The Best Of Hong Kong
Lifestyle News
By Gayatri Bhaumik | December 14th, 2020

An elevator convo with Monique Welsh of bespoke Hong Kong lingerie brand Stella Moon Intimates.

See here for more from our Next Up series.

The Loop HK Exclusive: Our readers can now enjoy 20% off their purchases of Stella Moon Intimates. Simply enter the code ‘NEXTUP’ when completing your purchase. Code will be valid for 48 hours from 9am, Tuesday 15 December 2020.

What do you do?

I founded Stella Moon Intimates in 2018 in Brisbane, Australia, while I finished my Bachelor’s Degree. What started out as a little side hustle has evolved into an ever-growing small business that is set on encouraging self-love, celebrating body diversity, and highlighting the beauty of all women.
After completing my studies, I knew I wanted to pursue my love for lace and design. So, when my partner got the opportunity to work in Hong Kong, I packed up my sewing machines and we arrived here in December 2019. I worked tirelessly for the first six months of this year to create a brand new collection to relaunch from here in Hong Kong. The most amazing thing to come out of this transition is being able to connect with not just local Hong Kong customers, but customers from all over the world. I rarely experienced this while based in Australia.

How does your business work?

I design and sew all pieces with my own two hands in my small Hong Kong studio. What starts out as a simple thought or idea, gets (very messily) transferred to paper at the beginning of any intimates piece. Once I’m happy with the idea and what I’ve envisioned has come to life on paper, the next step is mapping out the pattern for the piece I’m designing.

Each piece is then sampled two or three times before it’s quality-tested by real women who provide feedback to me on the piece. If tweaks are necessary, I will sample the piece once more to ensure its quality. Then comes the most exciting part – the piece is ready to be released!

All intimates of our collection are ethically made-to-order to ensure that we do not contribute to any stock or fabric wastage. It’s important to us as a small business to produce pieces on a small scale and to purchase materials in small quantities so that we reduce our impact on the environment. Because of this, our customers order their intimates on a pre-order basis. Depending on how I’m tracking in my current production schedule, it usually takes one or two weeks for me to sew, package, and send off their order. I also sometimes customize pieces according to customers’ sizes, and these can take a little longer.

How did your business get started?

I’ve known my way around a sewing machine ever since I can remember and naturally, am quite creative. But, I always saw sewing as more of a hobby. Despite realizing my love for lace at a young age and sewing dainty little bralettes for myself and my friends at the age of 16, I ended up taking a more traditional route after school and went to university.

Two years in, I took some time off, went back home for the summer, and started playing around on my mum’s machine again. I think I made about a hundred different bralettes in that short time and finally decided it was time I invest in my own machine. I began gifting my creations to my friends and sisters whenever I found a reason (which was really any reason at all), and eventually, I was encouraged to pursue this passion of mine, and Stella Moon was born.

Who are your customers?

As a sustainable, body-positive intimates brand, we attract a diverse range of women who want to be part of something bigger. Stella Moon Intimates embraces women of all shapes, sizes, and ages and we are so proud to support these women on their journeys to self-love.

What’s a day in your working life like?

A day in my working life is often busy as I juggle sewing and packaging orders, responding to customer enquiries, and marketing all by myself. Amongst all these tasks, I’m still always finding the time to jot down new design ideas and sample new pieces for future collections.

Where do you see your business in the future?

I would love to grow my business and create a platform where I can embrace real, everyday women. Through Stella Moon Intimates, I want to empower women of all sizes. I want women, wherever they are on their self-love journey, to take a second to appreciate the body that they’re in. To catch a glimpse of their stretch marks peeking through our intimates that are designed to give you confidence, and to own those insecurities!

I’m on a mission to normalize normal bodies and this is exactly why I use real women to model my pieces! I love creating lingerie for women to feel empowered and confident. You don’t need them for anyone but yourself!