Androgynous, gaunt models are the norm on catwalks, in fashion catalogues and advertising campaigns across the globe. Contrast those ultra-thin models with the lovingly designed SugarShape web page showing women with curves and providing balm for females everywhere. The web page for lingerie and swimwear, founded by the sisters Sabrina Schönborn, 35 and Laura Gollers, 27, launched in 2012 and gives women detailed advice about the various products on offer. Customers even have a say on the style of the next collection. And the idea is paying off. At present, the sisters employ 25 staff at their logistics site in Winsen (Luhe), Lower Saxony and in their office in Hamburg-Harburg. Their appearance on VOX TV’s “The Lion’s Den” show on Tuesday (September 13th) will show whether they can convince the judges of their “perfect fits”.
Hamburg News: Sabrina, you seek EUR 500,000 from the judges in return for a 10 per cent share of your company. This raises one of the lion’s most frequent questions; what is your unique selling point?
Sabrina: We stand out through our approach – we advise women customers in a segment in which plenty goes awry nowadays. Around 80 per cent of all women wear bras that do not fit them properly. We solve this problem with our “Very Important Boobs” box. There is no comparable product on the market at present. Our customers fill out an online questionnaire about their favourite lingerie and sizes. Then our fitting experts put together an individual box of lingerie and sets of swimwear. We have over 50 different-sized bras. Our customers can try on the products in the comfort of their own homes and return the pieces that do not fit free of charge. The principle of “curated shopping” is common in other shops, but not especially for women seeking the right bra.
Hamburg News: During the last two seasons of the show, the production company enquired whether you would consider appearing on DHDL. Why has the right time come now?
Sabrina: Our latest product, the VIB box has hit the market like a bomb. The demand was so high that we were afraid of running out of money to buy enough goods. So the time for an investment is perfect. We could spend the fresh capital on hiring new people or venturing onto the international market. But apart from the capital, we hope to bring one or more experts aboard who will support us with their know-how.
Hamburg News: Do you have special hopes from a particular lion?
Sabrina: We are eager to hear the opinion of Judith Williams. As the only woman on the panel, she has personal knowledge of our issue. If we can convince her, the other judges may build on her expert verdict. As an entrepreneur in the fashion sector, she would be an ideal investor. But the other lions could also support us with their knowledge. A deal with an online expert like Frank Thelen, for instance, would be a huge opportunity.
Hamburg News: Who are the people behind SugarShape?
Sabrina: We are sisters and grew up in the small and peaceful municipality of Stelle near Hamburg. Laura did German Studies and Cultural Sciences and I have a degree in Business Psychology. Like many females in our family, we are blessed with curves. That is nice on the one hand, but has often been a source of frustration when shopping. So a problem turned into our business idea. SugarShape went online in 2012. We are both privately and happily allied. I have a small son. Laura lives in Hamburg and I live with my family in northern Lower Saxony.
Hamburg News has reported on several start-ups appearing in the current season of “The Lion’s Den”:
Founders from Hamburg leave 'Lion’s Den’ with a good haul and Towell+ triumphs on VOX TV’s 'The Lion’s Den’.