Compelled by her own bra buying frustrations and disappointments, new mother, Orit Hashay has provided an online bra selection and buying service provided by women for women who have just had enough of having to embarrassingly involve a stranger - a salesperson - in their bra fitting sessions and after a large financial outlay still end up with a badly fitting or poor quality bra that gets shoved in a drawer and never worn.
Orit, the kind of Israeli woman who likes to find solutions, decided to create the website Brayola.com
and help women all over the world find a suitable bra by asking them to share information about their different body shape, and size, their style in lingerie, personal taste and favourite bra company. All this information forms the database that powers Brayola.com.
The site is only just up and running yet over 10,000 women have created their own Brayola personalised bra drawer.
Digital Journal contacted Orit about her project and website.
When did you decide to found Brayola?
I realised there was a need for more information for women about bra buying when I bought a bra recommended by a friend that cost over $150. A few weeks after the purchase, the bra straps had stretched so much I couldn’t wear it anymore. The seed for the solution of women’s bra finding problems was finally sown after my sister raved about a great bra she had found through her friend who is the same size and shape as her. So, during my pregnancy, I raised money, built the concept of Brayola, collected masses of information and the site became live a couple of months ago, just before I gave birth.
How did you come up with the name Brayola for your website and company?
I searched for a name; it had to be one word that didn’t already exist and with a domain on the internet that was vacant so no one would compete against me with SEO. Brayola didn’t appear in the search engines.
I already liked the Viola, the name of an investment group I’d worked for, so, I took Viola swapped Bra with Vi and came up with Brayola.
What are your company aims? What do you hope to provide in the bra business that other companies don't?
My main aim is that the bra buying experience for a woman will be comfortable and without embarrassing complications; that it won't involve all those breast and body measurements; that buying a bra won't turn into one of those purchases where yet another unworn and abandoned bra lies in the drawer along with all the rest.
I also wanted to help women to avoid just buying the same bra over and over again because they don’t have the time and energy to find something new. In short, my aim is that buying a bra should be simple yet individualised.
Do you get many customers?
We only really started to invest efforts into marketing the site and attracting clients a few days ago. Before this we were busy working on the alpha version. So far, we are very pleased with the number of women already using Brayola.com who have created their own lingerie drawer on the site and now receive the services of a private on-line brassier boutique.
Is your site succeeding in the way you thought it would?
Well the site is still a baby. At this stage we are very happy with the progress especially with the amount of information we have accumulated from women that was essential for our site algorithm to work. I was worried that the women visiting the site wouldn’t have time or be bothered to give feedback but I was wrong.
An additional feature will be available soon too that will allow ‘free text’ input where women can give qualitative feedback. It isn’t enough for users to tell us which bra they love, they also need to write in detail why they think it is wonderful. This will really help us build a more comprehensive database - like a combination between Wikipedia and Zappos for bras – a site that provides information and also allows for discovery of new things.
What are women’s main complaints when buying bras?
The main complaint is that it is very hard for them to find a good bra because of all the various size differences between brands and styles within the same brand. Sometimes someone can try something that fits her according to size but just feels uncomfortable or looks awful – makes her look bigger or smaller, wider, lifts her breast up too much and so on. Our body shapes are unique, so bras need to be individual like us.
Do you think most women feel uncomfortable when buying bras?
Surveys show that women love privacy when buying lingerie and that's why they like to buy on-line; the bottom line is, buying a bra is not like buying a pair of shoes, unfortunately.
How are you managing to cope with being a new mother and managing the new site?
It’s not easy juggling the two. You have to take a decision, have a vision and go for it. You can do both; you just have to decide that is what you are going to do. I just decided, this is important; this is needed; don’t stop, don’t hesitate, don’t be afraid, just do.
Orit also has a surprise for men. In the near future, men will be able to click on Brayola
and choose the perfect bra for the perfect lady