curvy Kate is about celebrating what you have, everyone has a different opinion about what ‘curvy’ is and some people show it differently. We all have different styles that we like so no one is ever going to agree. I think defines a Curvy Kate girl is embracing your body and showing that every woman can be an incredible role model to the younger generation who are being pressured by the media and the people around them to look and dress a certain way. I believe promoting a healthy body image is what Curvy Kate is all about and you can do that at a size 8 or a size 14 like me.

Well, that gets a big thumbs up from us! Curvy isn’t a body size, it’s a body shape. Do you have any advice for people thinking of entering next year?

Don’t just think about entering, DO IT! what do you have to lose? have some girl friends over, make a night out of it. Have FUN! if you don’t get through, try again. Don’t get upset and make comments about the other girls because if you made it and they were making those comments you wouldn’t feel so great. Its all about having fun, strike a funny pose, let loose! in the end you have nothing to lose.

What would be the best part of winning?

Showing girls out there that you can do anything and that if you don’t try you’ll never achieve it. I almost didn’t enter and if i knew that I’d get this far and I hadn’t entered I would be kicking myself right now. But i think the best part would be proving to myself, most of all, that I can do it.

Finally, why do you think you should win?

Here’s that dreadful question again! I think any of the Top 5 girls deserve to win, id be lying if I didn’t say I’d love to win. Being in this competition and meeting the other girls, including last years winner Julia, has been such a rewarding experience. What Curvy Kate stands for is what every girls needs to hear. I want to be able to share with Australia what Curvy Kate has done for me and maybe help the next Top 5 like Julia helped all of us girls.

To vote for your WINNER, head on over to the Curvy Kate Australia Facebook page and click the ‘Vote Now’ tab.

Behind the scenes of our top five Star In A Bra Australia shoot!

If you haven’t already, perhaps it’s time you popped over to our Curvy Kate Australia Facebook page and check out our five Aussie Star in a Bra hotties!

Since you always seem to love seeing what goes on behind the camera, we thought we’d treat you to some exclusive pics of Team CK, hair and makeup, photography and of course the girls in action.

Before they each took centre stage, the girls were pampered and preened; their hair was curled, straightened, teased and twisted – the girls were made to look their best and feel catalogue ready – and it certainly shows on their faces! There’s nothing like a pair of gorgeous lingerie, a bit of special treatment and a flashing camera.

Congrats to all the girls – Curvy Kate’s Australian team reported that you were all like pros posing for the camera and flaunting those curves.

Don’t forget to head on over to the Curvy Kate Australia Facebook page and vote for the girl you think deserves to WIN Star in a Bra Australia 2012! We’re certainly glad that decision time is over for us as the girls all look incredible.

Watch this space for exclusive interviews with all of our fabulous top five, just in case you need a little extra help picking your favourite.