Marcia Scheuner—who had undergone a mastectomy—was frustrated about the lack of boutiques selling surgical bras. So in 1974, she and Sandra Lehman opened the 600-square-foot mastectomy boutique, A Fitting Place, quickly expanding their selection to accommodate all women.
Today the boutique stands in a Memphis shopping center at over 10,000-square-feet with a selling area of over 6,250-square-feet. In addition to bras from 26AA to 54L, the shop houses 3,000 bathing suit styles including surgical swimwear in sizes 4 to 28, and lingerie from XS to 4XL. Scheuner and Lehman, along with daughters Janet Scheuner and Belinda Durham, handle buying responsibilities and attend CurveNV twice per year.
As the store prides itself on offering excellent bra-fitting services to all, all 12 staff members are trained bra fitters. Bras run from approximately $15 to $125, lingerie up to $250 and swimwear from $60 to $110. Due to the recession, Scheuner and Lehman work to keep the majority of styles under $100. Best-selling non-surgical brands include Wacoal, Le Mystere, Chantelle, Edith Lances, Goddess, Hanky Panky, Miss Elaine and Carole Hochman, with swimwear best sellers consisting of Roxanne, Robby Len, Gottex and Sunset. Popular post-surgical brands are Amoena, American Breast Care, Jodee and Camp by True Life.
Customers range from the tween purchasing her first bra to the 95-year-old. Most women spend $100 to $150 per visit. The average customer is a 36C, but women of all sizes shop in the store.
Despite competition in the surrounding area, A Fitting Place keeps customers coming back by offering friendly, private, personalized service. The store is designed to complement these services; “a happy but private place,” Scheuner said. It also offers a large store inventory—including hard-to-find sizes department stores don't offer.
Perhaps the true key to A Fitting Place’s success goes back to the moment when Scheuner and Lehman expanded their selection to accommodate all women, post-surgical or not. “We started fitting non surgical ladies with our surgical bras and soon realized that ‘everyone’ had the right to a comfortable, properly-fitting bra,” Scheuner said. “We now measure and fit all of our ladies.”
A Fitting Place is located at 6150 Poplar Ave., Ste. 111, Memphis, Tenn.