Sandra Mimran Smith, Founder and President of Boostwr
What was the brainchild behind Boostwr?
Well, it was borne out of never finding anything that fit or flattered me. My mother was a five-star seamstress and knew what to look for in a garment and she found it nearly impossible to find things that would not show me off as busty.
Why do you think the market doesn’t cater to busty women that are trim?
The big manufacturers just want to cater to mass populations that they feel will appeal to as broad an audience as possible. At the end of the day most the decisions on production have historically been made by men and not by people who have breasts, much less larger breasts!
Advertising won’t show you a big chested woman because traditionally there is nothing that makes a chesty woman look good in fashionable garments. The short answer is that they think its not enough of a market… But the fact that the average bra size is now up at 34DD is proof of a changing data point. And with a huge wave of baby boomers transitioning toward menopause or pre-menopause where breast size changes yet again, that transition presents huge potential customer base.
In your video and literature you talk about Boost technology™ – sounds space age? Is this rocket science?
In a way, LOL, It is about engineering, using supportive fabric and panels to achieve support without the tight, uncomfortable bandaging. The goal - as a busty woman - is not looking bustier. In order to achieve that there’s a lot of engineering that goes on with specific stitching and playing around with layering different fabrics on top of other fabrics that work together to hold well and support.
Why not use underwire?
Firstly, this is not a bra! Secondarily, that would defeat the purpose of creating something that you can sleep and lounge in. Yes, underwire gives definition in a bra for daytime; it may look good but its not anything we want to sleep in. You don’t want to be in that all day and then change into that in the evening! My goal was to create real but gentle support, support you can sleep in and walk about in.
What goes in to making this garment?
A lot!!…15 prototypes speaks to that … it’s not as simple as it looks. Because a single size of my garments covers a defined range of bra/band sizes and you have to pay attention to a myriad of details that scale up across the size range: higher arm holes, because a more buxom girl presents more cleavage, that translates into more yardage, every size needs a tweak to make sure fabric doesn’t pucker and lays well. As you get bigger there are variable that need adjustment across other sizes, including compensating for situations where one breast may be bigger than the other.
And why did you want to make it the USA? Why was that important?
Because I did try to make it in China and it was a disaster. There is so much that can’t be translated from patterns, and then there’s the overseeing of the work and the quality I absolutely wanted in the line. To oversee the production there are too many details and I didn’t want to cut corners. The Chinese protos just didn’t look right.
Your size range offerings are pretty impressive. Still, you don’t offer sizing beyond 38 band, why?
The reason is that it would just be simply too expensive to produce and most women are already balking at a $165-180 price point. Bigger sizing invariably means more material, more extensive sewing and there are so many details that would need to go into producing those sizes that I truly don’t think I could make it correctly or with a flattering look.
Though I hate to generalize, woman at those chest sizes is also not likely to present as trim – my target customer. In a perfect world, bigger sizes could be made but bigger sizes would translate to steeper costs and more expensive sale items. People don’t understand what goes into designing a style, making it practical and still making it look flattering. Going through this design and engineering process, I have a new appreciation of what it takes to manufacture a simple t-shirt and make it lay flat and look stylish.
Why are your styles seemingly so expensive?
They’re not! The average bra for girls in our sizes cost $80-150 per bra and that’s on something that you really need to change every year because it stretches out of usability (and figure, you are buying 3-4 bras annually to rotate your bras). My customer probably has half a dozen bras that don’t fit then properly.
A fuller busted girl all want to look like that Victoria Secret model who are never more than a C-cup. But it’s not possible to fit that way. Those bras, for one, don’t remotely fit us; there is over padding (why do WE need more padding!) their sizing is wrong, there is spillage on the sides. As women get older – women’s bodies naturally change – breast change and present market options are just not supportive. Your body and breasts change and the market does not address that.
The line seems to appeal to a broad demographic. What are you doing to reach young girls ?
We are starting to work with brand ambassadors on college campuses and we do want to get into the tween market. But we realize that they cannot afford these items; presently the moms are buying for them. The tank was designed in mind for the overdeveloped young girl because it doesn’t reveal cleavage and its something that they can be worn on a sleep-over or with friends without making them feel self conscious that they present larger.
With all this talk of Boost technology™, what are the care demands like on a garment like this?
Throw it in the washing machine, cold wash and tumble dry gentle.
What’s next for Boostwr?
Right now building awareness and the brand. We are creating a lacier bridal model tank and color palette because brides would like options for their honeymoon and beyond. We are also developing a product with more breathable fabrics and perspiration wicking fabrics. Stay tuned!!