#SWAAYthenarrative

How We Created A Product That Became a Hollywood Must-Have for Moms

People

We have all heard the real estate agent's mantra: location, location, location! Well, the same is true for how Belly Bandit made its Hollywood debut. We were in the right place! But, the real story begins in Michigan, cold, snowy, where's the sun? – Michigan. While my two sisters and I loved growing up there and still rock our “Made in Detroit" gear, we were ready to move and SoCal was calling us. So, we said goodbye to winter coats and hello to the LA lifestyle. And, that's where Belly Bandit was born!


Yes, I got married, started a promotional product business with my sister, and then got pregnant. Sounds like quite the fairy tale, right? Well, no. My pregnancy wasn't easy (I gained over 60lbs) and post-pregnancy was even worse. While, lil Charlee was perfect, I just didn't feel like myself. I received a lot of emotional support from my husband and sisters but what I craved was support for my body. I needed a confidence boost. I wanted to feel like myself again. And that's when it happened. My sisters and I began researching the ancient practice of postpartum belly binding, and consulting with doctors about a safe way to modernize the age-old post-pregnancy support band. Lots of hard work, perseverance and sisterly support resulted in the creation of the first Belly Bandit Belly Wrap…

Cue pregnancy number two! A little easier than my first and this time, after Chase made his grand entrance, I was “wrapped and ready!" I wore the Belly Wrap immediately postpartum and continued to wear it as I slowly began post-pregnancy workouts. And that's where “location" came into play, big time. My gym was home to a few of what we call, “trainers to the stars." Yes, in Los Angeles, that's a thing. And they not only took notice of the Wrap but also were quick to share it with their post-pregnant clients…you may have heard of them, Jessica Alba and Halle Berry!

Are you kidding? We were thrilled. And when the call came that they wanted even more sizes, we were ecstatic. Our Wrap was in the hands of A-listers and Hollywood came calling. Before we knew it we had managers and agents asking for “ belly busters" for their clients. Our red carpet moment had arrived!

And it didn't stop there. Kourtney Kardashian was pregnant and wanted what she had heard helped other women in the industry – but more than that she wanted her own. So together with Kourtney we created the Limited Edition Kourtney Wrap, and the Kardashian name worked its magic. What we learned from our experience with Kourtney is that women, no matter what they do, celebrity or not, want the same thing - products they can trust, that make them feel good about themselves. So we began working on our next big idea, The Mother Tucker Shapewear Collection.

It's funny but Mother Tucker also had its roots in Michigan, as it was our Mother's idea! She wanted “smarter shapewear" that she could comfortably wear without awkward tugging and adjusting. And really, what woman wants shapewear that rolls, pinches and pulls, not us, and apparently not our celeb fans.

I was just walking out of a boxing class when my phone started blowing up with text and phone calls, “Turn on Jay Leno!" Huh? “Christina Applegate is talking to Jay Leno about your Mother Tucker Tank!!!" What?! Yes, new mom Christina was quick to tell Jay just how much she appreciated her Mother Tuckin' shapewear…. and we were in awe. Our sales surged and then came more…

We started hearing from assistants, product placements agents and hair and wardrobe stylists:

“Can you send Jessica Simpson some Mother Tucker Tanks for a People Magazine photo shoot?"

“Christian Aguilera is singing the National Anthem and needs the Mother Tucker Leggings!"

“Ugly Betty is requesting shapewear for the female cast members, can you help?"

Yes, yes and yes.

And more…stylists stopped by the office to pick up products for there “not to be named," clients and all said the same thing; they needed Belly Bandits, Mother Tuckers and more. As our brand grew so did our celebrity reach.

We signed non-disclosures, we secretly celebrated, and we embraced the word of mouth phenomena! We were producing the products women wanted and our location granted easy access. And, we continued to add to our collection. We listened to women and focused on their needs from nursing necessities, C-section specific products and intimates.

Fast forward…we're now celebrating our 10-year anniversary. But, we're still just as excited when our products show up on the pages of a magazine or celebrities such as Molly Sims, Tori Spelling, Jamie Lyn Sigler, Roselyn Sanchez, Busy Phillips, Ali Landry, Lisa Ling, Whitney Port and Jenni Pulos are “spotted" wearing them. Yes, I'm name-dropping but that's Hollywood!

