Rhonda Shear’s background is nothing short of star-studded, from pageant titles to hosting the USA Network show Up All Night and making appearances in Happy Days before pursuing a comedy career. However, no matter how successful she’s been, Shear had a hard time finding comfortable, well-fitting shapewear. That ongoing struggle was all the motivation she needed to simply create it herself, so she launched Shear Enterprises, LLC and Rhonda Shear Intimates in 2003.
“She really wanted to find a solution for the everyday woman,” explains Sales Director Olivia Blackman. “Our company is really driven on seamless shapewear, and we do everything from extra small to 4X. So we really are size-inclusive as a brand, which is a huge point, because most intimate apparel companies don’t offer such an assortment as we do when it comes to those sizes.”
Shear’s first retail success story was early on with the release of her original Ahh Bra, a seamless piece that was first featured in a Home Shopping Network infomercial and has since sold more than 35 million units.
Over the 17 years in business, Shear and her high school sweetheart-turned-husband Van Fagan, have since expanded to selling multiple lingerie, apparel, and sleepwear lines. They had been selling on Shopify but were looking to shake things up.
“They really believe in all of their employees and want to change and want to do new things. Emerald [Folsom, Marketing & Social Media Manager] and I were kind of brought onboard to bring new ideas and new strategies. Emerald completely redid the website because she had these amazing ideas and they were still running on an old system.”
Folsom anticipated a challenge with the website redesign, especially with the extensive product catalog. “I had been wanting to completely redesign our website and migrate it from Shopify and in doing that, we had been pointed in Webgility’s direction saying that it would be the perfect little middleman between our website and our backend systems,” she says. “The Webgility people and our one web developer and I, we all got it off the ground within a week. I felt like it was just impossible when we first started on the idea, but everyone involved was very onboard with getting it done.”
Shear Enterprises began Webgility implementation with Black Friday only a week away, but when the day came, the team was ready for the rush. Considering the wide range of Shear Enterprises’ customer demographic—Shear jokes that women buy their first and last bras from her—there are always plenty of orders to fulfill, especially during the holidays. But Rhonda and Van ensure their team is always in good spirits.
“There’s always fun things going on. Rhonda is a comedic at heart, so it’s just a really exciting, fun place to work.”
When she’s not designing new products or hand-selecting the boutiques to sell in, Shear spends her time giving back, especially to charities that benefit breast cancer patients and survivors.
“We also do sell to a lot of mastectomy boutiques, because we do have a huge customer base of women who are going through recovery from breast cancer. So that’s something that Rhonda has really been pushing,” Blackman says.
Seventeen years after launching Shear Enterprises, LLC and Rhonda Shear Intimates, business is booming, and Rhonda Shear has earned nearly a dozen awards for her products and her entrepreneurship. She’s a business owner, an author, an advisory board member for the Home Shopping Network, and a community leader.
Shear Enterprises’ success is the result of hard work and smart business decisions. Shear knew when to launch a new shopping cart platform and redesign her website, and the booming business meant it was also time to implement ecommerce automation. With the new systems in place, Shear and her team removed any potential obstacles that could stymie future growth. Now she’s free to expand her empire.