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How A Weekend Visit Sparked A Design Revolution


It started when my family had friends visiting for the weekend. Five kids, two families, we were all excited for the sleepover.

A Wakeup Call - My Body Was Changing


I love cozy group weekends. Everyone rolls out of bed all tousled and pajama'd, gathering in the kitchen for breakfast.

But that Saturday morning, I realized something had changed. (Maybe after the second baby? Maybe after I passed 40?)

I was aware of my chest in a way I hadn't been before. Self-consciously, I realized that staying in my pajamas, braless, would have been obvious and socially awkward.

I had to put on a bra.

Bras Became a Buzzkill 

I felt like the one kid who had school when everyone else got a snow day. Strapping on an uncomfortable, constrictive bra meant goodbye to Saturday morning freedom and hello to squeezy weekday discomfort.

The Search Was On

That's the day I started looking for comfortable, supportive bra alternatives.


I looked for years. Literally.


I scoured stores and the internet.

I tried everything.

Bands and Hooks and Wires Oh My

From built-in bras to shelf-bras (ha) to support camisoles, nothing I could find ticked all the boxes. I wanted to feel comfortable and be supported and look fully dressed (as in well-dressed, attractive). It was always a trade-off where I could get one or two but never all three. 

And the support, when there was any, still  relied on the same oppressively tight chest bands that bras used, plus some torturous combination of hooks, wires, hard nylon straps, squeezy nylon compression, or gratuitous foam padding.

Designing Something Better

At this point, I had a fire in my belly that wasn't just reflux from my tight bra band! I was determined to fix this.

 So I spent the next six years designing prototypes, seeking out technical experts, sourcing fabrics and factories. All to solve the one big problem: how to shape and support a full bust comfortably -- without that hateful chest band. 

Learning That A Lot of Women Need This

Some people thought I was foolish to spend all that time, energy, and money obsessing over this unique challenge of feminine physics.

But there were many, many more who understood. On my journey I talked with hundreds of women who felt the same as I did. And whether they were full busted or mature busted, or even small-busted, they all agreed that innovation was sorely needed in the area of bust coverage and support.

They -- YOU -- needed this as much as I did. 


Finding Bra Freedom

After years of work and with the help of lots of other entrepreneurial women along the way, I did it.

I engineered a design that was curve-compassionate  and eliminated the tight chest band. And the wires, the foam, the hooks, the uncomfortable nylon -- all of it.

In the process, I eliminated the bra, too. So effectively that this new construction has been awarded a patent and won two International Design Awards.

Most importantly, I created a truly new choice for women: easy, effortless clothing that effectively lifts and shapes fuller busts with built-in support and actually feels comfortable and looks great

These are styles that real women can wear anywhere -- home, office, gym, events -- and still feel Saturday-morning free,  any time.

Designing clothes with compassion for our curves is my way of making our world a little bit better.

Karen Poirier, Founder​

I'm from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, an American city with a long history of hard work and innovation. 

I was raised to be independent and to solve problems. If I didn't know how to do something, I was expected to figure it out.

That upbringing has always made me question the way things "have always been done" when I see room for improvement.

And I see a lot of room for improvement when it comes to dressing a fuller bust.

For me, it starts with eliminating the tight chest band and thinking entirely differently about where support comes from and how it should feel.

Embrago is my answer. 

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