Next up in the Curvy Kate model interviews is the beautiful Laura Butler who is actually my favourite lingerie model ever (not just saying that because she has let me interview her, I truly mean it), regular Curvy Kate fans will have seen Laura in quite a few catalogues and she joins us today to talk about her time with the fuller bust brand Curvy Kate, welcome Laura.
I discovered Curvy Kate about 2 years ago now and you have been around for longer than that, because your competition was in 2008 I had to do some research because it was before I came along, I wasn’t aware that your competition was actually called Brastop Star In A Bra and it was the first of its kind, what was it that stood out to you that made you want to be a part of this competition?
I opened an email from Brastop and saw the competition posted back in 2008 (I think it was 2008) and I knew straight away that I had to enter. I had always, and still do, loved the Wonderbra ‘Hello Boys’ advert with Eva Herzigova and dreamed of doing a shoot like that and this was my opportunity to do so, so I went for it. Now 4 years later I am still here. I acted on instinct and it did me proud.
Well they say to always trust your instincts and looks like it worked for you, what do you remember the most from your first photo shoot?
The house where the shoot was held was stunning; there was lots of yummy food, the people and photographer (Alison Webster who still shoots us) were amazing and I felt like a princess being pampered. Not many people know that I am a huge tomboy who cannot do hair and make-up so having it done for me and being pampered was just the best experience ever.
I would never of guessed that you were a huge tomboy. What was your reaction when you found out that you came third?
I was in a clothes shop when I got the phone call from Hannah Houston telling me that I had come 3rd and I was so happy. First, second or third I was just glad that I got to take part in a photo shoot for a magazine. It was all surreal and my family and friends were so proud. I didn’t think I would make it that far in all honesty so the fact people had voted was amazing. Back then the SIAB competition was not as huge as it is now and although it was done online the social networking element wasn’t as big so it was a lot more relaxed.
How long after the comp were you given the amazing opportunity to be a Curvy Kate regular model and how did it come about?
I really cannot remember. There was never a time that they turned around and said ‘Laura will you model for us regularly.’ It just happened. Like most things that are just ‘meant to be’ I just fitted with the brand and they fitted with me. At the time of Bratsop SIAB Curvy Kate was in its early stages and was being sold online at brastop.com but it hadn’t been launched as a brand in its own right. When they decided to launch it Brastop SIAB had not long finished and I was just there whenever they needed a hand as I was in a flexible job. I remember being a Curvy Kate’s first ever trade show in Harrogate, UK and the brand exploded onto the lingerie scene with rave reviews so I was there from the start and people just started to associate me with the brand. Some people still think my name is Kate!
I should re-name this blog “Interview with Kate from Curvy Kate” just for those people. It is a big dream for a lot of women to get dressed up, pampered and to be in multiple pieces of gorgeous lingerie, I for one am quite envious, do you do any special preparation before your shoots?
The main preparation is waxing and a spray tan (if I need one). You do have to wash your hair the night before or morning of the shoot and leave products out of it and then making sure I wear clothes to travel in that will not mark me. There is nothing worse than ending up with jean or sock marks for a shoot so as soon as I get to the location it is clothes off (including lingerie) and into a dressing gown!
So now when people see the Star In A Bra girls in the behind the scenes shots all wearing dressing gowns they know why. After the photo shoots how do you come back down from the high of it all?
Well as I previously said, I am a tomboy at heart so love wearing baggy clothes and jeans. I am not overly girlie and do not wear much make up so as soon as the shoot is done my baggy clothes are back on, my hair is thrown up and make up is taken off. If it is a weekend shoot though and we are going out for a meal after the shoot I leave it on and make the most of someone making me look nice for a night out! It is one of life’s little luxuries.
When I’ve done photo shoots in the past I’ve always tried to do them of a Saturday for the same reason, so I can go out afterwards looking hot and all glammed up, so I can relate there. You have done some traveling with Curvy Kate, where has this competition taken you around the world?
All over the UK, Paris and New York. Not bad ay! I fell in love with New York when I was over there helping with SIAB USA. It was out of this world.
Ever fancy coming to Australia?
Yes please! I would love to go Australia. It is on my list of places to go and if I ever had the chance to travel there with Curvy Kate I would but you have your own SIAB unfortunately but if I am ever there I will make sure to pay you a visit!
You just made my year saying that we can catch up, it’s a date! A few Star In A Bra contestants world wide either had their own blogs or started them after the comp, were you ever interested in the idea of blogging and if so what would you talk about?
