Elles Roeleveld, Founder of Soft Revolt
Elles Roeleveld inherited her love from lingerie from her mother who worked in the lingerie industry for years. After working in the banking industry for 10 years, Elles felt the need to pursue her initial dream of starting her own lingerie business. But not just a standard lingerie company, but a true innovative lingerie brand. She therefore decided to found Soft Revolt in 2020.
Soft Revolt has developed 3D knitted, radically comfortable, wireless bras. Done with waiting for the end of the day to take off your bra and feel relieved! This bra is soft for to the skin, soft to nature, and soft to ourselves.
Thank you Elles for your inspiring answers and overall message to always listen to our instinct and be persistent with the causes you believe in!
What made you want to start this business?
My mother has worked for many years in the lingerie industry, so I got the passion for lingerie definitely from her. At the same time, my father is an entrepreneur. You find the combination of both in me. Already at the age of 13, I wanted to start my own lingerie business. Life took me in another direction, but the dream was always there. When I was 35, with 2 kids and had worked for 10 years in the banking industry, it was time for me to follow my dream. I quit my job and started working in a lingerie store. After helping hundreds of women, I knew that I wanted to help women of all sizes with wireless support. For me doing this sustainably, has always been a requirement. After talking to so many experts from different industries, I realized that with 3D knitting I could combine these needs, leading to Soft Revolt. We offer products that are soft to the skin, soft to nature and soft to ourselves.
What problem is your business solving today?
We solve the pain that still so many women face these days caused by needing to wear metal wires everyday for more than 12 hours per day. Especially women with fuller sizes have no alternative. I think we all know the saying "home is where the bra comes off". Well, we wanted to develop a bra that you can wear everyday easily, living the active life so many women have and still feel comfortable and supported. And secondly, we wanted to show the industry that it is possible to make lingerie in a sustainable way. Currently, only 5% of the lingerie is sustainable.
How do you create novelty in a sustainable way in your brand?
We don't take the obvious solution as a self-evident starting point.
If you were to give your 20 year old self advice, what would it be?
A few things that come to mind, but most important would be for me: Trust yourself. Even more these days, low self-esteem and insecurity is common in many youngsters. And there is not really a quick-fix for low self-esteem as this is all part of a growth process that most of us have to go through. However, there is always this little voice inside that knows very clearly what is good for you and what isn’t. Take the time to listen to it and trust on it. And other really important one, is surround yourself with positive people. The people we surround ourselves with can greatly influence our lives. Choose the ones that lift you up, make you better a better person, make you enjoy life.
Who or what is your biggest inspiration?
First of all, definitely our customers. My start-up journey started after a career in the banking industry. I quit my job and started working in a lingerie store to learn everything about lingerie and foremost, help as many women as possible. I wanted to know how I could really add something to the lingerie industry. I didn't want to add just another nice-looking piece of lingerie. Of course, lingerie needs to look good, but I also wanted to make something for women that solves a problem. And lingerie is really an intimate product. When you help women in a lingerie store you get to know so much about how women feel about themselves, what they are looking for, why they are looking for something like this and especially, the reaction when you have a match. You see instantly what good lingerie can do for their self-esteem. These conversations and connections are my true inspiration.
Secondly, we believe that cooperation between businesses is key, especially thriving a sustainable business. You help and learn from each other. When it comes to sustainability, there is no competition. You just want other companies to progress in this direction as fast as possible. So you share and learn and in this journey we meet so many passionate entrepreneurs who have a purpose and passion and the will to go for it. That gives so much energy and inspiration.
What makes you smile?
So many things! It is so easy to smile and the effect of a smile is worth so much. But, for sure, my 2 kids of 5 and 6 years old. I just love their enthusiasm, their willingness to discover everything without anything holding them back and their surprising reactions to stuff that seems so regular when you are an adult.
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