Meet the bra designer changing the game for small-chested women

Ever try on bra after bra, wondering why no shape or style seems to fit your frame? Jaclyn Fu has been there.

After years of bra shopping frustration, Jaclyn was at her wit’s end: “Everything gave me cup gaps; I would have to wear heavily push-upped padded bras,” she told In The Know. Even at a young age, “there’s already this pressure … to ‘develop’ and get boobs.”

Of course, it doesn’t have to be that way, and over time, Jaclyn’s entrepreneurial gears started turning. In 2017, she and her co-founder, Lia Winograd, launched Pepper, a bra brand that specifically caters to small-chested women. The response was immediate and overwhelming.

“The day that we launched, we were a hundred percent funded within the first ten hours,” she said.

Every single Pepper bra is a carefully-designed combination of fabrics, cup dimensions and underwire made to flatter those who wear AAs, As and Bs. The final product “hugs your body so you get that scooping feeling that you don’t get with other bras.”

Pepper also challenges conventional stereotypes about who, exactly, is looking for smaller-sized bras. Nearly all plus-sized retailers start their bra sizing with C. In fact, there are plenty of plus-sized women whose breasts are not large enough for Cs, meaning they’re forced to choose from a selection of undergarments that won’t properly fit their chests.

Lace, mesh and wireless are all features to be found among Pepper’s designs, but one style you won’t spot? That ubiquitous super uncomfortable, deep-V push-up shape intended to create the illusion of a way-larger cup size. Pepper’s cuts are flattering without dramatically transforming your shape because it’s all about loving your dimensions just as they are.

With Asian Pacific American Heritage Month front of mind, In The Know asked Jaclyn if she had any words of wisdom for other budding innovators in the AAPI community.

“My advice to other AAPI founders is to just do it,” Jaclyn said, adding, “Know that there are other Asian-American founders out there who can support you and want to support you.”

If you enjoyed this story, read about Corine Tan, who’s making it her mission to make the workforce more accessible and empathetic.

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