I really do not think I am interesting enough to have a blog. I did start one once though. It was a bucket list of 100 things I wanted to do but it was for me rather than anyone else so I took it down as I felt it was too personal for the internet. If I did have one it would probably be about teaching and modelling and the difficulties you face with stereotypes etc and the pressures of doing two things you love and are passionate about that don’t necessarily go together. Alternatively my new puppy that I am in love with! I could write about him all day every day! Ha. My final option would be Twilight. As a Twihard I am sad enough to know enough about it all to dedicate a blog to it!
I like the idea of doing the teaching/modeling pressures etc, if you ever do create it I will put a link on my blogroll for you. What are some of your biggest achievements since this all began in 2008?
Appearing in magazine and catalogues still blows my mind but at the same time feels completely normal. I open emails from shops that I shop in and I am in them and it’s so funny that that’s me. Sometimes I think I see ‘me’ and the ‘model me’ as separate people and even after nearly 5 years that feeling doesn’t change. It will always be surreal. My friends send me pictures of places they have seen me and things I am in and it makes me proud. Being a Curvy Kate model also seen me land a job where I was on a billboard and on the back of buses which I am extremely proud of as I always wanted to be on a billboard. I never got to see it though so I don’t know if it counts! My biggest achievement though, as cheesy as it sounds, is just helping others realise their dream or making someone feel better about themselves. So many people contact me saying I was the reason they did something and as a teacher I have only ever wanted to make a difference so every person that says something like that to me makes me a little more proud and I do not think there is any bigger achievement than that. No magazine or billboard or catalogue can top that.
Some amazing achievements there. Are you recognised when you are out in public?
Never. I am so different in real life. My friends laugh at the fact I am a lingerie model as you will never meet anyone as non-girlie as me. I rarely wear a lot of make-up and always dress down as I am just happy being me. I am happy in my own skin but just as happy dressed up to but just if someone else does my hair and make-up! I suppose the me in photos and me in real life are polar opposites and unless you know it is me you would never guess!
Some women are concerned about entering a lingerie competition because they fear it may interfere with their jobs/careers, your job as a teacher some would consider this not a normal profession to be associated with lingerie modelling but you manage this, how do you do it and overcome it all?
I don’t manage anything and I think that is the key. I believe that if you make something an issue then it becomes an issue so I just let them be. I do not let modelling get in the way of teaching and as long as that stays that way then there should never be a problem. They are both a fundamental part of me and without one of these elements I just wouldn’t be me so there is no other option but for it to work. I am very strong minded on that though and it takes guts to stand up for what you believe in. I happen to have that trait. If you are like me in that respect then go for something like this but if you are of a more sensitive nature then caution is something you definitely need to take. Not everyone can handle the pressure or attention and if everyone could the world but be a boring place. Variety is the spice of life.
Valuable advice there, you have seen so many women come and go each year with the comps, do you feel a bit like their big sister each time a new season rolls around?
At first I do. I step into teacher mode and try to help them find out how to hold their body to make the lingerie look good and help build up confidence by telling them when they look good but after a while of them watching me or having a practise they just start to get it. It is a natural progress and with the team and photographer we get them there. It is a team effort but we are like a family in some respects so a big sister is not a bad call especially as I am older than most!
Are you still friends with any of the previous contestants?
Yes. I class Lauren as a close friend. We get on like a house on fire and as well as liking her as a person I also admire her as a model. She’s beautiful inside and out – how could I not love her? Lizzie is also someone I speak to regularly. She is adorable and I love the fact she is older than me too. Ha. We all meet up whenever we can. I saw them all a couple of weeks back where we got together for someone’s birthday from Curvy Kate.
Lizzie rocks and I can proudly say I’ve supported her since her Top 30 days, haven’t had the pleasure of talking to Lauren though, hopefully one day. Have you learnt any life lessons along the way?
Many. So many. Firstly that wearing the right bra is imperative and I make it my mission to educate all I can on this. Secondly that sometimes other people are just better for something and despite you wanting something so bad, it doesn’t make it right for you. It has made me realise that life doesn’t always go as you planned but it will go how it is meant to go. I am a massive believer in fate and my journey with Curvy Kate has just cemented this belief. Finally that people are different, variety is the spice of life… therefore not everyone is going to like you, you are not going to like everyone but we don’t have to so now I don’t try. I know I am not everyone’s cup of tea so I work towards my strengths, work on my weaknesses and try not to care about pleasing everyone as that is impossible and insane to try to do! When I learnt this lesson I became more content with myself and with life and in turn this is what made me happier.
Since getting involved with bras I have the (bad) habit of always checking out ladies bras to see if they fit wrong and any problems and I just would love to go up to some women to suggest Curvy Kate bras to them and be a bra angel, are you now like this and wanting to approach women and teach them on how a bra should fit?
