Store owner opens lingerie boutique





Nicole Hosein gave up architectural drafting to offer women another kind of structural support — bras from Europe in her 4431 W. 10th Ave. store.


It’s probably safe to say most 11-year-old girls have never tried on a bra, never mind know how to fit brassieres to women of all shapes and sizes.

“It’s pretty funny when I think back on it now,” laughs Nicole Hosein, 31, at the memory of her childhood, self-confidently doing fittings in her mom Sandy’s lingerie shop, Bare Basics in Steveston.

“It was fun. I love making women feel good about themselves; to see their reaction when they get a good fit.”

Warm, lively and with a ready grin, it seems equally fitting that Hosein runs the Bare Basics’ second boutique on Vancouver’s West 10th Avenue. Already she’s been interviewed on TV four times for her uplifting knowledge.

Yet earlier, the former Steveston Secondary grad ventured on a very different path — her dad Clyde Hosein’s, who was the director of facilities and management for the City of Vancouver (he’s now retired).

“I was torn between two worlds, between following my mom’s footsteps and my dad’s,” she says, noting “I wanted to get an education in something.”

And she could draw, so she took structural architectural drafting at Kwantlen University College, graduating in 1997. Soon she was working as an architectural technologist in her dad’s office.

The field, however, had become computerized.

Instead of doing the hand-drawing work she enjoyed she was working with AutoCAD.

So when her mom called about opening a second store, Hosein leapt at the opportunity.

“I walked into my dad’s office right away and resigned,” she says. “The intention for me was that I would always step in and take over the Steveston store, but this was much better.”

The shop opened in March 2003, and Hosein says she couldn’t be happier — although she admits having a store limits one’s freedom.

“A store grounds you. My sister took off to Toronto and I can’t join her,” she says, smiling.

“(But my mom and I) both have fabulous staff, I never feel like I’m coming to work, I feel like I’m hanging out with my girlfriends.”

And her biggest challenge?

“Buying is hard because you put your own personal taste into it. Especially now, I’m buying for spring 2007 and a good chunk of our dollars goes into that, so if you make a mistake it could affect you for the whole year.”