The Quebec company MesBobettes was born from a crazy idea. Philippe Vachon and David Côté-Hamel, who then had their web agency, Lubie, wanted to try their marketing tactics on a new electronic platform. In lack of a client project to do so, why not create their own guinea pig business? But, what to sell?
Boxers for men
Phil, in the locker room after a hockey game, notices something rather striking: the men are all wearing scruffy, threadbare underwear, all but one. For our two adventurous entrepreneurs, this is the perfect idea:
- It's light and small, so inexpensive to deliver.
- The competition is thin.
- Most men neglect themselves.
- It's not a seasonal product, which ensures year-round sales.
An online underwear store
The success of underwear
It was in 2012 that everything changed for the men's underwear company: Olivier Dion, then a model for the website, moved to Star Académie. The show's production, raving about her role as an underwear model, shows footage from her photo shoots. The popularity of MesBobettes is exploding to the point that the online store is temporarily unavailable due to server problems.
A promising future for MesBobettes
In 2013, Phil convinced the partners at the time to take advantage of the momentum and open a store on Wellington Street in Sherbrooke. The company then on a roll saw its first difficulties. The shop is desert. Thanks to the few loyal customers of the storefront, the partners noticed the strong demand for the Pocket-to-pocket style products that would later become the vein of MesBobettes.
A viral ad relaunched the company in 2015. The video “Clic clic, a new pair of panties” highlights the launch of Club MesBobettes. The same year, the Sherbrooke store moved to Carrefour de l'Estrie and the change was more than profitable: sales increased considerably.
MesBobettes in great difficulty
Thinking of repeating the success of the new Sherbrooke store, the two long-time friends embark on a new adventure and open two stores in the greater Montreal area…it's a total flop. The company is going through its toughest times. For Phil, “it's a good blow to humility and it's the straw that broke the camel's back”.
The man who never gave up and always rolled up his sleeves is struggling to see the light at the end of the tunnel. This is when Dave makes the decision to divide his time between the agency to get actively involved in the underwear company. A rented moving truck and the Montreal shops hastily closed, the two men are forced to thank their loyal employees and return to base. Everything is done around a small table in the backstore of the Carrefour de l'Estrie boutique.
The turning point
The big question that then arises for the two friends: what is the next step? Create their own brand of pocket boxers. Then comes in Boxers your taste. The Montreal founder, Richard Papazian, buys shares of the company which allows the two guys to focus on their new baby: the Pocket to pocketTM Hook Underwear boxers.
Secretly, Phil embarks on the adventure of the Dragons. He hopes to propel the brand then still embryonic. In the fall of 2017, stressed, anxious, nervous, feverish, he appeared before the dragons. Framed by two models in underpants with the physique of a stallion, he makes his pitch. Two investors, Caroline Néron and Pierre-Luc Archambault, made him an offer.
The capsule of MesBobettes is the first to be broadcast in January 2018. “We were sitting on the couch, we saw the sales coming in by the second. Everyone was buying, it was completely crazy,” says Philippe Vachon. The program Des dragons has propelled the company forward: breakthrough of the English-speaking Canadian and American market, tripled inventory level, hiring of fifteen employees.
The success of MesBobettes
Becoming a producer of his underwear line changes everything for the company. The company controls its inventory, designs, price and product quality. By adding thousands of loyal customers and a team of thunder, the two men have found the winning recipe and do not stop.
A future full of promise
MesBobettes now plans to go even further. Dreaming of becoming the "King of underwear" in Canada and even in the United States, Phil and Dave will launch two new brands of comfort clothing and underwear in 2021, one of which will be aimed at women, among others. A big announcement will also be made soon. Stay tuned!