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Why Didn't I Think of That? Making Sports Bras Fit

Business

Sara Moylan is America’s newest superwoman. In addition to being a mother of four daughters ranging from ages 4 to 13 years old, working a day job as a sales rep, and being a fitness junkie on the side, she has now managed to solve a problem of so many women. Finally, there is a custom fit and custom adjustable sports bra!


After having her first daughter and noticing a significant difference in her chest size (a fact I’m sure at least some of the women reading this can relate to), Moylan found herself doubling up on two to three bras at a time. She was walking away from workouts because she was in so much pain; also dealing with becoming very depressed and self conscious. She was competing and modeling, but even with access to all of the the materials that come with the job, nothing was fitting correctly. That lead to eventually cutting all of her bras apart and making a prototype that was doing a better job than wearing multiple bras at a time. Moylan wasn’t looking to start a business at first, she just wanted something comfortable to wear. Eventually she found a seamstress to better make her prototype and loved it so much, that she had the seamstress make her another five.

Thus, SheFit was born.

Sara wanted to show women that while there are adjustable bras on the market, SheFit truly can give you your perfect fit.

After using 20 people as “testers” for the product, Moylan convinced her husband to let her showcase the bras on Kickstarter and get started with her business hoping to raise enough money from Kickstarter that would fund their first run of products. To make her product more trustworthy for consumers, she reached out to Dr. Bankston, a renown plastic surgeon, who backed up her product and teamed up with her immediately. The Kickstarter goal was to raise $15,000 in a 45-day campaign. They ended surpassing their goal and raised about $24,000. Moylan was able to use this campaign as a soft-launch to get customer feedback. Then they listened to the feedback, made improvements, and the products were sold out every time they went online.

Women believe that what we have in options is as good as it’s going to get.

It’s no wonder that following this success, Moylan would move onto segments of TV shows including The Today Show and winning funding from the popular show for emerging entrepreneurs, Shark Tank.

After a family friend recommended them to the producers of Shark Tank, it took about a year to actually get on the show in front of the judges. After months of phone interviews, video pitches, multiple back and forth questioning, and then an hour and fifteen minutes of being grilled by the judges themselves, only about fifteen minutes of that was aired on television. But it was all worth it, because they now have Daymond John as an investor.

“This is not a stocked product in a factory somewhere,” Moylan says. Manufacturing is the biggest hurdle they’ve had to overcome, but now with John’s help, they have successfully found a factory that perfectly matches their needs of production, which will help the company grow even bigger and better.

So what’s next in line for SheFit? A new and improved version of the bra in late 2016 which will display new and exciting colors; a new sleep-lounge bra; 3-4 new styles; and a new everyday version of the bra.

Listen to our recent interview with Sara to find out more details and to experience her energetic persona for yourself!

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Career

Momtors: The New Wave of Mentors Helping New Moms Transition Back Into Careers

New parents re-entering the workforce are often juggling the tangible realities of daycare logistics, sleep deprivation, and a cascade of overwhelming work. No matter how parents build their family, they often struggle with the guilt of being split between home and work and not feeling exceptionally successful in either place.


Women building their families often face a set of challenges different from men. Those who have had children biologically may be navigating the world of pumping at work. Others might feel pulled in multiple directions when bringing a child into their home after adoption. Some women are trying to learn how to care for a newborn for the first time. New parents need all the help they can get with their transition.

Women returning to work after kids sometimes have to address comments such as:

"I didn't think you'd come back."

"You must feel so guilty."

"You missed a lot while you were out."

To counteract this difficult situation, women are finding mentors and making targeting connections. Parent mentors can help new moms address integrating their new life realities with work, finding resources within the organization and local community, and create connections with peers.

There's also an important role for parent mentors to play in discussing career trajectory. Traditionally, men who have families see more promotions compared to women with children. Knowing that having kids may represent a career setback for women, they may work with their mentors to create an action plan to "back on track" or to get recognized for their contributions as quickly as possible after returning to work.

Previously, in a bid to accommodate mothers transitioning back to work, corporate managers would make a show at lessoning the workload for newly returned mothers. This approach actually did more harm than good, as the mother's skills and ambitions were marginalized by these alleged "family friendly" policies, ultimately defining her for the workplace as a mother, rather than a person focused on career.

Today, this is changing. Some larger organizations, such as JP Morgan Chase, have structured mentorship programs that specifically target these issues and provide mentors for new parents. These programs match new parents navigating a transition back to work with volunteer mentors who are interested in helping and sponsoring moms. Mentors in the programs do not need to be moms, or even parents, themselves, but are passionate about making sure the opportunities are available.

It's just one other valuable way corporations are evolving when it comes to building quality relationships with their employees – and successfully retaining them, empowering women who face their own set of special barriers to career growth and leadership success.

Mentoring will always be a two way street. In ideal situations, both parties will benefit from the relationship. It's no different when women mentor working mothers getting back on track on the job. But there a few factors to consider when embracing this new form of mentorship

How to be a good Momtor?

Listen: For those mentoring a new parent, one of the best strategies to take is active listening. Be present and aware while the mentee shares their thoughts, repeat back what you hear in your own words, and acknowledge emotions. The returning mother is facing a range of emotions and potentially complicated situations, and the last thing she wants to hear is advice about how she should be feeling about the transition. Instead, be a sounding board for her feelings and issues with returning to work. Validate her concerns and provide a space where she can express herself without fear of retribution or bull-pen politics. This will allow the mentee a safe space to sort through her feelings and focus on her real challenges as a mother returning to work.

Share: Assure the mentee that they aren't alone, that other parents just like them are navigating the transition back to work. Provide a list of ways you've coped with the transition yourself, as well as your best parenting tips. Don't be afraid to discuss mothering skills as well as career skills. Work on creative solutions to the particular issues your mentee is facing in striking her new work/life balance.

Update Work Goals: A career-minded woman often faces a new reality once a new child enters the picture. Previous career goals may appear out of reach now that she has family responsibilities at home. Each mentee is affected by this differently, but good momtors help parents update her work goals and strategies for realizing them, explaining, where applicable, where the company is in a position to help them with their dreams either through continuing education support or specific training initiatives.

Being a role model for a working mother provides a support system, at work, that they can rely on just like the one they rely on at home with family and friends. Knowing they have someone in the office, who has knowledge about both being a mom and a career woman, will go a long way towards helping them make the transition successfully themselves.