Sunday, March 25, 2012

Guest Post from La Talla Perfecta!!!!

 I'm so excited to bring you the following guest post from La Talla Perfecta!  La Tall Perfecta is a Mexican lingerie company that was the first to introduce cup sizes above D cups in Mexico!!!  As you know I feel strongly about changing the bra landscape here in Brazil so I imagine anyone wanting to introduce larger cup sizes here in Brazil would undergo a similar experience.   You can find out more about  their bras on their website here.


What
They say that Necessity is the mother of invention
And that´s my case. My name is Alejandra Montemayor, and I´m a mexican entrepreneur. I created  “La Talla Perfecta” (Spanish for “The Perfect Size”)  a lingerie Brand specialized in D+ sizes.

Why
I started it because I got fed up of dealing with the lack of lingerie for my body. Finding undergarments in my size was almost impossible. No bra seemed to fit  properly, and choosing a cute design was absolutely out of question. Not only did I have to buy something uncomfortable and ugly, but I also had to deal with brainless saleswomen, looking at me as a freak for asking for a D cup:
“We do not carry that here. Why don´t you try the plus-size department?”
But I´m not fat!
So  after years of mistreatment and disappointment in Mexican stores, I ended up buying lingerie in the US. Victoria´s Secret would be my salvation! The carried 34D! Wohoo!
So for a couple of years, I survived using semi-uncomfortable bras, with minimal design but they were better than nothing.
I had to travel EVERY year to the US just to buy undergarments!
In 2009 I went to NYC. Thanks to the Tim Gunn TV show, I became aware of Linda The Bra Lady shop. While my companions  were at a museum I had to go shopping for bras. I had to miss a museum to shop for a bra. Freaking unbelievable! However, that shopping experience was life changing. Not only did I find out that I had been wearing the wrong bra size (surprise surprise!) for almost 18 years, but they gave me the best, warmest, friendliest customer service ever. That was heaven! Good news, finally I´d found a bra that didn´t hurt me. Bad news, I was a 32F. If getting a 34D was hard, 32F was near to impossible.

Now I had to fly every year to the US AND I had to spend a great amount of my budget (bras in my size don’t  come cheaper at about 70-80 USD each) AND I had to spend my  time AND put forth a lot of effort carrying bras by hand through airports to avoid them being battered. (and having X-ray security people grin at my packages) argh! -. All of those bloody inconveniences for not being able to shop in a regular store like an average size woman!!
Bloody hell!!!!!!! (I forgot to mention that I had to carry bras for my sister as well, so just double the fuss).


How
In August 2010, with my partner, we began exploring new business ideas. We were tired of starting each Project by scratch, so we wanted a product to sell instead of a service.
“Let´s sell something you can´t find in Mexico” – he said.
“Brasieres!” – I yelled jumping on my chair.
-¿?????- “Whaaat? You have to be kidding! You can find those even in Wallmart –
- Not every kind of…
So with very little money and absolutely no previous knowledge or experience in the industry, we started “La Talla Perfecta”. Come on, how hard can it be to make a bra? Well, it turned out it was not difficult. Difficult is a nice word. Instead it was like climbing Mt. Everest.

I had one single goal on mind: To produce D+ Lingerie that made women feel sexy, confident, comfortable… not miserable.To give them the possibility to access it as any average woman would.
Girlie Polka Dots from La Talla Perfecta.

I wanted to combine two aspects of lingerie that were previously completely absent in my country: availability of non-standard sizes + sexy design.  The process was scary, nerve wracking and quite challenging. We faced all kind of problems, unforeseen possibilities, mistakes, and disrespect from providers. No one wanted to sell us foam cups because we were asking for different sizes than A,B,C. Besides,  the volume was too small (less than 1000 pairs among different sizes).  Fabric vendors didn´t bother in answering our calls or emails.
Manufacturers laughed at us, saying that it was insane producing bras in those sizes. (One even said in my face: “D-G cups? Small back? Those women simply don´t exist”)  We had to buy everything on retail, paying twice the Price, and getting half the quantity.  We ended carrying up to 30kgs of fabric rolls on our backs for many blocks, taking back and forth supplies, cutting threads, packing garments…

All of course, besides our full time job.

