In Honor of Breast Cancer Awareness Month:  How the Extra Support Bralette was Born

When SassyBax was originally launched, it never crossed our minds that these garments might be used to support women beyond their intended purpose. The goal was to provide comfort and confidence for everyday life, but as time wore on, something amazing started to happen. Customer after customer came forward with stories of how the compression garments or the bralettes were helping them cope with medical issues like lymphedema or post surgical healing. Whether it was the Armed+Fabulous, the Booty Boosting Leggings, or The Original Bralette, people were finding comfort and support in ways we never imagined.

It was awe inspiring to say the least, and it caused us to examine what more SassyBax could do. Today we have an array of products that have been endorsed by customers, and doctor-recommended, to aid in healing, reduce scarring, and serve as support for numerous post-medical procedures. Of course, not being a medical company, we make no medical claims, but we know what our customers have told us about the benefits of our products.

We could share an origin story for all of these products, but since October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month we thought we would take a moment and tell you the story of how one of our favorite medical aid garments came about.

“Breast cancer” is without a doubt one of the scariest diagnoses a woman can receive.

It attacks without discrimination and many times with no warning at all. According to breastcancer.org, about 1 in 8 women will develop invasive breast cancer over their lifetime and in 2020 alone, over 276K cases of invasive breast cancer are expected to be diagnosed.

Research also shows that about 35% of these women will have a mastectomy, sometimes a double mastectomy, as part of their treatment. These statistics don’t include the women with the BRCA 1 and BRCA 2 gene mutation. Women with these genes have an 80% higher risk of developing breast cancer in their lifetime, and often choose to have a mastectomy preventively.

Of all the things these women have to worry about, what bra they are going to wear shouldn’t be one of them.

Back in 2007 one of our retailers in Ohio, reached out to us with a suggestion that would change SassyBax forever. In order to cater to the needs of her customers who had mastectomies, she was sewing pockets into our Original Bralette, so that it would hold a prosthetic breast, while at the same time protecting the fragile skin of the chest from being irritated by the prosthesis. She wondered if it would be possible for SassyBax to create a pocketed version of our Original Bralette for these women. To say we were blown away by her generosity of spirit would be an understatement. The idea that this woman was going to such lengths to care for her customers at what is often the lowest point of a woman’s life touched us deeply. While no promises could be made at the time, we did assure her we would do all we could to make this happen.

Ten months and hundreds of prototypes later, the Pocket Bra was born. It was designed exactly like The Original Bralette but with an added pocket inside to hold the prosthesis.

Necessity is the mother of invention as they say and once we were alerted to the need, there was no way we were going to let these women down. We love our customers, and the fact that we might be helping to make a challenging time in their lives just a little bit better, brings with it a joy that can’t easily be put into words. That joy increased tenfold, when we saw what customers had to say about this new bra:

“When I underwent my double mastectomy recently, I looked at the bra options on the market. They were so ugly and I already felt bad enough about my appearance. Then my doctor said to look for SassyBax and it changed my life. It's cute, comfortable and helped my swelling post surgery. When I used to wear a prosthesis, this bra was perfect. I have now been reconstructed (as they say) and it is still perfect. I own every color...times 2.” - Virginia M.

“I love SassyBax Bras and when I got diagnosed with the dreaded C word, I contacted the company to see if they had a bra that held a prosthesis. They didn't at that time but launched one shortly thereafter. Amanda explained to me that she had had so many requests, that she had one in development. Of course, it's all I wear now and would like to think my request had some small effect on Amanda to create this bra. Thanks so very much for all the support you provide to women.” - Katrina

“I had to have surgery on my breast and so a friend gave me this bra. My doctor said it looked fine to wear after surgery. Well it was beyond fine. It is great. I love and would love it if I hadn't had surgery but it kept my swelling down, was comfortable to the max and I think I recovered faster because of it. My doctor now recommends it to others who need surgery.” - Anonymous

Today the Pocket Bra is called The Extra Support Bralette, because of its double meaning. In the words of our founder, Amanda Andereck, “The bra’s function is to support the prosthesis and to support the woman.”

Supporting women. That’s our mission at SassyBax. We like to think we provide “comfort-wear” that instills confidence from the inside out, but sometimes we get the opportunity to go just a little further. Sometimes we get to be a part of greeting a brand new day. A day full of possibility. And that’s what we live for. It’s priceless.