Homegrown Business: Elevated Loungewear from V.O.SHE

Ladies, loungewear is the more comfortable thing you can wear, so why is it never stylish? This week, we spoke to Esther Octeau, Founder and creative director of V.O.SHE about her new Toronto-based brand that features loungewear that is both comfortable and chic!

Esther Octeau, founder and creative director of V.O SHE
Esther Octeau, founder and creative director of V.O SHE

What is your business called and what does it do?

V.O.SHE (Versions of She) is a Toronto-based elevated loungewear brand; featuring sleepwear, loungewear and handknits for women. Made-in-Toronto, V.O.SHE pieces are designed with high-quality soft draping fabrics (silk, satin, wool) in relaxed, sophisticated silhouettes. The versatile designs take women from the bedroom to the living room, from the home desk to the coffee shop – in both style and comfort.

What made you want to do this work?

I went to school for the Business of Fashion and for Graphic Design programs, and ended up taking my first job out of school as a graphic designer for a Canadian apparel brand designing all print graphics, fabric repeat patterns, designed labels and illustrated their promotional pieces as well as any other graphics or advertising needed. After working directly with the garments, I realized how much I loved being hands-on with the clothing and fully designing the garments, not just the surface. That was 18 years ago. I went on to design sweater knits as an assistant to the VP of a small Canadian company based out of Montreal. A few years later I started designing the sleepwear and loungewear for Joe Fresh ladies’ category and fell in love with the category. That was 11 years ago, and I’ve only grown to love loungewear and sleepwear more and more, making it my all-day everyday persona and career.

What problem does this solve?

V.O.SHE loungewear and sleepwear provide elevated transitional apparel that takes women from the comfort of their home to the outside world for her daily to-dos – whether it be grabbing a coffee, walking the dog, brunch with friends or the grocery store. Its effortless luxury, applying the best fabric qualities that are super soft to the touch to relaxed silhouettes. Some of our silky styles provide an added low-maintenance perk to the luxury fabric with machine-wash friendly “wash-and-go” care instruction. Best of all is it’s ethically sourced and made locally and overseas.

Who are your clientele/demographics?

Women, age 28-45 – but really we are for any women who enjoys beautiful loungewear

How does your business make money? How does it work?

All styles and collections are designed here in Toronto by me and then developed, sampled, fit, produced and sold wholesale and online.

V.O.She Lola collection black
Lola collection in black by V.O.She

Where in Toronto can we find your profession?

Locally operated ladies apparel brands are available throughout Toronto.  V.O.SHE can be found online.

What is the best question a prospective customer could ask a member of your profession when comparing services?

I couldn’t say just one question is best to ask when comparing V.O.SHE to other local ladies apparel brands.

Important questions to decipher V.O.SHE as a brand from others could be ‘Who is the V.O.SHE’s customer? What category of apparel does the V.O.SHE offer? What is the average price point (range)? And where is the brand sold?’

V.O.SHE is a luxury ladies sleepwear and loungewear brand, available to purchase online (with international shipping available) as well as in selects stores across the GTA. V.O.SHE caters to independent women ranging from 28 to about 45 years old – but there really is no age limit. Women of all ages can wear V.O.SHE because of the classic and timeless silhouettes and fabrics.

What is the best part about what you do? What is the worst part?

I find the most joy when my customer falls in love with the design for the same reasons that I designed it. Nothing is better when they describe the designs with the same exact words that I used to keep my inspiration focused when designing.

The worst part will be when I can no longer design. Really every part of what I do is integral to the process and leads to the end result, so I can’t say that there is a worst part.

What is your favourite joke about your own profession?

I don’t think I know any jokes about designing clothing lol! Other than people seem to think it is a glamourous job…. which it really is not most of the time.

PAY IT FORWARD: What is another Toronto business that you love?

Stole My Heart – it’s Toronto’s best lingerie boutique, owned by Amy and Ashley who are amazing women and entrepreneurs. The in-store experience they provide is above and beyond and their style selection is everything I love.