At Sphere, we are excited to be a part of a community that emphasizes inclusivity. One of our favourite Calgary businesses, that lives and breathes inclusivity is Body by Chai, a locally owned lingerie boutique that is dedicated to supporting all in the search for the perfect lingerie fit openly and intimately. Learn a little more about Body by Chai below.
“My focus has always been about making all people feel welcome: all sizes, all gender identities, all ages, races, and economic statuses.”
– Chai Swinton
Tell us a little bit about your business and why it’s unique.
Body by Chai is a lingerie boutique that specializes in professional bra fittings — but what makes us unique is our service and approach. After a decade of market research, I noticed that privacy, consistency in service, and inclusivity were the elements that were missing from the lingerie experience. While I was building out my store front in 2021, I was hosting clients out of my apartment (by appointment), and everyone loved the intimate environment. I decided to keep this business model for my storefront, and it has been well received.
Each private appointment is all about the client — no matter what size they may be. I show them how their bras are supposed to fit, while personalizing each experience with product knowledge, education, and fun!
My focus has always been about making all people feel welcome: all sizes, all gender identities, all ages, races, and economic statuses. The lingerie world has always been associated with one type of customer — one body type, and I’m proud to say I am a part of the change.
As someone who is doing something relatively new, what has the reception from the public been?
I have been overwhelmed with nothing but kind words from new clients and repeat customers. It’s so encouraging to read all the positive comments and stories on social media, because I know they are genuine. These stories and comments have been shared among the community, which is how all my business has been generated. It makes me feel like I have found my niche, and I’m making a difference. (which is so cheesy!)
If a well-fitting undergarment had a superpower, what would it be?
“For me, it’s always about standing out, doing something different and unexpected, and even breaking some rules along the way.”
– Chai Swinton
How do you stay motivated to keep doing what you’re doing?
Owning a business is not for the faint of heart. I question myself every day! But when a client walks in, we start chatting, I fit them in that perfect bra and when they gasp at the sight of their new-found boobs, all of my insecurities disappear. That’s what keeps me motivated: making clients happy and changing lives!
Where do you find inspiration for new ideas and directions?
I’m a fashion girl through and through — fashion is always a key player! Whether it’s up-to-date, on-trend fashion, or classic fashion from different eras, it’s fun to pull inspiration that way. I also attend seasonal buying markets twice a year: they highlight the Spring/Summer and Fall/Winter styles and colour trends for each brand. Think of it like Fashion Week — but for Lingerie.
For me, it’s always about standing out, doing something different and unexpected, and even breaking some rules along the way.
Where do you see yourself and your business in 3 years?
I have many goals: some of them are launching an e-commerce store, a Body by Chai private label, carrying swimwear and potentially a Body by Chai store overseas (which we are in the market research stage for at the moment). I’d like to continue to educate and inspire confidence in anyone with boobs, whether it’s through Body by Chai, or other events around Calgary. One major goal of mine is for Body by Chai to be a true genderless lingerie boutique, where anyone of any gender identity can feel comfortable to shop. We’re getting there, this is only the beginning!
Click here for bodybychai.com.