By Theresa Java
Kimberly Berger opened up a bathing suit and lingerie retail shop, Lion’s Lair Boutique in 1996. She sold simple bathing suits that retailed for about $15. Over the next several years, gas prices were steadily rising, which was driving the cost of fabric and textiles up. Berger had to make a decision: to continue selling cheap bathing suits or to take her shop in a completely different direction by offering luxury apparel. She chose the later and, since then, the shop has expanded and accumulated a following.
Lion’s Lair now sells high-end intimate apparel, bathing suits, shoes, jewelry, clothing and more. It offers bridal undergarments and boudoir sets and a huge selection of name brands, particularly Empreinte, which is considered the crème de la crème of lingerie. Berger said that the life span of the suits and bras that she sells is years-long, that the clothing holds up well and is made to last.
“No two people are the same,” Berger said.
The proof: Lion’s Lair offers more than 210 different sizes of bras, band sizes ranging from 28 to 52 inches and cup sizes from A to S. Of the four full-time floor assistants, there is always a “custom-fitter.” This means she has gained extensive knowledge, over years, to custom measure all women for bra fittings.
“The right fitting bra makes all the difference in the world,” said Barbara Sukow, a custom-fitter who has been employed at Lion’s Lair for eight years. “I love what I do, I’m able to help women breathe better.”
To celebrate its 20 years of business, Berger is planning a succession of events. Berger, recently returned from a Las Vegas trade show, is putting together a trunk show Sept. 2-5. Brand names such as Lise Charmel, Éprise, Antinea and Antigel will be featured. The following week on Thursday, Sept. 8, she plans a Wacoal trunk show with more scheduled until the end of year.
The special events celebrate a special success. At the end of July, Intima Magazine hosts a prestigious industry awards ceremony in New York City. This year, out of 350 nominees, Lion’s Lair placed in the top 25 in the “Customer Service” category.
By donating a gently used bra to Lion’s Lair, you receive a 5 percent discount towards a new bra purchase. The used bra will be gifted at the Lotus House Women’s Shelter in Overtown, Miami.
Lion’s Lair Boutique Swimwear and Lingerie
82185 Overseas Highway