This issue of Canadian Showcase features a brand that truly set out – from the day they launched in April 2020 – to make a difference in young girls lives. Apricotton is taking the awkwardness out of buying that first bra while at the same time empowering girls to ask questions, feel confident and not shy away from topics that so many of us have felt reluctant to ask.
Though it feels like a lifetime ago, I remember clearly what it was like to be a teen that couldn’t find a proper fitting bra. I didn’t develop as fast as my peers and it was hard to feel comfortable in my own skin. Looking for a bra that fit properly on my smaller size was torture. Worse, I had absolutely no one to talk to about my fears and insecurities.
Starting from a Place of Empowerment
Apricotton is changing all that. CoFounders Chloe and Jessica took their own experience and turned it into a product designed to grow with girls. Plus, they’re making damn sure that every girl is starting her journey from a place of empowerment.
Just check out their Instagram feed and you’ll see a ton of messages that advocate strength and confidence. As a mom of a teen myself, it’s so encouraging to see accounts like this that aim to build up rather than make a girl feel like she’s not enough or needs more.
These strong, self-assured women have an amazing story to tell and I was thrilled to have the opportunity to interview them for our Canadian Showcase series.
Canadian Showcase Q&A with Apricotton Founders Chloe & Jessica
I absolutely love your brand’s mission to increase confidence in girls. Can you tell us why this is so important to you and how this fits with your products?
Increasing girls’ confidence, especially through puberty, is extremely important to us because we lived through that period and faced a lot of self-esteem issues. Puberty is awkward and filled with embarrassing questions. We’ve created an online community where girls can feel comfortable asking us anything they want – without any judgement. Our blog is a great place to learn more about common puberty topics or even read stories about girls who have already gone through this. We also answer questions in our Instagram DMs!
Although there’s a lot of aspects to puberty, we specifically focused on bras because bra shopping was one of the most difficult experiences we had to go through when we were younger. Moreso, Jessica’s sister is currently struggling to find age appropriate and comfortable bras, 10 years after our own experience. Clearly nothing has changed. Which is why we designed bras that are specifically made for tweens and their body types. We based our design on feedback from tweens, to make a product that they actually want.
- Adjustable straps and removable padding so the bra grows as the girl grows, lasting through multiple stages of puberty.
- The ability to criss-cross the straps to easily hide them under shirts.
- Soft and moisture-wicking material, so the girl barely feels like she has it on.
Additionally, each bra comes wrapped like a present, because getting your first bra is something that should be celebrated!
You started your company during a global pandemic, which has to be scary for any business owner. How did you prepare to launch and what do you think helped you get through this challenging time?
We officially started the business right when we graduated from university, back in April of 2020. As scary as the start of the pandemic was, it gave us a lot of time to work on Apricotton. At the beginning, we reached out to other similar startups, who shared some amazing advice that really helped us when we were first designing the bras.
What really helped us through this challenging time was the Western Accelerator, which is run by the university we had just graduated from. Here, we got valuable mentorship and guidance from seasoned entrepreneurs and other new startups like our own. We actually joined the program a couple of months before launching, so we were able to get help as we launched and during our first few months of sales.
I have to ask! How did you come up with the name for your company?
We’re really proud of the name Apricotton! It’s a mashup of the words apricot and cotton. When we were first brainstorming names, we focused on words that represented growth like plants and fruit. We chose the word cotton (even though we currently use a different material) because it signifies comfort and softness, just like our fabric.
So many people can relate to your personal stories about struggling to find a proper fitting bra as a tween. Now that your company has launched, are you finding that even older girls and women are still struggling and how is this changing your go-forward plan?
Yes! Girls and women of all ages are asking us if they can buy our bras. The bra industry has had barely any innovation. There are women our own age, women with smaller boobs, and even post-natal women that are reaching out to us. To be inclusive of different body types, our bras range from a standard women’s bra size 30A to 36D so they fit tweens and adults. A lot of women are buying our bras because they struggle with finding bras that have our features and that are comfortable. Our mission is still to improve the bra shopping experience for tween and teen girls. Our bras are made for anyone who values comfort. We don’t want people to feel limited by their age, especially because even we wear our own bras!
Our Canadian Showcase readers always love to know… What has been your proudest moment to date?
Our proudest moment was getting our first few reviews on our website. We personally reached out to everyone who had bought a bra for feedback. It was exciting when we got our first reviews! We were texting them to each other with huge smiles on our faces. So many moms wrote that their daughters were wearing the bras to school and that they feel comfortable in them. It’s not just about getting good reviews. Our bras are doing exactly what we designed them to do – making girls feel comfortable and confident.
Alongside the reviews, we’ve been getting messages from girls through social media that our movement is really working. Some girls are asking us questions about what bras they should buy if they feel self-conscious about their size or if their boobs are two different sizes. They’ve been really appreciative when we answer. Seeing that our brand and movement is making a real impact girls’ confidence, makes us really proud of what we’ve accomplished so far.
Thanks for joining us to learn about another cool brand in our Canadian Showcase series. We love featuring brands that have an interesting story to tell and help get the word out about their company and offerings. If you have a brand you think should be featured, please send us a message through our contact page or leave a comment below.
In case you missed it, our last issue featured Judi Patson from Even Design, my absolute favourite Canadian jewellery designer. Check it out to learn more about her fun and quirky designs.
See you next time!