Exeleon Magazine

Elyse Kaye: Uplifting Women with Bloom Bras

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Fashion has always been at the forefront of human evolution. As human civilization has continued to grow and expand, trends in fashion has simultaneously evolved.

In many cases, fashion has been a voice for change and a statement of progress. Recent years has seen brands becoming more and more aware of their audience, prompting them to commit to a more inclusive future.

At the heart of this change is Elyse Kaye, the Founder of Bloom Bras. For this transformational leader, a quest to find the right sports bra led her to research and subsequently engineer a line of body-inclusive bras that customizes according to your body type.

Through Bloom Bras, Elyse is uplifting women across ages and sizes by not only offering them comfort but also addressing real health issues.

In this Exclusive Interview, Elyse Kaye talks about her idea behind Bloom Bras, the industry, and the future.

What according to you makes one a powerful women? How do you integrate the same thought into your leadership?

A powerful woman is one that surrounds herself with people who can help her to achieve success. Bringing on mentors early in my career not only helped me to become the leader I am but also taught me how to mentor others.

Talk to us about your growing up years. What is your earliest memory as a leader/entrepreneur that you can remember?

I was the kid who ran every lemonade stand, created the babysitters club with games and activities, joined every leadership club. My parents instilled in me I could be anything that I wanted to be. My first job out of college was working for the company that makes Lava Lamps. My boss was let go a few months after starting (nothing that had to do with me) so I did not have a boss. I pulled out my old marketing notes and built a marketing plan to present to the CEO. To my surprise, he said “great, it is all yours.”

I was 22, bright-eyed and ready to take on the world. First phase was to build out a licensing department. This brought in ancillary income and allowed me to hire a team. One of the potential licensees asked if we could get one their characters to float around in a Lava Lamp. The R & D team and I started playing around in the lab which got me hooked on innovation and product development. The glitter lamp outsold the Lava Lamp that year opening up new channels and consumers. That became the path for me.

What was the idea that led to the formation of Bloom Bras?

I could not find a sports bra that worked. 70% of women in the US are a D-cup or above. The average dress size is a 14 – 16 which is a 44 -46 band and yet no companies were focusing on this. It is not the same mechanism to lift a 3 lb rock as a 12 lb so why would we not engineer a product that works with larger breasts. I brought in top minds from NASA, Oprah’s corset maker and shipping/packaging experts to bring the vision to life. We are now the most body-inclusive line on the market ranging in sizes from 28C – 56L designed to lift vs. squish.

Talk to us about the engineering challenges of designing a bra and how Bloom Bras are standing out from the competition.

The Bloom Bra features patented lifting straps and cinching cups allowing the bra to customize to your body and exercise type. It has been designed without underwire, both for comfort and to address the health concerns.

Working like a shelf to lift the breasts rather than squashing them, the Bloom Bra distributes weight throughout the back and sides rather than putting pressure over the shoulders and across the ribs, allowing for natural movement of the breast and uninterrupted circulation of the body’s essential systems. State-of-the-art compression materials and cooling, moisture-wicking power mesh combined with a reinforced front zipper to “lift, not squish”.

More and more brands are now talking about size-inclusivity. What prompted this shift in the industry?

The demand continues to rise, Brands like Nike have been printing money for decades producing the same bra in different colors, adding a feature, changing a material. Adding new sizes is not as simple as taking that bra and making it bigger. It is a different engineering challenge. If you put 10 people who are a 38DDD next to each other, we hold differently with different expectations on how a bra should fit. Our bodies change 10% a month naturally. For a B cup, not a big deal but for a DDD, that is a full cup size. If you have children or a major shift in weight, imagine what that does to our breasts.

Being the CEO and Founder, what role do you play in the day-to-day proceedings of the company?

As the CEO, it is my responsibility to lead the strategy. The mission statement of Bloom Bras is to empower women of all shapes, sizes, and stages of life to feel good while moving. Everything we do encompasses that. Our social media and events are designed to support our community. Every hire matches our ethos. I make decisions daily from mil thickness of a business card to whether we take on outside funding so staying the course is one of the most important roles I can play as a leader.

Looking at your journey, what would you have done differently if you were to start again?

I would have paid more attention in my accounting classes. It is the area that I always feel the least comfortable in. I also would consider a co-founder. Being a leader is amazing but can be very lonely. I tell all of the aspiring entrepreneurs that your company will take everything – your money, time, personal life, energy so make sure you have a strong support system.

Finally, what does the future look like for you and Bloom Bras?

The new product development pipeline includes channel and product expansion. Using the patented functionality, the next three major categories include pre- and post-maternity (4 million new moms annually), breast cancer survivors who have gone through non-elective reconstructive surgery (1 in 8 women) and the ever-growing active senior population (<20 million women).

Using our patented adjustable lifting system, we will design beautiful, comfortable safe solutions in sports bras, sleep shirts, and tops, Bloom pays homage to my grandmother, a casualty of breast cancer. I will always offer the option for contributors to donate bras to breast cancer survivors and we will match.

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