Deean Yeoh is co-founder and CEO of Amour Caché, a new intimate apparel company that seeks to create space for everyone from bralette lovers to breast cancer survivors and beyond. Deean found her passion for customer-centric products while working at a digital marketing agency. Since then she’s found ways to incorporate market research data into Amour Caché’s designs. When she’s not working on new bra designs or scouting for unique fabrics, you’ll find her curled up with a book, writing, or taking 35mm photos. She’s lucky enough to work with her best friend, but in her downtime recoups via solo sports (ballet, boxing, and sailing).
Agnes Zhan is co-founder and CFO of Amour Caché. She previously headed project management at a VR company before founding Amour Caché with her best friend. She is passionate about how technology can streamline and advance “traditional” processes and hopes to incorporate this into Amour Caché’s product development flows in the future. Agnes’s dream is that one day, public perception of intimate apparel will shift to encompass beauty and function — not just one or the other.
Patrice: What motivated/inspired you to start a business?
Amour: We initially planned to create a size-inclusive lingerie company, 30–40 bra bands and XS-2XL bottoms sizes. During the course of our company’s evolution, one of our co-founders discovered she had breast lumps. Soon after, we heard from two other girlfriends who had either just discovered their breast lumps or just gotten biopsied. All these women were below 25. It was kind of existential and made us question “well, what if we did get breast cancer? How would we feel? What would we want? What would help us feel like “ourselves” in a time of distress and uncertainty?” We started speaking to survivors to hear their stories. When we did more research into the intimate apparel space, we discovered that beautiful, luxurious post-mastectomy bras were in short supply. As we continue to develop the brand, we’re realizing the same can be said for many marginalized groups that haven’t been catered to by the traditional lingerie industry. From there, we’re catering to and expanding on inclusivity, which is how Amour Caché was born and continues to grow!
Patrice: What makes you a pretty woman that hustles?
Amour: We both come from entrepreneurial families. As a kid, when you bear witness to the rise, falls, and risks that come with owning your own business you want to run in the opposite direction, but as cliché as it sounds, we are driven by our passion. We both share a deep love for business and fashion. When we saw a gap in the market that we believed we had a solution for, we went for it. Lucky for us, we have very supportive families that pushed us to chase our budding business and friends who tried our products and were convinced we had a future in the industry.
Patrice: What is the name of your business(es) and what are they all about?
Amour: Amour Caché is a new breed of inclusive lingerie where everyone from bralette-lovers to breast cancer survivors and beyond feel seen and catered to unlike ever before. We also have an e-magazine that accompanies our brand called L’AMOURZINE. The e-magazine is our way of featuring individual stories and inspiring conversations around topics like mental health, body diversity, and gender identity — an extension of our brand’s goal of inclusivity. Having a space for discourse and dialogue on a wide range of topics allows us to make space for all the identities we want our brand to reach in the near future.
Patrice: Have you faced any challenges in your business?
Amour: It’s very difficult garnering organic interest in a brand as a small business; we have limited resources to spend on marketing and a limited network to draw from. However, it has made us really creative and scrappy when it comes to making genuine connections with people who believe in our mission and our products. It’s really inspiring to work with like-minded folks who care about the same things we do and share in our love for the power of lingerie.
Patrice: What projects are you currently working on?
Amour: We are currently working on launching our Spring/Summer styles and starting to develop new styles for 2022!
Patrice: How do you face diversity as a woman entrepreneur?
Amour: The lingerie industry is quite heavily women-dominated – at least from our experience. Most designers we’ve met are women and are, therefore, able to address the fit/aesthetic/comfort concerns of women. We find that increasingly, more and more lingerie startups are women-run, which is incredible to see.
Patrice: Is balancing your personal life, work life and business life difficult for you at times?
(Deean) I love painting and photography, it really helps me decompress. I’m lucky to love my job; oftentimes even when I’m “unplugged” I’ll find myself doodling bra designs or hunting for fabrics.
(Agnes) I try to balance myself by going for workouts. It’s hard to think about anything else except the actual weight that is on your body.
Patrice: How does your business differ from other businesses in the same industry?
Amour: Our company is the first lingerie company (that we know of) to cater to women of all walks of life. Alongside our extended size range, we also cater to all types of bodies and needs. Whether it’s breast cancer, maternity bras, or everyday bras – Amour Caché’s goal is to become a new breed of inclusive lingerie that caters to all your needs throughout all your walks of life.
Patrice: What does being an entrepreneur or business owner mean to you?
(Deean) As someone who loves design and tailoring, I started studying which bra cuts fit well, which fabrics were comfortable or scratchy. Being able to fill a gap in the market is really fulfilling. It’s really rewarding to read reviews where people say how much they love the bra / how they’ve been looking for a bra like this and finally found it because of Amour Caché.
(Agnes) Also a desire for control and independence. As an entrepreneur, we wanted to control the decisions made in a company, the income you have, your future. To me, owning your own business is the only way to do that independently.
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