In the mid 1980s Steveston resident Sandy Hosein was not aware the village was going to transform to become a destination known for its boutiques and restaurants, but she had a vision to open a shop where women could treat themselves to something feminine.
Nicole Stoltz, Sandy’s daughter, has been actively involved with the business since it opened. Nicole was 11 years old when she began assisting with gift-wrapping and at a young age mastered the art of bra fitting.
A beautiful selection of bras and foundation garments can be found alongside loungewear, slippers, daywear and shape wear.
Sandy quickly became an astute business owner and Nicole has followed in her footsteps. They are actively involved in making purchasing decisions together and recently returned from a buying trip to New York City accompanied by Nicole’s four-year-old son, Zachary.
“Bare Basics is Zachary’s second home. Spending time at the shop is second nature to him. Who knows, he may take over the business one day,” Nicole says with a laugh.
She comments, “Although I’ve worked in the business for many years it was only last year that I became a partner. What an amazing gift. My mom opened her store when she was a little younger than I am now. She worked around the clock to grow this boutique and with two young daughters at home she still managed to put our family first.”
“One of the things I have learned from my mom is to not be afraid to try something new. We have recently started to go to yoga together. It is so fun to go into the studio and see my mom’s peers who have shopped with us for 30 plus years alongside parents of Zachary’s classmates. This is the demographic that we strive to cater to. We are always looking for products that suit a range of ages,” says Nicole.
A few years ago they introduced Vancouver designed Saxx Underwear, which has proven to be a game changer and has substantially increased their male clientele.
The Steveston Merchant Association annual Girls’ Night Out event held at the end of November is always a wildly successful evening for the shop. A highlight is bringing in Butlers in the Buff who model the Saxx products while serving refreshments and posing for photos and selfies.
For the ladies, Hanky Panky underwear made in the U.S.A. with soft stretch lace in a variety of fun colours remains a staple in the store.
Bare Basics beautiful window designs are the product of Nicole’s imagination. She has an innate talent for creating props and installations.
Tastes and trends have changed throughout the shop’s history. In the early years there was a larger market for bridal lingerie including chiffon peignoirs, chemises and silk gowns. While Bare Basics still sells these items, clients lean towards cute cotton pajamas and soft subtle fabrics for their sleepwear.
Case in point, customers are drawn to This is J, a Canadian company which designs and manufactures extremely soft bamboo “jammers” featuring great prints in comfy and breathable light sleepwear.
Paper Label is another of Bare Basic’s top selling collections. The Deep Cove based company creates lounge and sleepwear that moves you from street to sleep. Paper Label’s creations are made from Tencel, a fabric produced from sustainably sourced wood; it is more absorbent than cotton, softer than silk and cooler than linen. The oversize cardigans look great with a t-shirt and jeans, perfect for our West Coast casual look.
Bare Basics is known for its professional and personal service along with a good dose of warmth and laughter. Their business is first and foremost about people and with this personal approach clients keep coming back.
Nicole reports, “After 33 years in business we now have a third generation supporting our boutique.”
She wants to ease the misconception that Bare Basics is a place for only mature women. Younger shoppers are delighted to discover they don’t need to travel outside of Steveston for lingerie or casual attire.
We also carry beautiful bra lines for the younger market.” Nicole Stoltz
Nicole says, “We are so fortunate to be supported by our amazing team Arlene, Sue, Janis, and Alexa. Not only are they the backbone of the business, they are also truly family. Arlene has been with us for over 25 years and has helped grow Bare Basics into what it is today.“
All of the ladies at Bare Basics are bra-fitting experts and are committed to providing high-quality, accessible lingerie whether you are a bride-to-be, nursing mother, recovering from surgery, looking for a sports bra, or updating your bra wardrobe.
You may not be aware that Bare Basics also offers bra fittings for women who have had a lumpectomy, mastectomy, reduction or reconstruction.
“One of the most rewarding parts of being a bra fitter is fitting a prosthesis. We’ve all had more than one kiss after a fitting,” beams Sandy.
Nicole adds, “We are so appreciative of our clients. Supporting Steveston’s businesses helps keep money in our community. Someone recently said to me you can’t Google a feeling. This is so true of Steveston. You can’t find charm and history online.”
Pop in and see the recently renovated boutique. Nicole says with a smile, “It’s soft and feminine with an edge, much like our personalities.”
Bare Basics Lingerie
3871 Moncton Street, Richmond, BC V7E 3A7