In Celebration Of Women - An Interview With Our Founder Chloe Julian
International Women’s Day is about celebrating women’s achievements, while striving for more rights.
In honour of this day, we talked to Videris Founder, Designer and Creative Director, Chloé Julian bout the challenges that come with being a female entrepreneur, navigating motherhood and owning a business, and what she hopes for future generations.
Has your vision for Videris changed now from when you first started?
It hasn't really changed at all. My core intent has always been to provide comfortable wire-free lingerie for women and portray real, untouched bodies. That is still my main focus.
Why did you start Videris?
At the most basic level I created the brand to build a job for myself and create a product I wanted to wear. I had worked for a lot of big brands and personalities and didn't feel that I could work within the design structure of creating new collections 2-4 times a year and multiple seasons at once anymore. I wanted to create a line of lingerie that was seasonless and to operate a more sustainable and thoughtful business model. Taking my time to consider what to develop, design with intent and allowing space to get a style right, then launching it when it’s ready. The product evolution for Videris is very natural and guided by my instincts.
How do you want women to feel in Videris?
I want her to feel that they are wearing a product created by a woman for women. That it's not just the same traditional shapes dressed up with a new lace, that aren't comfortable and focus more on how a woman looks than how she feels. I want her to feel comfortable in the product and also comfortable in allowing herself to embrace a more natural shape.
In most companies I have worked in the CEO (who has the final say) has been a man, they can not know what comfort is for a woman’s body, it’s not even a consideration.
What's been a challenge you've faced as a woman?
Learning to say no, setting boundaries and holding them. As a working mum I felt pressure to try and do everything, especially in my professional life and in the end I burnt out. As a creative woman, I am often underestimated; if I design bras then I couldn't possibly be good at running a business or know how to read a spreadsheet. But I have learnt that I need to run Videris from the feminine perspective. The values are different, so taking on more masculine behaviours in order to be taken more seriously is not going to work for me.
What is the reality of owning and running a business and being a mother?
Well, I had my 2nd child, my daughter Daphne 3 months after I launched Videris, so I have always had to balance the business with having a baby. It’s a juggle and I used to get frustrated with myself if I didn’t achieve all I wanted to in a day, but now I actually lean into the flexibility of owning my own business, working when I want and not over committing. It can be a mix of a lot of ease with a lot of pressure.
In saying that I have goals and targets I set for myself and the business, and it is a challenge when I am balancing this with being a mother. As I write this I have my laptop on the kitchen bench and am making the kids dinner at the same time. 😂
What do you hope for your daughter and future generations of young women?
That’s a really hard one, I would like to say that she could grow up in a world where women are treated equally, but I don’t know if that’s realistic. I have been reading “Invisible women, Exposing Data Bias in a World Designed for Men” by Caroline Creado Perez. The stats around representation of female characters in children’s TV shows are so concerning. 27% of non human characters are distinctly female and when a character is “genderless” it is most often assumed to be male. I was at a barbeque and my daughter had her bunny, it’s white and therefore “genderless”. Another woman said to her “Is that your bunny? What’s his name?” With the absence of obvious gender ie, being pink and having bows or frills on it, her bunny was assumed to be male. It’s not the first time it has happened and now I really notice how skewed the male bias is.
“The male experience and perspective has come to be seen as universal while the female experience - that of half the population, after all - is seen as, well, niche.”
- Caroline Creado Perez
I also hope that her generation grows up in a world where women come together to support each other. I think alot about how young women live in this current culture of popularity and that success is now confused with how popular you are. Being successful doesn’t mean that a million, a thousand or even 5 people need to know about it, success is about having purpose and working towards it.
What do you love about women?
OMG, We can literally do anything!!! I work with a team of women, most of them working mothers and it's amazing what we achieve in a short amount of time when we are all balancing so many different responsibilities. Communicating with women is the best!I recently moved the Videris office. Myself and one of my other female team members moved our entire storage unit - I packed it all up, we loaded a van, drove to the new space and then carried hundreds of boxes up 2 flights of stairs. When I returned the van less than 2 hours later the guy at the storage space couldn't believe how quickly we had moved everything!