Crowd Funding and Reconstructions Bras
The whole concept of crowdfunding delights me. I first heard about this on NPR some months ago; that story was about declining federal dollars for grants, and some scientists turning to crowdfunding as a way to finance their work. Sometimes it came through and sometimes it didn't--but that is the nature of grant applications, too. This story from The New York Times is about a small business dedicated to making bras for women who have had mastectomies and reconstruction.
Unfortunately, there is not a clear description of the bras in this article, and the accompanying photograph is of the two young women who started the company. The product is not yet on the market, so, when I tried to Google it, I got nothing. If this is of interest to you personally, I suggest you make a note on your calendar to check back later.
(And as a total aside: if you have had a mastectomy without reconstruction and are less than delighted by the available bras, be aware that it is possible to use a prosthesis with many regular bras. Try it.)
Here is the beginning and a link to read more:
How Crowdfunding Worked for One Timely Start-Up
By MELINDA F. EMERSON
Last fall, I wrote a post about the crowdfunding campaign of a start-up known as braGGs.
The company, based in Alexandria, Va., has developed a patent-pending bra for women who
have had reconstructive breast surgery — “reconstructed bras for reconstructed girls,” as the
Web site puts it.
It was founded by two sisters, Kara Gorski and Kristin Gembala, who have both undergone
double mastectomies. After their mother died of breast cancer and after Ms. Gorski was
diagnosed with breast cancer, it was determined that they were carriers of the rare BRCA1
gene mutation, which significantly increases the risk for breast and ovarian cancers. Ms.
Gembela chose to have her surgery prophylactically — the same choice Angelina Jolie
recently made public.
After reconstruction, the sisters expected to be able to wear regular bras. When they learned
this was not possible, they decided to design and create a reconstruction bra specifically for
women like them. They started with $25,000 from their own savings, and then they turned
to the crowd at MedStartr, where they raised $10,000 in donations and pre-orders over
three months in 2012 to begin manufacturing a small run of their product.