Shine On – Meet the nominees -Queen of Cups Lingerie

St. Stephen – If COVID-19 has taught us anything, it is that humans are extremely resilient. Yes, things were very different while the province was in lockdown, but that didn’t stop many business owners from finding new ways to support themselves and still serve their clients. One such business is Queen of Cups Lingerie.

Owner Abby Pond closed the doors to her studio, and has once again set up shop in her home. It is this type of resiliency that led her clients to nominate her for The Saint Croix Courier’s Shine On award, which will award three advertising packages to local businesses that has gone above and beyond during the pandemic.

“Because my daughter is also at home with no school, I’ve moved my studio back to the house,” said Pond. “We’re trying to find a new balance between being at home with her and working. So far, it’s working quite well. My employee is working from her home as well.”

Pond wasn’t able to produce bras for her clients, but she found another way to keep working and be able to support the community at the same time.

“During the lockdown, obviously I couldn’t make bras because all of my fittings were done in person,” said Pond. “Teaching as well, I couldn’t do that because it was all done in person. I was feeling a bit helpless, and not having anything to do. When the public health minister started recommending people wear masks, I thought, I could make those. So, I started making masks for my business.”

Once she began making the masks, Pond discovered that local agencies were struggling during the COVID-19 crisis, and she decided she wanted to help. Pond said she had heard stories about how the Fundy Region Transition House was struggling, due to an increase in domestic violence because people were in lockdown. So, she decided she would donate a portion of her sales to the Transition House, as well as to the food bank. Last week, she donated $600 to each organization.

“I decided I was going to make masks. For every mask I made, I made one to donate to an essential worker. Also, a dollar from every mask went to Transition House and the food bank.”

Pond said finding fabric to make the masks was difficult at first, because many of her suppliers are overseas, and some had either shut down or deliveries were delayed. It was recommended that densely woven fabrics that wouldn’t stretch when they went over the face be used, and she had some that she could use. So, she started using all of her scrap material, both from bra-making and her own personal fabric stash.

“Then, I was able to find a supplier for a couple of organic fabrics, and I managed to buy quite a bit of that. One is a cotton hemp blend, and the other is 100 per cent organic cotton. It’s the weave of the fabric that’s important, in being able to stop particles from going through.”

Now that the province has started to open back up again, and masks are more widely available, Pond has returned to making bras for her clients. She is still not doing in-person fittings, but has found a way to do virtual fittings. This has led her to new clients in other parts of the world, including an upcoming fitting for a client all the way down in Texas.

“Now, instead of just selling bras locally, I’ve been selling them all over the place. I have an upcoming fitting for somebody in Texas. It’s pretty cool.”

Pond said she is very flattered that her clients thought enough of her and her work to nominate her for the Shine On award.

“I’d like to thank them for thinking of me. I’ve been reading all of the wonderful things that other businesses are doing, and I’m honoured to be considered and to have been nominated for this.”