Finding a bra that fit after giving birth to three daughters seemed next to impossible.
So Erin Mehagan decided to make her own, starting her own bra company, Livi Lou Laine, in the process.
“After three kids and three years of nursing, my body had definitely changed, and I wasn’t especially in love with it,” said Mehagan, 38, of Greer.
The cup size Mehagan was used to wearing now left a big gap between her skin and her bra. And when she wore the cup size that actually fit, she felt like a shapeless 14-year-old boy.
“My shirts, my dresses, it didn’t feel like me in my clothes because I couldn’t fill them out like I used to,” Mehagan said.
She searched everywhere for a solution and even went to a plastic surgeon to discuss breast augmentation, but the move felt too drastic, too permanent. Plus, it was expensive.
“Then one day it hit me — I could make the thing that I needed that could help me feel confident again,” Mehagan said.
She tried contacting several companies that work with startup fashion brands, but none would take her on as a client. Eventually, in 2018, Mehagan connected with a company called Sweet Creative Studio, which had a background in intimates.
It took a year and a half to develop the prototype — a traditional underwire bra with a pocket on the inside for a gel-filled insert.
“The insert can be placed to supplement any tissue loss the woman has experienced so that she can fill up their bra, fill out her clothes just like she used to,” Mehagan said.
Breast tissue loss can happen with pregnancy, nursing, hormonal changes, weight fluctuation, menopause and even natural aging and the loss of estrogen, according to Mehagan.
“My bra is a bra you can fill up versus a push-up bra,” she said, adding that it’s also ideal for women with asymmetrical breasts.
Livi Lou Laine began taking preorders in December 2020, and the company’s website went live in January 2021. Currently just one bra is available in two colors and 11 sizes ranging from 32B to 38C.
Mehagan said she’d like to expand to more sizes and eventually offer more products like tank tops and swimwear. So far, Mehagan said the feedback from women has been overwhelmingly positive.
“It’s sort of a surreal moment when I get feedback about how comfortable it is — how they’ve resigned themselves to never having shape and now they have shape again that looks natural,” she said. “They feel good; they feel sexy, and they did not think that it would be possible.”
For more information, visit liviloulaine.com.