We caught up with Heather Thomson, mum and founder and CEO of Yummie by Heather Thomson.
Heather realised that shapewear was in need of a revolution after having her children. After wearing a string of uncomfortable and unsexy undergarments, she decided to act. Taking to her sewing machine she created Yummie by Heather Thomson, the world’s first patented shapewear that slims and shapes whilst promising ‘wow not ow’. Made with a patent-pending dual fabric technology, Yummie by Heather Thomson has a midsection panel which smoothes and shapes, whilst camouflaging any lumps and bumps. The microfibre fabric always feels cool and comfortable and Yummie shapewear never, ever rolls, rides up or feels clingy.
Yummie by Heather Thomson is designed to be seen and the combination of the brand’s good looks and functionality has led to world-wide popularity. Heather’s attitude to underwear is winning her many A-list admirers; Michelle Obama, Blake Lively and Eva Longoria are amongst those who have publicly praised Yummie by Heather Thomson. In the UK, Yummie by Heather Thomson is sold at stores such as Harrod’s and Harvey Nichols and online at Net-a-Porter.
As a designer, Heather also helped celebrities such as P-Diddy Combs, Beyonce and Jennifer Lopez, to create their own fashion brands. In fact, the launch of Sean Jean was so successful that it received three nominations for awards from the Council of Fashion Designers America.
Heather is also an inspirational philanthropist in her home country supporting her charity, The Kellner Pediatric Liver Foundation, founded by her friends Samantha and Andrew Kellner.The foundation drives awareness about organ donation and helps disadvantaged families to receive medical care.
What advice would you give to mums who are thinking about setting up their own business?
Starting your own business is very much like having a baby; your business by default becomes your other baby. You feel the excitement and joy, but much like pregnancy it’s a lot of hard work and sacrifice. So we as mothers are already ahead of the curve. So if you truly want it and you think you can see it, it can be yours… but nothing comes easy. Be prepared for the hard work, but don’t let the naysayers stop you from believing in yourself and your ideas.
What’s your top style tip for new mums?
I always say confidence is sexy – there is no need to be ashamed or embarrassed about your “new” body post-baby. Embrace your new curves. Don’t try to hide them, flaunt it… and really that’s where my Yummie Tummie 3-section tank was born out of. I wanted to accentuate my new yummie curves, not feel squeezed and pinched and smothered in ugly, uncomfortable “traditional shapewear.” I truly feel you cannot be sexy if you don’t feel comfortable in your own self, and really that’s the mission of my shapewear– to help women find the confidence they already have within no matter their shape or size!
Have you got a favourite designer or brand?I love fashion and the history of clothing, of course I have my favourites – what woman doesn’t?! I honestly admire the female designers who’ve embraced women for all they are and all they are worth. Coco Chanel was a true pioneer and innovator who wanted women to embrace their bodies and be free. I’ve long admired Chanel for her early innovative use of jersey fabrics back when no other designer was using those fabrics in women’s wear. I see parallels in my work with hers as we both rejected the idea of constricting women’s bodies into one ideal form. Femininity is all about the various curves and shapes. I feel the same about Diane Von Furstenberg – her wrap dress was a game changer who let women be sexy, comfortable and stylish. And what woman doesn’t slip into that signature dress and feel like she can take on the world? I know I feel empowered every time I put on my favorite DVF (with a yummie tummie slip of mine underneath, of course).
Any recommendations on where to take the family in New York?
New York is a lot cleaner these days and I love that my children are able to experience this new found beauty that is resurging in NYC. I love the improvements to our existing parks and all the new parks popping up along our city’s waterfronts. If you want a fun, exciting day with the family in NYC void of the traditional visits to the museums, Statue of Liberty and iconic shops I’d suggest a lovely stroll at the recently revamped Highline. The gorgeous greenery mixed with the scenic views of the Hudson and towering skyscrapers accentuated by the gorgeous old architecture of yesteryear will delight the whole family. It’ll be the memory your children will think back on when they’re adults with fondness and affection.
You must be very organised to juggle a business with motherhood – do you have any top tips on how you stay on top of it all?
It is a delicate balance. You cannot be in three places at once, and that’s ok to admit. As much as we want to believe we can do it all, the reality is sometimes we can’t. I just try to remind myself that it’s more about quality time vs. quantity. I try to focus on what it is at hand and try to feel that I have done my best, whether it’s my children’s school play or my company’s upcoming press preview or my charity’s next fundraiser.
Do you make New Year resolutions? What will yours be for 2012?
I believe there is always room for improvement, but I don’t want to change who I am. I just be a better me that I can be. I hope to take all that I do now to the next level in 2012. I want to continue my company’s success and take it to the next level and continue our journey in fashion’s history. I want to extend awareness of my charity, the Keller foundation and improve upon all the fantastic work and support we offer to parents who have children battling liver disease. My husband and I are eternally thankful to all the blessings we’ve had in life and wish to extend that onto others in need. And I want to be an even better mother to my children and continue raising them to be the wonderfully yummie souls they have all the potential to be.