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 Rude Awakening
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. And I was annoyed about that.
I felt like the one kid who had school when everyone else got a snow day. Strapping on an uncomfortable, constrictive bra meant saying goodbye to Saturday morning freedom and hello to squeezy weekday discomfort.
That's the day I started looking for comfortable, supportive bra alternatives.
The Search Was On
I looked for years. Literally.
I scoured stores and the internet.
I tried everything.
Bands and Hooks and Wires Oh My
I wanted to feel comfortable and be supported and look fully dressed.From built-in bras to shelf-bras to squeezy shapewear support camis, nothing I found ticked all the boxes. It was always a trade-off where I could have one or two but never all three.
The options that were "comfortable" offered no support, or bad support and bad shaping (think uniboob, armpit boob, etc).
The options that offered better support and shaping mostly relied on oppressively tight elastic chest bands just like bras. If not, there would inevitably be some other torturous combination of bra-like 'cheats' including 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! So I set out to make something better.
I spent the next six years designing prototypes, consulting with technical experts, sourcing fabrics and searching for 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 dozens of women who felt the same way I did. 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
It was complicated. There were many failures and obstacles along the way. I worried that it might be impossible. After all, why wouldn't the "experts" already have thought of this? It seemed so obviously necessary.
But after years of hard work and determination, and with the help of other entrepreneurial women along the way, I discovered something amazing.
It wasn't impossible. It was complicated and fussy and expensive and technical, yes. But it was possible, and the day I tried on the final design - the one that eliminated the tight chest band AND all the other discomforts (wires, elastic, foam, hooks, squeezy fabric, etc.)? Well that was a very, very good day.
In the process of eliminating the tight chest band and all the other hardware, I realized, I eliminated the bra, too. And did it so effectively that this new support system has been awarded a patent, won two International Design Awards, and sparked a bra-free clothing revolution.
The best part of this story is that women now have a truly new choice: easy, effortless clothing that effectively lifts and shapes fuller busts. They have the option of built-in support that actually feels comfortable and actually looks great. These are styles that real women can wear anywhere, from home to office and from gym to 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. These styles have been life-changing for me. I hope they will be for you, too.
Sending you hugs of support!
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.