Karey Weyenberg, a former sales representative for AT&T, is a problem-solver.
A buxom 38DD, she could never find the right bra. So Weyenberg set out to do something about it. Without any design background, she created Cleavacious, an adjustable bra with additional straps beneath each cup to position and hold the breasts in place while creating enhanced cleavage.
"A lot of women have this problem," Weyenberg said, explaining how she came up with the idea. "I'm busty but lack cleavage because my breasts are set wide apart and under my arms. I got tired of seeing this imperfection. I stood in front of a mirror and thought if I had a bra that wrapped around me and gave control for the right placement, I could decide what to wear that day."
Thus, the Cleavacious bra was born. After obtaining a patent in April 2005 and contracting with a manufacturer in China to produce the bras, Weyenberg, her husband, Brian, and three teenage children, Ryan, Jacob and Brianna, formed an assembly line to package and distribute 4,000 Cleavacious bras from their living room in Milwaukee. She said she sold another 1,000 bras for $28 each at retail through her cleavacious.com Web site. After a mention on Fox News, she received orders from as far away as Israel and Guam, and direct-marketed others from her "Jeep boutique."
Sizes range from 32A to 42DD.
"I work well in chaos, and I have to credit AT&T for the managerial and networking skills I learned to promote and sell my bras," Weyenberg said. "There are a lot of women around the world who were looking for this kind of bra, which also fits in-between sizes."
As creative as Weyenberg was, she couldn't capture the attention of major bra firms.
"I couldn't get past the receptionist at major bra companies," she said.
Cleavacious eventually attracted the attention of Ann Deal, owner of Los Angeles-based Fashion Forms, who licensed and exhibited the bra design at the Salon International de la Lingerie in Paris last February. A test preview at the Macy's Herald Square flagship in May received a positive response and Weyenberg said she hopes to do appearances with her innovative bra at other Macy's units.
Hermès is launching a Laundromat pop-up shop in NYC - dubbed Hermèsmatic - where customers can bring their old scarves to be dip-dyed by an expert. Get all the details on WWD.com. #wwdnews (📷: @donstahl)