From Idea to Marketplace

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How many times have you struggled to get in and out of a sports bra—only to find it wasn’t exactly what you needed, as far as support? Some women have wrestled themselves into two sports bras, hoping to keep their breasts from bouncing. Sara Marie Moylan, of Jenison, took matters into her own hands.  

“I took a bra that almost worked for me, cut off the straps, and proceeded to hot glue, pin, sew, and tie in place the elements needed,” Sara said. “I created a bra with the perfect amount of compression and the no-bounce fit I was seeking …” Along came baby girl number two, and she was still wearing her hodgepodge creation. She continued to make modifications and improvements to the bra. “When my girlfriends saw me working out in it, they could relate to my frustrations and began asking me to make them one!” The idea for Shefit Bra was born. Sara took her creation to a local seamstress to develop a prototype, and used Kickstarter (an online funding platform) to raise more than $22,000 to fund her first production run. She raised half of her goal in just seven days! Sara attributes the success of her Kickstarter campaign to marketing support that drew attention to the site: coverage from the local press, social media, and word of mouth.

As the Shefit business began taking flight, Sara decided to step back from her position as a pharmaceuticals representative to focus full time on her business. “It was scary, but liberating.” Managing a business, when her studies in college were for public relations, has been a learning process. Great mentors and quality service providers have helped her navigate this new territory.

For women who have a great idea and are looking to turn it into a business, Sara has this advice: Validate your product. Your friends and family may love it, but seek outside sources for feedback. Look for support early. Mentors and investors will help you get started. Develop a thick skin. Don’t let one negative review bring you down. And, most important, network. “Networking has brought us all of our opportunities.”

The Shefit Bra will be featured on The Doctors on May 13. What makes it special? A wide band provides support and keeps the bra from riding up, and adjustable straps use Velcro to provide a perfect fit. It zips up the front, so there’s no wrestling it over your head. It has been recommended by Grand Rapids plastic surgeon Bradley Bengtson, and was recently chosen by a Division I university in Michigan to outfit its female athletes. The bra is designed for all women, from high-end athletes to those who may have avoided physical activity because of breast discomfort. Sara says the bra is also great for women recovering from breast reconstruction or augmentation: It allows them to return to regular activity sooner, because it eliminates painful bounce. It’s available in seven sizes, accommodating women with a bust circumference from thirty-two to fifty inches, and larger sizes are in development. “We want to embrace all women,” Sara said. “We love you, no matter what size you are.”

For more information, visit www.shefitsportsbra.com

Written by: Jennifer Reynolds is a staff writer for West Michigan Woman.


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