In 1996, Forever Yours Lingerie opened in a quaint little 600 square foot space in the City of Langley with big dreams. Owner, Sonya, used perseverance, tenacity, and penchant for creative problem solving along with never accepting no for an answer to help grow her the company along with husband and co-owner, Brian. FYL began with Brian working all the overtime he could at his day job just to pay for the stores rent every month for the first couple of years. As Sonya worked in the shop 6 days a week for the first 3 years until they could finally afford to hire their first official a part time employee.
FYL continues to be the definition of a family business with son Jack and daughter Lucy helping out behind the scenes when needed. In 2011, Brian quit his day job and came to work solely at FYL. He is our photographer (he does amazing work and has a number of awards to his name), IT guy, light bulb changer, ladder climber, story teller, problem solver...or whatever needs to be done! As well, Sonya's mom worked as a fitter for 8 years before she retired in 2013 (many of you will remember her as Mama Diane). It's been both a rewarding and challenging lesson in patience working so closely with family.
Over the past 25 years of being in business, FYL has grown in several exciting ways including a store expansion, not once, not twice, but three times!
Along with expanding the store came introducing new staff to our experienced team to now include over 40 employees at our Langley location, warehouse and soon to open North Burnaby location. As the industry has changed significantly since the late 90s (think internet, social media, online shopping, the list is endless!) along with the rest of the world, we are now home to a website division and an in-house photo studio. This has helped us grow a community on our various social media channels as well as discover incredible models to express our creativity with.
Forever Yours along with family, friends and fans, lost the beautiful Elly Mayday in the Spring of 2019 to Ovarian Cancer. Not only was she one of the first models we shot with to create our online presence, but she was Sonya's long time friend & muse. She was also a huge advocate for Ovarian Cancer research. The "One Hell Ova Women" high tea was created in Elly's memory and in support of raising awareness and funding for Ovarian Cancer research to continue Elly's mission. The event raised a total of $21,000!
Not only has FYL expanded our Langley City location but we are excited to announce that we are opening a second location in North Burnaby. We are currently in the process of preparing our bra fitters to graduate from their training program to confidently fit our new community of customers across the bridge. This has all been during the pandemic and navigating through provincial business restrictions. Running a business during a global pandemic is not for the faint of heart, but our team has made it look easy, through their hard work and dedication to FYL and it's customers.
As we continued to grow and expand our customer base we continue to learn. We have learned a lot over the 25 years in business, and are still working every day on how to improve, to make it a better shopping and work environment for everyone. Including things like bringing in more environmental measures, allowing remote work for employees, and introducing a new customer friendly online shopping platform.
We can tell you from the bottom of our hearts that we would not still be here and thriving today if it wasn't for our incredibly loyal customers, some of whom have been shopping with us since our 1996 opening day! We have seen customers buy their first 'real' bra with us, then fitted them for bridal foundations and/or maternity/nursing bras. We are lucky enough to see the full circle of womanhood through our customers.
Our staff has grown from Sonya and Brian to include an amazing group of ladies. Each employee is here because they love what they do and love FYL. Talented, diverse, funny, caring, compassionate, and hard working… these ladies are the heart and soul of everything we do here! Of everything accomplished in the last 25 years, we think one of the proudest accomplishments is the group of staff that we have assembled.
So for everything that has brought us to this point and everything that we will accomplish going forward, we say, raise a glass and make a toast because it's been a fabulous, crazy 25 year ride, and we can't wait to see what the next years will bring!