Breakthroughs & InnovationsPodcasts

Driving Innovation in the Sports Bra Industry with Laura Tempesta, Founder of Bravolution

By July 16, 2020

 

Laura Tempesta is a sports bra expert, apparel innovator, inventor of multiple patented products, and the only person in North America with a Master’s degree in Lingerie Design. After receiving her BA in Anthropology from Stanford University, she began her career in business strategy. Realizing her true calling was in product creation, she later pursued apparel design and development. During her tenure as Sports Bra Innovation Director at Nike, she helped guide and develop sports bra innovation.

Laura serves as a consultant to the bra industry and is the Founder of Bravolution®, a consumer advocacy group and resource providing bra reviews and education. She is a TEDx speaker and has been featured as a bra expert in Vogue, Insider, and Better Homes & Gardens.

Here’s a glimpse of what you’ll learn:

  • How Laura came to be the only person in North America with a Master’s degree in Lingerie Design
  • Why there’s a big bias against innovation in the apparel industry
  • Men’s dominance in the bra and cottage industries over the years
  • Laura explains why underwires are used in manufacturing bras
  • How COVID-19 has created an opportunity for innovation in the bra industry
  • Why comfort is a motivating factor for innovation
  • Laura talks about the work she did as the Director of Sports Bra Innovation at Nike and explains what’s involved when innovating in a corporate setting
  • Laura’s advice to young innovators on storytelling, profitability, and finding the right partners
  • Laura talks about her transition from the corporate world to sports bra consultancy and her interest in entrepreneurship
  • Why innovators should consider partnering with people who are numbers-oriented
  • The role intellectual property (IP) plays in the innovation process
  • How to learn more and get in touch with Laura Tempesta

In this episode…

The vast majority of bras worn by women all over the world have had the same design since the 1950s. Little innovation has taken place in the bra industry because many manufacturers are content with re-using the same designs and models over and over. Additionally, women have often been left out when it comes to designing bras when in reality they are the ones wearing them.

To help drive change in the bra industry, Laura Tempesta studied Apparel Design and Development, became a bra consultant, and later founded Bravolution as a way to help companies manufacture sports bras that are not only comfortable but also flexible and supportive for women.

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In this week’s episode of Innovations and Breakthroughs, Rich Goldstein is joined by Laura Tempesta, the Founder of Bravolution, to talk about Laura’s efforts driving in innovation and change in the sports bra industry. They talk about common biases in the apparel industry, how the COVID-19 pandemic has created an opportunity for innovation in the bra industry, and the role intellectual property has played in Laura’s work. Stay tuned.

Resources Mentioned in this episode:

Sponsor for this episode…

This episode is brought to you by Goldstein Patent Law, a firm that helps protect inventors’ ideas and products. They have advised and obtained patents for thousands of companies over the past 25 years. So if you’re a company that has a software, product, or design you want protected, you can go to https://goldsteinpatentlaw.com/. They have amazing free resources for learning more about the patent process. 

You can email their team at [email protected] to explore if it’s a match to work together. Rich Goldstein has also written a book for the American Bar Association that explains in plain English how patents work, which is called ‘The ABA Consumer Guide to Obtaining a Patent.’


Intro (00:09):
Welcome to innovations and breakthroughs with your host Rich Goldstein, talking about the evolutionary, the revolutionary, the inspiration and the perspiration and those aha moments that change everything. And now here’s your host, rich Goldstein

Rich (00:33):
Goldstein here, host of the innovations and breakthroughs podcast, where I featured top leaders in the path they took to create change past guests include Roland, Roland, Frasier, Yokota bear, and Ryan dice. This episode is brought to you by my company, Goldstein patent law, where we help you to protect your ideas and products we’ve advised and obtained patents for thousands of companies over the past 26 years. So if you’re a company that has software, product or design, you want to protected, you’d go to Goldstein patent law.com, where there are amazing free resources for learning about the patent process. And you could email my [email protected] to explore if it’s a match to work together. You could also check out the book I wrote for the American bar association that explains in plain English, how patents work it’s called the ABA consumer guide to obtaining a patent. I have here with me today.

Rich (01:21):
Laura Tempesta, Laura is a bra expert. She’s a product creator and inventor of multiple patented products and many of these products that she developed and patented when working for Nike, where she served as a sports bra innovation director, uh, she serves as a consultant for the bra industry. She’s also founder of Bravo solution, a consumer advocacy and education Brooke group. She’s been featured as a bra expert in Vogue, insider, better homes and gardens. And she’s spoken at TEDx, uh, fun fact about Laura. She’s the only person in North America with a master’s degree in lingerie design. It’s my pleasure to welcome Laura. Tempesta welcome, Laura.

Laura (02:03):
Thank you so much. Or just a pleasure to be here. Thank you for having me.

Rich (02:06):
Yeah. Um, yeah, it’s my pleasure. And, uh, so let’s say, let’s talk about that last part first. So you’re the only person in North America with a master’s degree in lingerie design. You know, what that makes me think of is these karate masters, you to get like a 10th degree black belt. And the first question you say is, well, who made you a 10th degree, black belt, if that’s the highest level. So if you’re the only one with a master’s degree, um, how did that come about?

