(Filed Under wholesale Mastectomy News). Creative Apparel Concepts, a sportswear producing power house, recently partnered with heart & core, a specialist in the category of post surgical bras, to accelerate the growth of the company and expand the product offerings.
heart & core was launched with its first product, a sports bra, in the spring of 2009, by sisters Jen Swendseid and Lara Regan. They moved to post-surgical bras in 2012. That move came as a result of breast cancer treatment for their mother, which left her with extreme sensitivity. She had originally received a lumpectomy in 2002, with removal of lymph nodes and radiation. The cancer returned in 2008, and after treatment she found it hard to find a supportive sports bra that she could wear comfortably.
Once the two sisters became aware of the lack of options in the post-surgical market, they decided to pivot into that category.
In October, 2020, Ben Gray, CEO of Creative Apparel Concepts, partnered with heart & core as a result of his own family’s experience with cancer.
“Minnesota, where both of our companies are based, has a very small community of wholesale apparel businesses and, through mutual connections and being in the industry, I met Jen and Lara,” he explained. “When hearing how Jen and Lara developed the Larissa Post-Surgical Bra, I knew that somehow we were going to work together. Like the experience they had with their mother that inspired them to create the Larissa Bra, my wife experienced the same exact distress after having a preventative double mastectomy and came home with a lanyard around her neck that held drains attached by long tubes to her body. I was amazed that there was not a post-surgical apparatus that was more comfortable and secure for managing the drains.”
“Meeting Jen and Lara felt like it was meant to be,” he continued. “Our team was also very motivated to help manufacture the product and be a part of bringing the product to market. In the near future we hope to add our Munki Munki prints to heart & core products to bring a spark of novelty and nostalgia at a time when comfort is needed.”
Sisters Jen Swendseid and Lara Regan explained that “heart&core was developed out of a need we saw for our mom and wanting to help others as well. We have focused on developing and perfecting a bra that offers the ultimate comfort and support during their recovery from surgery. Our Larissa Post-Surgical Bra has been thoughtfully designed with the help and feedback of customers, nurses, and surgeons and includes unique features such as patented drain tabs on the front of the bra, a wide band on the base of the bra so it doesn’t roll, and adjustable shoulder straps and front closure using Velcro to help create a customized fit.”
Target customers include, “Women recovering from breast, heart, or lung surgery as well as those who have had shoulder surgery or other upper body surgeries that limit mobility. We currently sell online on heartandcore.com
Currently the firm also offers the Serena Recovery Bra, “and we will be adding a bra for post-heart surgery, post-surgery for augmentation, and a bra for women going through the process of radiation,” the sisters added.
The bras are offered in band sizes 28-60 inches in 8 sizes, XS-SQ (super queen). “We currently have the Larissa Post-Surgical Bra and Serena Recovery Bra in both black and white. Black seems to be more popular!” Each bra comes in a polybag “and has a branded hang tag with sizing details. Two inserts/puffs are also included.” Orders are shipped within 24-48 hours.
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