I don’t want to do this, I actually do this! Ha. Even my friends and family recommend Curvy Kate.
It is one of those things I think we will never be able to escape. The most recent Star In A bra was in the USA, it was their first year, you joined them for the photo shoot but not as a model but for more behind the scenes stuff, how did it feel not being the one walking around in lingerie and being fully clothed?
It was amazing. You see, the reason I work with Curvy Kate is that I believe in the brand. I always have and always will so being a model is not the main objective; it is working for a brand I love. So modelling, bra fitting, selling…. I don’t care what I do for them I just want to be a part of the family.
I love that you have so much passion for the brand, I feel the same the way, I don’t just sell them because I can, I sell them because I believe in their product 100% and want to do as much as I can to raise awareness of them. Out of all the photos you have had taken, which is your absolute favourite?
My favourite photo ever is in the first thrill me set in black and white. I have Marilyn Monroe style hair, killer lashes and I am holding the straps of the bra and looking down. It takes my breath away when I look at it. I think ‘Is that me?’ It is going to be a photo I look back at in years to come and smile from ear to ear.
That is a stunning pic but then I am a bit biased and think that all your pics are stunning. Knowing what you do now, if you wanted to enter Star In A Bra again, would you do things differently compared to what you did back in 2008?
It is a totally different competition now as Social Networking in its popularity has changed the goal posts. It is more a popularity contest now with girls drumming up as many votes as they can rather than it being people deciding who would be best for the brand, although I think voters got it spot on with Krista Cousins in the US version of SIAB. I never had to do that when I entered. I never approached any newspapers, radios or TV stations. But saying that many people vote who do not know anyone and so far every winner has been excellent so maybe it hasn’t changed much it is just now on a bigger scale! I really don’t think I would do anything different, I can’t be anyone I am not so I can’t see how I could do something different.
I think the world made a great choice with Krista and I can’t wait to see what she can do to represent the brand. Any funny moments you are able to share from a photo shoot?
Too many. Lots of eating, falling over, rolling around trying to get good shots. There is just generally lots of fun and giggles at a shoot but there needs to be as we have so much to do and get through, if you didn’t laugh you would just fail under pressure! Ha.
One of my Gold Members Hayley who is looking at entering the Aussie one this year has asked how shocked were you when the country welcomed and accepted you as a lingerie model during your Star In A Bra season?
I was very shocked. I didn’t expect woman to be as welcoming as they were as an individualistic culture woman tend to be harsh against woman who put themselves out there instead of a ‘girl power’ culture and I did expect lots of hurtful comments but I have never came across one. It was more ‘girl power’ than anything and that is nothing but encouraging.
Back to me, what is the strangest question you have been asked that is to do with modelling?
I do not think there is one but then again I am of the mindset that no question is a silly question.
What do you think it is about Curvy Kate that makes the brand so popular?
It was made with us in mind. They saw a gap in the market and filled it. It is not an un-necessary brand but a very needed one and put that together with real woman models and pretty well fitted bras and you have a winner!
Very well said I’m sure CK will be happy with that response. Is it surprising seeing your face and body used in multiple websites and advertising campaigns for the brand or is it something that you get used to after a while?
I will never get used to it. As I said earlier it feels so normal yet so surreal. I seriously do think that I look at myself as two people – ‘me’ and ‘model me’. I think that helps you cope with it all.
A bit like there is you and an alter ego you, what advice would you give the down under Australian ladies who are considering entering Star In A Bra?
- Be sure that you are strong enough to enter. It is on Facebook so it is a public forum and if people want to be nasty, they will. You have to be dignified in dealing with this.
- Enter for the right reasons.
- Do not take it too seriously.
- Remember it is plus size boobs, not bodies so you can enter at any body size as long as you fit into the bras.
- Have fun with it and makes friends – not enemies.
- Enjoy the ride it takes you on, you never know when it is going to end so don’t wish it away at any second.
- Think before you speak or act. Don’t be the nasty one.
- Don’t ever assume that you will win and never assume someone else won’t win and equally vice versa.
- Finally, do not let it consume your life. This competition is not bigger than you and nor should it be. Remember you are being judged against a lot of other woman and if you don’t get through it doesn’t mean you are not good enough, it just means that on this occasion you were not what they were looking for. This should not make you feel bad about yourself and if you think it will then reconsider entering.
Very important and priceless advice, ladies take note! Any closing comments?
Never strive to be anyone other than yourself as you will just end up disappointed.
Fantastic, thank you so much for taking the time to answer the questions and I hope we can do this again down the track.
Thank you for asking me. You are welcome at any time to ask me anything. xxx
To enter the Curvy Kate Australia Star In A Bra competition click here!