Most women and young teenagers across America shop almost exclusively at Victoria's Secret. This franchise is the "go to" of many and most females in the country. However, regardless of what most of us think, Victoria Secret was actually found by a man, Roy Raymond.
His story began in the late 1970's when he was shopping for his wife for lingerie and felt out of place and uncomfortable. He said that the costumer service at the department store he had ventured too made him feel judged and unwanted. Not only that, but he found that none of the lingerie sold at these department stores fit his criteria for what he wanted to buy, he said that they were covered with dated florals and comprised of mainly cotton robes.
Roy could have seen this as an opportunity to just go and buy his wife a candle or scarf for her birthday, but found an opportunity in the lacking lingerie departments across America. Roy, being a Stanford graduate, found a brilliant business opportunity instead. The goal was so men could go into a lingerie store and not feel scrutinized and judged for wanted to treat their girlfriend or wife. So in 1977, he borrowed $80,000 and began his business plan.
The design of the lingerie was drawn from the Romance era, also known as the Victorian Era. Which is where the name originally came from. While most people are under the impression that the name stemmed from his wife name. However, his wife, named Gaye, found that by designing the shop with the elegance and romance associated with the Victoria era, the audience would be broader and the store's products more desirable.
In 1982, only several years after he started his flourishing business, he sold it to Leslie Wexner, for only $1 million dollars. Which is a small fraction of the kind of billions of dollars of revenue that the store brings in yearly. Leslie transformed the store into a more women friendly store, not just geared to the men wanting to buy their wives lingerie. Ray's original business plan was too provocative for women, being that the catalog was too suggestive to draw in women. Even the original layout of the store was too extravagant for ladies who just needed the everyday wear. Leslie completely redesigned the company making the products not JUST for the special occasions but for the everyday wear that women needed.