“I just wanted undies that were comfortable, so that’s what I’ve designed.” Meet the former defence force officer who has swapped an air force career for designing lingerie.
TWO years ago, 32-year-old mother Candice Jarvis swapped a 10-year career in the Royal Australian Air Force for the fashion floor, igniting a childhood dream to be a designer.
Using the spare room in her Harrison home as a makeshift workshop, the logistics-officer-turned-underwear-designer, has created her own lingerie line.
Jarvis’ business – Candis Creations – launched a few weeks ago and she says the decision to “follow her dream” is paying off.
“When I had my daughter Charlotte my priorities changed, my heart wasn’t in my job anymore, I wanted to be at home with her and I wanted to run my own business,” Jarvis said.
Comfortable underwear always appealed to Jarvis, but she felt there was a gap in the market – lingerie for women who dress for themselves first.
Armed with a business and commerce degree and a decade of problem-solving skills from a successful RAAF career, Jarvis decided to create her own underwear designs.
“I was always complaining that I couldn’t find nice cotton undies, so my husband encouraged me to design my own,” Jarvis said.
“I started sketching undies… and it went from there.”
Her concept is simple – underwear that provides comfort, confidence and style.
“Everyone knows that undies are not really comfortable… most of the time you just want to get them off,” Jarvis said.
“There’s lots of special lingerie out there in satin, but nothing that I could wear every day that didn’t have an ice cream or watermelon pattern on it.
“I just wanted undies that were comfortable, so that’s what I’ve designed.”
The first-time fashion designer admits it hasn’t been a smooth journey.
“It’s definitely been challenging,” Jarvis says.
“Trying to find a manufacturer was hard, it took 18 months to find the right one, then trying to navigate the care labels and what symbols and instructions needed to be on them was pretty full on.
“There’s been moments when I’ve wanted to give up because I’ve hit a brick wall.”
But her efforts and the ethos behind her lingerie line are gaining momentum.
Describing the pieces as “contemporary and feminine” Jarvis’ aim is to inspire women from the moment they don their underwear in the morning.
“Quite regularly I’d be the youngest and only female in a meeting, so for me my underwear was like my armour; you can’t see it, but in my mind, I was confident,” Jarvis explained.
“I wanted other women to feel like that, the power and confidence you can feel when putting on comfortable lingerie. You can feel comfortable and good about yourself, that’s the core of my brand.
“I’ve been surprised by the support I’m receiving… I thought undies were a bit taboo but there’s so much interest out there for my product from women from all walks of life.”
Jarvis is one of around 16,000 self-employed “micro” business owners across Canberra, according to recent data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics.
With the support of her husband, an RAAF engineer, Jarvis says the sky’s the limit.
From sourcing parts for aircrafts to underwear design, Jarvis is encouraging others to follow their dreams, even if it takes a few career changes to get there.
“I’ve taken two very different paths… I do wonder what my Airforce mates think because most of them are men,” she chuckled.
“I’ve always loved fashion and it’s been a dream to go into that, but I never thought that would ever happen for me.
“I’m definitely on my way to living my passion.”
Order at candis.com.au