Mandy Krammel understands that body image is critical to a woman. As a former aesthetician and make-up artist, she knows that a woman’s real perception of her size and shape is key to a healthy and positive body image. Women’s body changes, more so as we mature and give birth — that it is important that the accessories we wear help us feel good about how we look.
Mandy found success by simply listening to her body, and to other women. She knows that a lot of women have issues with their breasts — and the bras they wear.
For over two years, she focused on research and development, determined to find a product that provided versatility in bra type to accommodate different styles of clothing, as well as functionality and comfort.
The result: Tweakerz http://www.tweakerz.com , an FDA approved, totally customizable product that provides lift and support, creates cleavage, is easy to use and is also hypo-allergenic—no small feat in the world of bra enhancement products. She worked meticulously to design a stylish product that, in addition, revives older bras, converts regular bras to racerback styles, and even provides wearers with a slimming effect.
WomenHomeBusiness.com talked to Mandy about the process of bringing Tweakerz to market and the challenges she faced:
What inspired you to develop Tweakerz?
After giving birth to my first child, I noticed first-hand the toll pregnancy takes on a woman’s body– and our breasts in particular. For the first time in my life, I felt self-conscious and did not like the way I looked in my clothing. My favorite bras no longer fit the same and I found it difficult to find new styles that provided my ever-changing breasts with that desired perfect fit. I found that after pregnancy my bust lacked fullness and needed lift.
I quickly discovered that what I needed simply did not exist. I tried unnatural feeling bra inserts. I tried uncomfortable bra styles that claimed extreme lift. I even tried using my daughter’s baby barrettes to support my bra straps. Frustrated, I realized that my temporary baby barrette solution would, literally, no longer hold, so I have made it my mission to uplift the confidence–and breasts–of women like myself, giving them an option other than surgery. I realized that if I felt this way, there had to be plenty of other women that felt the same.
8 out of 10 women wear the wrong size bra, finding the perfect fit more than once seems near impossible. Tweakerz is a patented, hypoallergenic detachable bra accessory, the only customizable (opens to different sizes) bra accessory, which easily connects the bra straps to create cleavage, lift and support. It’s so easy to put on. There’s no looping, weaving or difficult finagling, just slide it under your bra strap. It lies flat against a woman’s back rather than looping around bra straps, creating a visible bulge. The flexible middle piece offers 2 inches of various sizes. Because the center piece can bend, it creates a natural movement between the shoulder blades and is therefore very comfortable to wear.
There aren’t any products on the market that cater to different size people, being customizable, giving them the option of different sizes. Because of Tweakerz’s hypo allergenic properties, it can be worn to the gym or during physical activity with no fear of irritation or rash. Additionally, chiropractors are praising the products’ potential to reduce neck strain and encourage a more natural shoulder position.
What were the challenges you faced when starting the business?
Finding honest people to work with and a reliable manufacturer in the USA.
How did you finance the business?
I believe in my product so much that I used most of my savings.
It took you three years to get a patent for your product. From your experience with the whole patent process, what advice can you give other women inventors out there to make patenting easier?
First of all a good patent attorney is very important. I really loved the “Mom Inventors Handbook”. This book takes you through patent information, prototyping, manufacturing and all aspects of bringing your product to market.
How are you marketing Tweakerz?
My husband helps me with the marketing and PR and has developed and awesome website that features various videos and a store locator. We also have sales reps throughout the country.
Tweakerz will be available in boutiques as well as in your web site. What tips can you give in terms of convincing retailers to carry your product?
We offer a FREE sample to store owners, so they can experience firsthand the benefits of our little adjustable bra-miracle. We also provide a product comparison sheet that shows how Tweakerz prevails against competitor products. Our press package includes raving reviews from store owners like this one: “It’s definitely a counter top piece, it’s something that you really need to say to someone ‘you gotta try this on’ or ‘you need to have this’.” Alene Too – Boca Raton, Florida.
What are your plans for Tweakerz in the next 5 years?
I have 2 other variations of Tweakerz, one for petite women and one for larger busted women.
How has Tweakerz changed your life?
Being a makeup artist most of my life, I’ve always enjoyed helping women look and feel their best. Now thanks to Tweakerz, women contact me and thank me for creating such a useful product. That motivates me to work harder, creating other products that will benefit women of all sizes.
What lessons can you share to other women entrepreneurs?
If you believe in your product, don’t give up. My patent was rejected twice, thank goodness I tried again. The bumps in the road helped me to create a better product. Do your research and don’t be afraid to ask questions. Consider doing your market research study before investing too much money.