I recently was interviewed by writer Jody Braverman about the importance of finding a perfect fitting sports bra. A poor fitting bra can hurt in so many ways; chafing, poking, and bouncing so it’s worth investing a little time and money to avoid pain and long term ligament damage. Think dropping boobs L
I realize sports bra shopping isn’t as high up on the list as finding amazing running capris that just lift and slim your legs, but it is! Creating a visually slim torso can be accomplished with a great fitting sports bra.
Before you go shopping:
1" = A Cup
2" = B Cup
3" = C Cup
4" = D Cup
5" = DD cup
For example, let's say:
I have been regrouping at all levels of life. I was about to let the hardship of getting the Tada Sports bra launched sideline my efforts in manufacturing a better athletic bra for women with bodacious TaTas. Then I was given a career coaching session with Cecilia Culverhouse from my awesome business school, Renaissance Entrepreneurship Center, to overcome my current challenges.
What came out of that conversation was the powerful little word “AND.” We decided while I work on the manufacturing and sewing challenges of the bra I could launch the TaDa Dress now instead of later. So I can work on the bra AND create something in the near term that would feed my need to see something in the marketplace sooner. I was feeling restless and wanted to get the TMak Sportswear brand out there.
So here comes the little Après Sport Dress. As with the promise of the TaDa Bra, the dress will be easy to get on and easy to get off. It’s a post race/event sport dress that lets you continue to revel in that finish line satisfaction without having to wear your stinky race clothes.
In between a sundress and tennis dress, it’s the perfect breathable, light weight, sporty dress that embodies the attitude of the woman athlete. You won’t need a Porto-Potty to get in and out of it thanks to an ingenious design.
So stay tuned as my new product developer Jared and I create a fantastic addition to your race bag!
Cheers and get out there!
I have heard it so many times, "Things take time," or "good things come to those that wait." Maybe, but when you live in the heart of Tech Startup Mania where teenagers are building companies and raising big money in a matter of weeks, I am finding the pace of a startup in the apparel world painfully slow and expensive.
I know they are two different beasts. A couple of coders vs. many skilled trades people to get one project off the ground. I am amazed at how many experts it takes in the garment industry to get one item created: designer, pattern maker, fabric sourcer, marker, grader, cutter...it goes on. And if all these people are contractors, they work out of their own space. It is hard enough to get one project moving when it's one company in one office! Thanks to V. Mora, my Product Developer, they have many of these people in one place, or they have a go to list of people they work with to help me manage all these stages.
That being said, I finally have my first prototype. It took 4 months and a lot of cash, but its here. And as I was warned, sports bras are the most challenging garments to sew and they take many prototypes to get right.
Even though I knew that, I wasn't prepared for seeing the pictures of it in NY ( I live in San Francisco) on a the dress form and the fit model. It just seemed so far off my vision and I realized the structure was going to need a lot of re-thinking. I cried for a moment out of sheer fear I had made too many mistakes and maybe I had tried to jump into an industry I knew so little about.
After a good stiff drink and a couple of calls to friends I talked myself off the fence. Telling myself there had to be a place to start. It's the beginning of a conversation. I just needed to make a list of what I knew needed to be changed and get the experts to advise me. This is not an inexpensive endeavor, nor easy, but I am still solid in my conviction that TMak Sportswear and the TaDa bra will bring to market a fantastic easy on / easy off, highly supportive and stylish sports bra!
p.s. sorry I'm not showing the whole prototype. It's just too early and far off the mark to take it public :))
Mary at Fashion Incubator, in NY's garment district , is working on the TaDa pattern and 1st prototype. Next the fit model will put it on and take it for a run to see what adjustments need to be made. Then it will be sent to me so I can finally feel it and see for myself how the design looks and functions. Fingers crossed. Thanks to my Ohio University Grad school classmate and Friend Lisa Kyle (we were photojournalism grad students together) for taking the time to spend a few hours shooting for me!
I am so sorry for missing March's blog, but that means I was really making progress on the TaDa Bra!
My business plan in written thanks to my awesome instructors and classmates at The Renaissance Entrepreneurship Center in San Francisco. After 14 weeks of hashing out our marketing, financial and production plans we are all graduating! This program is awesome for any of you in the SF Bay Area looking to expand or start a business.
TaDa is being expertly patterned and sewn by Amy in NYC. When I called to ask her if i could have a friend photograph her working on it, I got a lot of giggling on the phone. She felt like a rockstar. She is in my book! So my dear friend Lisa Kyle from grad school will make some awesome pictures for me.
I have a photoshoot this week to prepare for the Kickstarter campaign. Look for me running and jumping around San Francisco. i'll post those next blog.
There has been one challenge so far. Three factories in San Francisco have rejected my designs to manufacture, too complicated. Hopefully manufacturing super star Lana Hogue will be able to help me convince someone it's worth the effort, because the TaDa is going to be a huge success!!
What do busy, working mothers do to keep on top of it all? They hold meetings while they run! Brillliant. When I reached out to Title Nine's Sports Bra Merchant, Molly Hanks, she suggested I join her on her morning run from the office. She and her cutie 2 year-old daughter were ready to go at 7am. A few of her co-workers joined us and it was a great way to talk about business and get the daily run in. The run flew by and Molly was so gracious in sharing her thoughts and knowledge. I was briefly in teh office and saw a wall dedicated to the greatest "Difficult" women of the world. Let me tell you the list was full of strong, passionate women. Molly is an athlete with a passion for a great sports bra. I was so impressed and now even more a fan of Title Nine. Check them out!
The last month was been really productive which means I am getting further along in my entrepreneur adventure. Both scary and exciting.
The design is with the pattern maker and in the meantime I have had to decide on the best fabrics for wicking, support and comfort. It's been a fast education in the world of cut and sew. I did't know what a binding was, what a #3 zipper meant, or what 15% vs. 29% lycra would mean. But I have some great advisors in Julie and Abi at V. Mora in Chicago, where the production of the prototype is taking place.
The easier decisions will be colors. I envision jewel tones and a fun turquoise octopus logo.
I had to lean on my friends when it came to a name. We had a "name that bra" party, complete with wine of course, to encourage our creativity. I have some really fun and super smart friends!
Ta Da is the winning name!
I think it captures the moment I hope women feel when they zip up the bra and realize it was easy and it fits great and now they are off to comfortable workout.
Going to Outdoor Retailer Expo in Salt Lake City was well worth it. Not only did I do some research on the competition, Moving Comfort and 2XU, but I met people who were super excited about my ideas and volunteered some great advice.
All the while my biz planning class is getting heavy with financing, marketing and branding. Thanks to Renaissance Entrepreneurship Center and their amazing alumni I am feeling good about the business plan so far.
And of course triathlon training continues. It's now the season where it's 2 workouts a day and my club's (PacWest Athletics) Arizona training camp is fast approaching. Camp is always fun but it is usually a wake up call that my fitness isn't where I expect it should be!! Working towards a Wildflower PR :)
It's amazing to think where I was a year ago. Recently unemployed and wondering how I was going to move forward in my life. At that time there is no way I could imagine myself getting this far.
I am meeting with Anna Livermore, founder of V.Mora in Chicago. They specialize in helping design entrepreneurs get their idea off paper and into reality. They have all the experts under one roof. So I don't have to find a pattern maker, a marker, a grader, a fit model and more jobs I am not even aware of yet!
Fred Schechter is my developer and has come up with a great design. It will take care of support issues, chafing challenges and it's fully adjustable. And I am making sure it still looks like a bra a strong, fun, athletic woman would want to wear.