Tell us a little bit about yourself…
My name is Ingrid Bonnor. First and foremost, I am a mother. I am also a designer, entrepreneur, and lover of all things lovely. I consider myself to be jovial, adaptable, and of course, as all designers should be, a dreamer. Growing up with a mother who was a dance teacher, I remember feeling inspired by the copious amounts of tulle and tutus that come with being a small ballerina: this is where my passion for my brand originated. I am completely in love with my job, and although it can be very challenging to do so, I get to balance it with my personal life. I believe that women should develop their own personal style and wear it with complete confidence, as every woman deserves to feel beautiful in their own skin.
How did you start your brand Homebodii?
Whilst working as a PR consultant for a French beauty brand at the age of 30, I had the realisation that Homebodii (bridal robes, sleep wear and organic essentials) was something that was important enough to pursue. Being new to the industry and without any design background, all I had was my own determination and with a toddler on top, I needed every bit I could muster. I first launched at a local market with the help of a local dressmaker. The direct feedback I received during these humble beginnings was the best market research I could have asked for, and as a result Homebodii began to mature into something very special. With determination an perseverance, Homebodii went from our spare room to a small factory and now a bigger factory with our own showroom and leading national and international stockists. I managed the business with my sister Marianne for the first two years. What we did in our early days was to listen to what our customers wanted and offered an excellent personalised service. Organic growth and word of mouth has been a big factor in the success of Homebodii. Now, 5 years later, I run a successful brand that has a flagship store on the Gold Coast, QLD, as well as being stocked in leading worldwide retailers such as Anthropologie, Revolve, The Iconic, BHLDN and White Runway. Our ethos at Homebodii is centered on making women feel beautiful in their own skin. We aim to do this by offering pieces that are functional yet feminine.
What have been your highlights as a designer?
As of my career so far, my proudest moment is the experience of having my brand feature at New York Fashion Week. It was such an incredible experience all round, and I learned so much. The fact that my brand is beautiful enough to be compared to hundreds of other Australian brands and still be chosen, inspired me as a designer and business owner. Our Instagram is filled with photos of women wearing our garments, it is very pleasing and the compliment is never lost on us. We love seeing Homebodii robes being worn for memorable occasions, including bridal parties, Sunday lounging, on holidays or at the races. It’s a great feeling knowing that our customers feel beautiful in our pajamas and dresses, because we truly believe what we wear is a reflection of how we feel. Another highlight is not a particular moment or event, but rather an aspect of my career. Since starting in 2012, I have watched my brand grow and expand. It’s really the little moments, like getting an email saying how in love with a robe a customer is, or coming up with a design I love, and seeing it come to life.
What have been some of the challenges?
Sometimes, I really just want to check out for a week and be with my kids and husband, relax, and not have to be constantly checking emails, Instagram, answering phone calls… you get the idea. But there are deadlines that I must constantly meet, and I am working around the clock as I deal internationally. My kids hate nothing more than me being on my mobile, and it has been a really big struggle of mine to try to find a balance between my work and personal life – it’s something I’m constantly trying to improve on. There’s also the feeling of anxiety that comes with the ending of a big project you have been working on. There is just that overwhelming feeling of relief and then a feeling of being a bit lost. Much after like your wedding it’s almost like an ‘anticlimax’. After such a high there is a little bit of melancholy that creeps in…what’s next? I have to start again…
What is the best piece of advice you have been given as a woman in business?
Stick to your gun and remember why you started doing what you are doing, as at the end of the day that’s what is most important. Don’t let others intimidate you.
Who would you like to see wearing Homebodii?
Everyone! I created Homebodii with the intention of providing pieces to women that would make them feel beautiful, so I think that every woman should wear Homebodii. Oh, and I guess maybe Margot Robbie…
What are you thankful for?
My family, and the experiences I have had. It’s so funny like the famous speech by Steve Jobs about connecting the dots in your life. 10 years ago I would have never guessed that I would be doing what I am doing now, but I wouldn’t want it any other way, and I am a lot happier than I would have been.
Follow @homebodii on Instagram.