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MY STORY

How did a former dental assistant and homeschool mom end up becoming The Bra Fit Advocate?

The Struggle is Real

If you are visiting my website because of bra struggles, we are sisters in the battle girl!

I have SO been there! I developed earlier than I was ready for (age 10 or 11), and I wanted absolutely nothing to do with bras. I settled on the classic uni-boob sports bra since my mom would not let me ignore these new, unwanted developments on my body (thanks mom).

By the time I was in high school, my breasts were very large compared to most of my peers. I could never dream of shopping where my friends did for bras. When I walked into the most popular stores, they told me immediately that they had nothing in my size, usually with a disgusted attitude.

I usually just shopped the underwear and body sprays while my friends got cute bras. This really hurt my body image and self-esteem, as you can imagine.  

I did reach out for help when I was about 20 years old by going to a specialty bra boutique. The women that helped me at the boutique were much older than I, and they fit me into what I considered older women’s bras with HH cups (unfortunately, I don’t remember the band size). 

I was absolutely mortified by those letters, and now that I look back, I think they still had my sizing wrong since the bra was not a great fit. I just ended up going back to wearing DDD’s since it was the biggest I could find in stores (As you can imagine this size was WAY too small). 

I really wish they would have taken the time that day to educate me on bra sizing and showed me some more youthful styles. I wish I would have learned that bra size was nothing to be ashamed of and that there was nothing wrong with me.

A few years later, I had gotten so tired of the struggles of having large breasts that I decided to have a breast reduction. I was so young that I could not have truly understood the long term impact of the surgery. The doctor endorsed my feelings of needing to be “fixed” and I went ahead with the surgery.

I wanted change so badly. I wanted to be able to wear baby doll shirts, pretty bras, and not to have the dreaded boob sweat in the summer among other things. These were all reasonable wishes.

Prior to surgery he drew all over my breasts while deciding where he needed cut. It was a strange feeling...to have someone marking the places of your body that "should" be eliminated. I still remember the surgeon taking before photos while I stood there alone, feeling ashamed like something was wrong with my body.

I was so scared since it was my first major surgery. The recovery was very painful and I was left with multiple areas of numbness and a decent amount of scarring. I also lost a good amount of nipple sensation. I later had many issues with breast feeding my babies as well.

I wish that I could have known all of the options available to me before I made such a big decision.

How I Became The Bra Fit Advocate

About 2 years ago, I had gained back some of my breast volume after having kids. Yes, you heard that right; a breast reduction is not necessarily a permanent solution. I have not gained back all of my size, but I am definitely larger than I was right after my surgery, and I have friends with the same results after their reductions.

I had gotten so frustrated with my bras being uncomfortable that I had gone to wearing only wire free options I could find in retail stores at the mall. They still didn’t fit, but at least I was not in agony.  Every time I needed new bras, it was a struggle that ended in me feeling frumpy.

One day while I was venting my bra frustrations, my wonderful husband decided that there has to be better options out there. I just blew it off since I was so jaded on the issue. Bless his heart; he did tons of research into fitting and brands. When he found me my first great fitting bra, it was AMAZING and SO life changing!

I had never felt so supported. My clothes fit better! One of the best parts was that my boobs were separated with the wires sitting flat against my chest. I did not know that, that was possible at my size! I was not spilling out, falling out or sagging….and the bra was pretty. What?! All this time, I could have had this?!

Then, my husband started saying I should find a way to help other women with this as a business somehow since there had to be so many women out there like me with the same struggles. Maybe I could help them find the same awesome feeling of having lovely bras that fit? I was still unsure about it since it was a new world to me.

After I spent some time studying fitting and learning more, I helped a friend who is larger chested than me. After we found her a bra, she was beaming while we were in line to purchase it. She could not believe that she found a bra that lifted and supported her that was also pretty. I fell in love with helping other women in that moment. Thanks girl, you know who you are ;) .

From there, I continued to study bra fit and all the quality bras I could find. I also helped everyone that would let me! I became obsessed, haha! When I learned about and upcoming industry expo, I decided to attend.

At the expo, I was able to meet with almost all the brands I had been learning about, make connections with their sales reps, and attend fit school to refine my skills. I learned tons. I was thinking about opening a boutique at that time, but as I researched it more, I found that there was a better way I could start helping clients sooner that would allow me to reach more people.

This is how the Bra Fit Advocate was born. I started with some online clients under the radar and then I changed my name on Instagram. One of the awesome bloggers I follow (Stacy at Humorous Homemaking) took notice and messaged me for some bra help. I was ecstatic! I launched a little sooner than expected after she shared how I had helped her with her audience. Such a blessing!

My Purpose

I believe we have been doing it all wrong. Rather than finding what is best for our individual, unique bodies, we have been trying to fit our bodies (breasts in this case) into a box that was not made for us. I have worked with women of all different body types and bust sizes that have struggled for years before I fit helped them. We deserve better.

I have big goals. I want to change what women know about and how they view bra sizing. I want women to feel empowered that she can find the right foundation garments for her body.

Among other issues, I have noticed that there tends to be a stigma surrounding cup size, especially in larger sizes. We have been taught to think that DD is big and DDD is huge…the biggest, in fact. Forget letters of the alphabet beyond a D, most people imagine insanely huge breasts and bras that look like a piece of body armor at those sizes.

It is just not true! The truth is that there are lovely, supportive options out there, but it is just a challenge for women to find what is best for them without real help. Each woman has different breast shapes and needs. Bras vary so much in size and fit as well.

That is where I come in! Let me take the burden off your shoulders, figuratively and literally. I have studied the bras and brands and keep up on all the latest changes so we can find what is best for your body. Let’s work together and make this happen for you too. I will stick with you until we find what is right for you. I would love to be your advocate in this journey.       

-Shannon

 

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