What better for a Local Love during the month of Valentine's Day than a cute lingerie shop?! I headed back to Red Bank this month to visit Sweetest Sin, the ultimate specialty bra boutique that's been making bra shopping fun and easy (yeah, I said it) since 2009. It's no wonder that this store has a five-star-rating and a loyal customer base. Conveniently situated next to to a huge parking area and near Starbs and Rook Coffee, Sweetest Sin's old-fashioned hanging sign with modern pink and black update caught my eye. An easel-style sign boasts bra fittings and shopping for every size.
Upon entering, the foggy winter atmosphere faded behind me and was replaced with a bright, welcoming, and beautifully organized intimates store. It's not a huge boutique, but don't let its petite size worry you - with 150+ different sizes and 40 different brands available, its contents pack a punch. Beautiful bras and matching sets adorn the walls, mannequins sport gorgeous lingerie and comfy, silky robes, and fitting rooms have tape measures ready to go.
My eye was drawn to literal rainbows of panties decorating the tables, bras with intricately detailed straps, and beautiful boudoir-style photographs on the walls. There was even an entire wall of high-end intimate lifestyle accessories. I headed in early to meet the wonderfully sweet and knowledgeable owner, Angela, for a morning chat before the store opened.
What prompted you to open Sweetest Sin?
I come from a background of small business owners, and I went to school for business and marketing. I worked in a boutique and just loved the personal experience and customer service helping women. I realized there was a niche to be filled in this area; there were no specialty boutiques in bras and especially for hard-to-find sizes. Someone recommended Red Bank, so I did a lot of my own research on the location and demographic. It really just was the perfect fit here. Plus, we have both coffee shops and parking on this street!
Can you describe the customer experience for someone walking in for the first time?
The customer experience is whatever you are comfortable with. We greet everybody and we will bring you into a dressing room if you want to be fitted. If you are someone who likes to browse, there's a ton to browse. We can do all the work for you: fit you and bring you styles and sizes that are right for your body specifically. There are no two breasts or bodies alike, so we make sure to bring you pieces you'll love. Whether it's something basic for every day, something for under a special outfit, or you're looking for a great sports bra, we will remove that typical annoying stigma of bra shopping and make this an easy and fun experience. We stay educated here and really know our inventory.
What is the average price point in your store?
We try to keep items at a good price point, and it's really a good mix of everything. You can find a $30 bra and you can find a $200 bra, and everything in between. A good average would be $50.
Do you only carry bras?
The heart of our boutique is our bras and bra selection, however we also carry shapewear, hosiery, loungewear, bridal gifts, undergarments, sexy lingerie, and intimate accessories. Whether it's for under a prom dress, under a wedding dress, whatever - we really stay in our industry. I'm a big believer in finding what you're good at and sticking to it.
What is your typical customer clientele?
This really is a store for everyone. Our core customer is somewhere between 28-65 years old, but we get teenagers getting undergarments for prom, girls getting their first bras, first bra fittings - there's even something here for grandma!
Do you offer any incentives for shoppers?
We have a bra club - after you buy twelve bras at a regular price you get a $100 gift card. We keep track of it in your account here, which makes life easy. Not only do we save your shopping history and keep track for the bra club, but we save your size, likes, dislikes, and you can even create a wedding registry or wishlist. We take care of it all, especially keeping track of your rewards so you don't have to. The bra club is our way of thanking you for shopping with us and being loyal to us. We appreciate that so much!
Aside from shopping, are there any events that customers can look forward to?
We have events all year long! We just had our annual Valentine's soirée, a shopping event where we have pink bubbly or rosé and sweets - it's such a fun night! This year was also the first year we did Mardi Bras. This was a bra drive to benefit Free the Girls, an organization that helps girls rescued from sex trafficking to get back on their feet.
Coming up we have the Red Bank Wedding Walk on March 11th. The whole downtown area gets involved. It's a fun day where we usually have something like a special gift for the bride.
We don't carry swim as we are exclusively intimates, but once a year we do a trunk show for swimwear with Prima Donna, a brand who's lingerie we carry. This year the trunk show is March 17th. Prima Donna carries D-H cup swimwear and we get the entire collection so you can special order pieces and have them in time for the summer!
We are having our first ever tween event in May as Cosabella did their first tween collection. It's May 12th, the day before Mother's Day, kind of a mother-daughter trunk show event. In May there's also a fashion show and in the fall we have an anniversary party that's open to the public. We send out a newsletter once a month and also post all our events to social media.
Do you do private shopping parties?
Yes! We can close the store for you and your guests, you can bring champagne, order something from The Cheese Cave or Sugarush, and everyone gets fitted and shops. You can set that up through our website. This is great for a bachelorette party, a mom's night out, or just a fun girls' night out, for no special reason - just get your girlfriends together, shop, go to dinner afterwards.
What kind of social media can we use to keep up with Sweetest Sin?
Our website is very informational and through it you can book bra fittings and private shopping parties. You can also shop for most of our core pieces through our website and through Shoptiques. We have a blog and try to do a post once a month with whatever's relevant at the time - a holiday, event, fashion trends... Personally, I like when we do bra or brand spotlights and we really break down why a bra costs what it does or how it fits. We really get to know our inventory. We also use Facebook, of course, and post on Instagram as well, @sweetestsinbras, showing new products and events.
If I want to spoil myself or drop some hints to my SO, what are the top five pieces you'd suggest?
First, you need a really beautiful teddy, because it's something you can wear as an undergarment or as outerwear with your outfit to dinner. Next, your basic black t-shirt bra, but elevated! We have one with a beautiful lace piece in the back. You can wear it under your outfit and it's an everyday staple, but it's still cute and sexy.
Third, a bralette. Bralettes are huge right now! We have one from Cosabella called the Curvy that fits DD to 38F, it has great coverage, great seams and straps, and great support for a bralette.
Everybody also needs a good, classic robe. Silk feels amazing and it's luxurious, or a really great cotton robe, is something for everyday wear around the house. I would consider it another staple to have in your wardrobe.
Lastly, HankyPanky panties! They have comfortable thongs that don't show any panty lines, whether that's the low-rise thong for under jeans or the high-waisted one for under dresses. They're one size and so easy and comfy. Get a staple black or nude, or red for Valentine's Day! There are so many colors, you can seriously match them to any bra.
Shop at Sweetest Sin at 11 White Street, Red Bank, NJ.