For many women, being comfortable is a high priority while pregnant. And most bras don’t make that an easy task.
Oftentimes if the bra is comfortable, it’s not very stylish.
Toni Gailing of Newport Beach has come up with a bra she feels does both.
“It’s really hard to find something that’s beautiful, but not too frilly. Something that gives you support, but is still comfortable,” said Gailing, who started Max & Mommy, an online store that sells maternity lingerie and baby products. “It’s unique because it meets a lot of needs, but it’s still beautiful.”
It all started in 2008, when Gailing, a property manager in Lake Forest at the time, started looking for a better sports bra.
After searching for some time, she wasn’t happy with what she found. So she designed one herself.
Gailing spoke with seamstresses, learned about fabrics, created patterns, and worked with factories. She decided on a manufacturer in Fountain Valley.
The entire process took about one year, she said.
The finished product was the pullover Max Sleep Bra. The undergarment is soft, supportive and stylish.
After talking with friends and customers Gailing discovered a trend: Pregnant women loved the bra.
“I absolutely love it,“ said Max & Mommy customer, Jessie J. K. Machiran of Newport Beach.
“Being pregnant, everything grows,” and most other bras are uncomfortable and don’t offer enough support, she added.
The first thing she does after coming home from work is take off her bra, but with the Max & Mommy sports bra she doesn’t feel the need to change right away. She can leave it on and still feel relaxed.
“To me, it’s a big deal,” she said in her video testimonial featured on the Max & Mommy website.
“That’s one of the best things you can say about a bra,” Gailing said.
“It has great support, it’s comfortable,” and it wears really well, Machiran raved.
When Gailing got pregnant she tested it for herself and was impressed with the results.
From her personal experience she knew it was a good bra and how it felt to work, play and sleep in it. It’s very versatile, Gailing said, especially for new moms.
“I don’t know if I could be involved in something or sell something if I didn’t whole heartedly believe in it,” she said.
People soon started commenting that they wanted a different, non-pullover, style with drop cups. So she started designing a second line of bras and began a Kickstarter campaign to help fund it.
“As a designer, I’m always trying to do better and to do something different,” she said.
The journey on Kickstarter has been quite the experience, Gailing said. It’s been hard to get exposure and engage people. This was her first project on the crowdfunding website and, although she had just one backer at press time, she would definitely try it again. Her strategy would be a bit different next time though, she said, by working PR more and trying to garner more community support.
She currently has the pattern and a sample for the new line, and predicts it will be about one year before the new bra will be available to the public. The original bra is still available through the Max & Mommy website.
She hopes to have an actual storefront in the future, as well as designing some underwear and loungewear/outerwear to include in her line.
In the near future, Gailing will be bringing Max & Mommy to the Lido Artisan Market on Aug. 25.
For more information on the Kickstarter project or to become a backer of the Max & Mommy new line, click here.
For more information, visit maxandmommy.com.