So while we thank our Los Angeles location for getting us in the door it was ultimately our solution-based products that threw it wide open. Our company was founded on empathy and ingenuity. And while being a Hollywood favorite is flattering, it's the every day feedback we get from women around the world that continues to motivate us. It's sometimes hard for me to believe but our products are now sold in more than 1000 retailers nationwide and over 80 countries worldwide. And we're not ready to stop there, next up we're introducing an athleisure line, belly support products and a completely redesigned Belly Bandit Belly Wrap –so stay tuned!

It has been quite a journey from our roots in Michigan to Los Angeles and not one without a few bumps! But, through it all our mission has stayed the same, to help women look and feel their absolute best before, during and after pregnancy …all women. So being Hollywood's worst kept secret is fun and exciting but giving all women the “star" treatment is what Belly Bandit is all about!

From Your Site Articles

How to Learn Much More From the Books You Read

It is one thing to read and another thing to understand what you are reading. Not only do you want to understand, but also remember what you've read. Otherwise, we can safely say that if we're not gaining anything from what we read, then it's a big waste of time.

Whatever you read, there are ways to do so in a more effective manner to help you understand better. Whether you are reading by choice, for an upcoming test, or work-related material, here are a few ways to help you improve your reading skills and retain that information.

Read with a Purpose

Never has there been a shortage of great books. So, someone recommended a great cookbook for you. You start going through it, but your mind is wandering. This doesn't mean the cookbook was an awful recommendation, but it does mean it doesn't suit nor fulfill your current needs or curiosity.

Maybe your purpose is more about launching a business. Maybe you're a busy mom and can't keep office hours, but there's something you can do from home to help bring in more money, so you want information about that. At that point, you won't benefit from a cookbook, but you could gain a lot of insight and find details here on how-to books about working from home. During this unprecedented year, millions have had to make the transition to work from home, and millions more are deciding to do that. Either way, it's not a transition that comes automatically or easily, but reading about it will inform you about what working from home entails.

Pre-Read

When you pre-read it primes your brain when it's time to go over the full text. We pre-read by going over the subheadings, for instance, the table of contents, and skimming through some pages. This is especially useful when you have formal types of academic books. Pre-reading is a sort of warm-up exercise for your brain. It prepares your brain for the rest of the information that will come about and allows your brain to be better able to pick the most essential pieces of information you need from your chosen text.

Highlight

Highlighting essential sentences or paragraphs is extremely helpful for retaining information. The problem, however, with highlighting is that we wind up highlighting way too much. This happens because we tend to highlight before we begin to understand. Before your pages become a neon of colored highlights, make sure that you only highlight what is essential to improve your understanding and not highlight the whole page.

Speed Read

You might think there have been no new ways to read, but even the ancient skill of reading comes up with innovative ways; enter speed reading. The standard slow process shouldn't affect your understanding, but it does kill your enthusiasm. The average adult goes through around 200 to 250 words per minute. A college student can read around 450 words, while a professor averages about 650 words per minute, to mention a few examples. The average speed reader can manage 1,500 words; quite a difference! Of course, the argument arises between quality and quantity. For avid readers, they want both quantity and quality, which leads us to the next point.

Quality Reading

Life is too short to expect to gain knowledge from just one type of genre. Some basic outcomes of reading are to expand your mind, perceive situations and events differently, expose yourself to other viewpoints, and more. If you only stick to one author and one type of material, you are missing out on a great opportunity to learn new things.

Having said that, if there's a book you are simply not enjoying, remember that life is also too short to continue reading it. Simply, close it, put it away and maybe give it another go later on, or give it away. There is no shame or guilt in not liking a book; even if it's from a favorite author. It's pretty much clear that you won't gain anything from a book that you don't even enjoy, let alone expect to learn something from it.

Summarize

If you're able to summarize what you have read, then you have understood. When you summarize, you are bringing up all the major points that enhance your understanding. You can easily do so chapter by chapter.

Take a good look at your life and what's going on in it. Accordingly, you'll choose the material that is much more suitable for your situation and circumstances. When you read a piece of information that you find beneficial, look for a way to apply it to your life. Knowledge for the sake of knowledge isn't all that beneficial. But the application of knowledge from a helpful book is what will help you and make your life more interesting and more meaningful.