Taking a deep dive into the world of work straight from university, Helen Tahk (29) couldn’t even dream six years ago that a BonBon Lingerie’s customer service representative could become the company’s retail CEO. Even less, she could foresee all the challenges this title would bring along. She had no previous experience in managing people nor building stores. Today, she has successfully opened six stores, all of which have become an irreplaceable safe haven for every lingerie fan who appreciates luxury. But what do we have to learn from a young woman who has taken a bold decision to jump head-first into the unknown and let her desire of offering a world class customer experience lead her to the top. We believe, everything!
From a lingerie fan, to the CEO of Estonia’s leading lingerie brand
In order to offer something unforgettable to others, you first need to believe in whatever it is you’re offering. Which is why, Helen is convinced that she would have never been able to identify with the needs of her customers so well if she hadn’t been such a big fan of BonBon’s lingerie herself beforehand. “One of my brightest memories related to lingerie and BonBon was 10-12 years ago when I was walking around Ülemiste centre with my mother and she wanted to go to the BonBon store at that time. We went in and my mother said: ’’Have a look if you want anything as well’’. The only thing I remember is looking around in total awe, feeling the products, and thinking that I couldn’t possibly wear anything like this or that I am “not worth it’’. I didn’t even think to try anything on as it felt unnatural for a young girl like me. So, my mother left with a gorgeous white Isabel lingerie set and I left empty-handed. Now, turning 30 next year, I deserve nothing less than gorgeous lingerie and to feel good about myself. The confidence that well-fitting, beautiful lingerie instills in me is priceless. No one else can see under your clothes, but it’s the knowledge that is so powerful. In today’s world, where everything is on display to others, lingerie is that one thing that is solely yours. Only you can decide where, if, and with whom you share this little secret. And also, I now have Isabel’s white set in my lingerie collection.”
“No one else can see under your clothes, but it’s the knowledge that is so powerful. In today’s world, where everything is on display to others, lingerie is that one thing that is solely yours.”
Although Helen is opening her sixth store in mid-October, she feels that the excitement still hasn’t lessened in any way over the years. “To this day, it has not fully dawned on me that I have opened six new stores more or less all by myself. In the beginning years, I had people helping me, mostly project managers from construction companies, but the last two stores I have completed 90% independently. Thus, I have been involved in all of the processes. From negotiating leases to actually opening a store. The middle part between the beginning and end has been a real emotional rollercoaster for me, which obviously has included some tears as well. Before BonBon, I had no experience with construction project management - I didn’t know about plaster walls, weak current or security gate transformers. But I have had to familiarise myself with all the latter and more, and simply put - deal with it! It has honestly taught me so much, made me stronger and helped grow a thicker skin. Construction is a man’s world where you need to swim with the sharks. I swam to the shore without a scratch, and every visit I make to our newest Viru store is filled with the greatest sense of pride - I did this! Of course, I also have to thank my father who was by my side throughout this whole process, guiding me in his own way.”
“Construction is a man’s world where you need to swim with the sharks. I swam to the shore without a scratch, and every visit I make to our newest Viru store is filled with the greatest sense of pride - I did this!”
For all the people who are waiting for the right moment to start something big, Helen recommends to just go for it. “Fake it ’till You make it’. All people generally start something new with 0 knowledge. You learn and evolve until you can call yourself an expert or professional. By implementing qualities such as confidence, competency, and an optimistic mindset in our real life, you are able to achieve the desired results. At the end of the day, we’re all just trying to succeed in life and enjoy the process.” Believe in yourself and your abilities, until it becomes a reality!
A project is the best opportunity to acquire new skills during the course of the work to succeed. The mistakes you make are not failures, but rather opportunities for development. “It is eye-opening to compare the present and 23-year-old Helen. The main area I have evolved in during these six years is confidence. I have never met a more confident, at peace me. I am not rattled by other people’s opinions of me (although, sometimes I am), I feel great in my own body, and I generally have a lot more compassion for others as well. Tough times are over, the landing was shaky, but the journey has been nice and enjoyable. BonBon Lingerie has also grown a lot since its beginning years - from a playful girl into a confident woman. So, in a sense, we have grown together and I firmly believe that the best years of my life are still ahead of me in my 30s. I’ll probably be saying the same thing 10 years from now, waiting for my 40s to trump the previous years.”
Helen is wearing Mara Push-Up Bra.
BonBon Lingerie - more than one woman’s dream job
“I feel turned on by my own existence in BonBon Lingerie,” Helen sums up what BonBon Lingerie means to her. “Working at a lingerie company means that my drawer is filled with ONLY the world’s most gorgeous lingerie. But that's hardly the best part about it. The best part is getting to offer other women the chance to own lingerie that I myself appreciate and love so much. I have a chance to meet other inspiring women and together execute our brand’s vision, which is to help every woman be in contact with their feminine energy. This is BonBon Lingerie’s contribution to the world and it makes my experience as a woman on this Earth so much more special to be a small part of it.” Her work also gets value from the fact that BonBon Lingerie supports domestic entrepreneurship while offering lingerie with a unique design to the worldwide market. ”We are actually the ONLY lingerie company today with domestic production that produces really comfortable, perfectly fitting and gorgeous-looking handmade lingerie that fits a range of sizes. BonBon Lingerie is also made special thanks to our designs, especially the boudoir collection’s ouvert cuts, which will simply put, blow your mind - both men and women!”
“I feel turned on by my own existence in BonBon Lingerie.”
Helen is wearing exclusive Bite Me Long-Sleeve Bodysuit.