10 months after, we finally launched our first collection. 10 models and 16 sizes available. (32-38, cups C, D, DD, F & G). And it seemed I wasn´t that special after all. Response from women was quite familiar. “I just can´t get a bra that fits” “I have to shop in the US”. “I just resigned to wear ugly clothes”, and so on. Without much knowledge, no capital, no expertise, we began to sell. 

Needless to say, our bras are not perfect. They are quite good for making them without a clue, but far from perfect. (We are still working on that.) But surpassing the technical stuff, our bras are way better than anything else offered locally. They make women feel like they needs are being met. They are sexy.

Size awareness was zero.

100% of customers I´ve served used the wrong bra size. (They all say they are 36C because that´s all they can get) I´ve seen girls going from "38B" to 32F. They didn´t even know cups beyond C existed. They don´t even know how to tell if a bra fits properly! They only knew they have red marks on their shoulders, their underwires were stabbing their torsos, their straps were falling off, and most of all, they felt miserable because they were constantly reminded that they were wearing a bra. 

Nowadays we are selling through 2 different boutiques, myself at home, and an independent saleswomen in some states of the country. We don´t have to convince girls to buy from us. They were already craving a solution. That´s why price is not a decision maker. Actually, price is something they don´t even consider. We solve such a great need, that our customers pay gladly, because it´s worth it. It´s amazing to see the transformation that takes place. They stand taller, prouder, happier.  Their silhouette looks leaner.  But most of all, you can see them smile. You can see how they feel to have an undergarment that doesn´t hurt them, and doesn´t look like a Robocop costume either.

Girlie Negra A Rayas Blacas from La Tall Perfecta

We´ve built a Facebook Community with over 4,000 fans. We created a space for women to share problems, insights and even jokes about having big breasts. We have listened to their needs. **

What´s next for us? To Grow. We will be launching our second collection in three months time.
We added 10 sizes more, (including 32G, 40,42,44 C, D & DD) because of high costumer demand. Our aim is to launch 2 collections a year. In a midterm, we will widen our range of products, adding bras for different needs: sport, maternity, bridal, etc. We won´t stop at lingerie. We are also considering swimwear and even exterior clothing.

The possibilities are endless.

It has been a bumpy ride, but it´s totally worth it. I feel I can make a difference… one pair at a time.

6 comments:

  1. Such an inspiring interview!!

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  2. Bravo girl, you rock! Iw ish you a looot of success!

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  3. Great stuff, enhorabuena. Starting up a business myself (bra retail focused on fitting) at the same time as my 'proper' job - it's tough!

    Look forward to finding out more. Thanks June for a v interesting guest blog!

    Besos,
    Charlotte

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    1. Suje Revolution- you're located in Spain, right? What is the bra climate there? I'd love to hear more about it. :D

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  4. Hey June, pretty much the same as what you're describing in Brasil and Ale in Mexico. Not much understanding and the largest high-street retailers are not helping anyone by offering mainly B and sometimes C cups if you're lucky. It's so frustrating to see - fashion and image are so important to women here (well, as everywhere I suppose!). Of course, there are lots of petite, smaller busted women who perhaps don't suffer from too much discomfort and back-pain. However, there are also lots of larger chested and very small backed here who are totally missing out! Something must be done!

    There are some shops in other cities offering proper fitting, I believe and I'll be doing something in Madrid soon but it would be so good to get the bigger guys involved to get the message out there that there are more sizes than 30/32/34/36 B, which is basically what is on my women's radar.

    Love reading about all the experiences in different countries and so many of us out there are passionate about bra-fitting!

    Besos,
    Charlotte

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    1. Thanks for sharing! Obviously, I can relate quite a bit. So what are your plans for Madrid??? I'd love to hear more. :D

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