But what does it mean to be a retail CEO? “My day starts at 10, the same time all the stores open. We have three stores - in Ülemiste, Viru, and Nautica shopping centre. On Mondays we have a sales meeting where we go over the previous week’s turnover and see what the upcoming week will bring. On Tuesdays we have a production and design meeting, Thursdays we have a meeting with our CFO. My job also entails providing the stores with new product shipments twice a week. All our lingerie has been made in Tallinn since the beginning, and every time I go to our production unit, I still feel proud. Next, I head to the stores and make sure they have everything necessary for a ‘smooth sailing’ and that the sales assistants are happy. There are obviously also various SOS-topics that suddenly arise throughout the week. I am especially anxious about some weeks when, for example, we are shooting for an upcoming season or, like this time, my own very first photoshoot with BonBon.”
“All our lingerie has been made in Tallinn since the beginning, and every time I go to our production unit, I still feel proud.”
Having been in close proximity to the design process since her early years, we couldn't help but ask Helen about the lingerie collection that has crept into her heart the most. Obviously, she couldn’t just pick one. “Angelina is my all-time favourite - a luxurious everyday collection. It’s honestly just soooo comfortable and nice. As you might expect, my lingerie drawer is filled with different options but my hand inevitably gravitates towards Angelina on weekdays. Try it and you won’t regret it. She comes in black, beige and white, which means it fits perfectly under any colour outfit. I mean, there’s a reason we keep making more of it again and again. Second and the most recent favourite of mine is our newest collection Coco Heart. I simply don’t have words for how special and beautiful this collection is. If I wear it, the feeling I get is un-be-lie-va-ble! Coco Heart’s rich detailing makes it one of our most finely designed collections ever.”
BonBon Lingerie open a third representative strore in Viru Center
BonBon Lingerie’s newest store is located on the recently renovated second floor of Viru Keskus shopping centre. “What we have here is a ‘Premium’ floor which has a completely different atmosphere compared to the centre’s first floor. Can’t decide if it’s the renovated facades, excellent selection of brands, or luxurious natural-wood floors that give it an otherworldly feel without ever leaving the country. See for yourself and come explore our newest BonBon Lingerie store!”
A positive emotion and confident attitude are the keywords that best describe the newly completed store. “The innovation of the Viru Keskus centre store lies in its unforgettable shopping experience. Our stores represent a private oasis for women who find comfort in a private shopping experience. Our changing rooms with supporting lighting have a sensually comfortable atmosphere. Our customer assistants are experts in their field and, if necessary, also your friends. Our lingerie is trendy, comfortable, and high-quality. Our guests are welcomed by an inviting and stylish shopping space created by Vaikla Design. I believe that in today’s fast and online world every woman needs a safe haven, where time seems to stop and the only focus is you - BonBon Lingerie stores provide just that.”
“I believe that in today’s fast and online world every woman needs a safe haven, where time seems to stop and the only focus is you - BonBon Lingerie stores provide just that.”
The boudoir selection, which is a triumph of feminine power and includes our signature products, awaits for lingerie fans in-stores. Thanks to its growing popularity, it keeps getting harder to maintain on the shelves. The selection includes provocative ouvert bras, g-strings, bodysuits, and panties. To look extra stimulating, match the lingerie with the same collection’s suspender belt and stockings in matching tone or lace. “When it comes to what's hot in the lingerie scene this season, our boudoir selection continues to be the biggest hit. I will never forget the moment we released our very first boudoir collection Shades in 2015-2016. Obviously, inspired by the mega popular movie ‘50 Shades of Grey’. When placing a production order for this collection, I found myself thinking that it won’t be that big of a hit, considering the modest nature of Estonians who are most probably not ready for this type of product yet. And much to my surprise, I was wrong - the collection was sold out in a blink of an eye. Since then, we have turned our focus heavily on boudoir and developed our own line of niche products. It’s always so heartwarming to see couples in-store buying lingerie for both of their pleasure. We have also created a sensual bedroom toys corner in every store, where we offer products that make special nights even sexier and more intimate.”
Helen is glad that people are becoming more and more aware of what and from whom they buy. “Sustainability is gaining more and more importance and relevance, which makes it natural that people prefer domestic brands whose production chain is transparent and high-quality. BonBon Lingerie is one of the few brands where you can be sure that the lingerie you buy was created in humane conditions, by people who are cared about, and under conditions that are healthy for your body. Therefore, it can be assumed that everything produced in China will slowly either die out or hopefully, adopt a production quality similar to ours.”
“BonBon Lingerie is one of the few brands where you can be sure that the lingerie you buy was created in humane conditions, by people who are cared about, and under conditions that are healthy for your body.”
Helen is wearing sexy Pamela's Ouvert Bra and G-String.
A big thank you to Helen for publicly opening herself up for the first time! Helen and BonBon Lingerie invite you to an exclusive opening of the Viru centre store on the 13th of October, starting at 17:00. At the opening party, Laura Valk, one of Estonia's most beloved energy therapists and BonBon Lingerie’s muse, will be hosting a meet and greet where she will be sharing her valuable knowledge on "how to awaken and find your sexuality”. Laura’s meet and greet will take place between 18-20, and later all the guests have a chance to ask her their own burning questions. Don't miss this unique opportunity to meet the ever-so sensational women's self-love teacher Laura Valk FOR FREE! From the day of the event until Sunday, October 16th, BonBon’s ENTIRE SELECTION is -20% only in the Viru centre store. *The discount does not apply to the Coco Heart collection. A free lingerie set will be drawn among all buyers. Come and treat yourself to luxury lingerie with personal customer service and sparkling wine, and take part in a glamorous evening of conversation with other intelligent women.