Laura (02:31):
Well, it began when I was working in innovation at Nike. So I was in their innovation, their innovation pod, their innovation group, and we had a broad project come on and we couldn’t find any experts anywhere in the world to help us. There were just a few experts scattered through throughout the world. And most of them were not in the United States. And I fell in love with this bra project. And I really felt like, wow, this is my thing. I was like a light bulb moment. And I felt like this is the thing I really want to do. I want to help women. I want to make better products. How do I become an expert? And in this? And so, uh, Nike worked with me, they sponsored me to get this master’s degree in lingerie design in Europe, I’m at a school called the Montfort university, which is the, at the time was the only university in the world where you could get a master’s degree in luxury design.

Laura (03:15):
They actually don’t offer any more, which is why I continue to be the only person in North America with a master’s degree in lingerie design. But Nike worked with a school. We custom designed this master’s degree so that it was specifically about sports, bras, sports, bra innovation, design development, the materials that go into sports bras, the biomechanics was a violent mechanics expert, um, part of the degree as well. And so that was how I ended up getting this master’s degree actually at the time, I didn’t realize I was the only person in North America to get the degree, but once I got to the school, they told me nobody else from North America ever gotten the degree. So that, well, that’s pretty interesting, but it just goes to show you how few people actually have a deep expertise in this knowledge and in this subject, which is extraordinary given that most women on the planet are wearing bras. And so it also, I think, speaks to why so many women don’t like wearing bras. There’s not a whole lot of innovation in bras and there’s a lot of opportunity there.

Rich (04:06):
Yeah. And, and I watched your TEDx. So I got that message there that in the apparel industry, it seems that there’s a strong bias against innovation. There’s a, there’s a belief that, um, this is as good as it gets. I think you said,

Laura (04:20):
Yes, that’s absolutely true. And I think there’s part of it is because there’s such a, there’s such a foundation from, for generations, decades of Garmin toes and, and factories that have done apparel production in manufacturing in a certain way. And so there’s also just not a lot of, um, impetus from consumers themselves to ask for a lot of innovation in their clothes. They just, they just accept that what they’re getting in their clothes, which is just the way it is. And it can’t get that much better. So between consumers not really asking for innovation and manufacturers wanting to continue to manufacture in the way they always have, because of course that’s what they’ve invested in and they don’t want to make additional investments if they don’t need to things just continue to keep getting developed in the way they always have been. And bras are definitely a part of that cycle.

Rich (05:04):
Yeah, absolutely. And so, um, I guess, um, the, the manufacturers feel it’s as good as it gets and then consumers have come to believe that. Um, but I have a feeling that you think differently about it, real opportunities. So, so, so tell me about that.

Laura (05:22):
Uh, well with bras in particular, bras have been manufactured the same way since pretty much the 1950s. And, and they’ve been around for about a hundred years. And in my TEDx, like I show examples of bras from the 1930s that look exactly like the bras that we have today. So there has not been a ton, a ton of innovation. And what they do is they keep quote unquote, re-inventing the bra. So, um, you know, that famous quote by, by Ford where he says, if, if I wanted to, you know, if I ask people what they wanted, they would’ve, they would’ve said faster horses. So that’s, what’s going on in bras is they keep going back to the same design and they keep kind of tweaking the same design and not really about, well, if we actually want to support women’s breasts, what are the other ways that we could do that?

Laura (06:02):
And then there’s the whole component too, of like, well, what is he, what does he mean that from a cultural standpoint supportive, Bresser, it’s a cultural thing, right? It’s not necessarily a, it’s not a medically necessary thing. Um, so there’s, so there’s that part of it too, but they’ve, they’ve been made the same way for generations, for decades that the manufacturers have invested tons of money in molds and, um, machinery that keep making things the same way. And women have just accepted that bras are a white noise in their life. Like they know that they’re annoying. They know that they don’t like wearing them. They take them off. The first thing they take off when they get home. Um, but they’ve just accepted that they have to wear these things. And so it just becomes like this white noise in the background and no one has really challenged a why are we wearing it be, is there a better way to do it and see, why do we keep going back to the same design when there’s probably lots of other ways that we could do this in a much more efficient and comfortable way?

Rich (06:53):
Got it. Yeah. And that’s, uh, that sounds like that’s where the status quo comes about. Like, there’s just a lot of, a lot of biases and a lot of belief that it can’t get any better. And, uh, um, I didn’t hear you say it, but I’ve heard, it said many times before, well, bras were invented by men and, and, and I, I imagine that there weren’t too many women involved at a high level, um, on a corporate level in this until more recently. Right.

Laura (07:19):
You’re exactly right. It’s so it has, the corsetry industry was dominated by men and the bra industry was also dominated by men. And in fact, it continues to be dominated by men, especially in the factories in Asia and Sri Lanka. And, you know, these countries where there’s a lot of broad manufacturing going on. So it really is only in the past decade that more women have been involved in the higher echelons of bra manufacturing companies or have started their own companies and trying to recreate this, this garment, this product, and trying to make it better for women’s themselves. So you see that transition, even Victoria secret was a company started by a man that was for a man that was about making it easier for men to buy lingerie for the women in their lives, essentially. So it comes from more of a sexual standpoint than it does from a comfort and support standpoint. And when women get involved and they actually try to make a, a garment that works for them, rather than thinking about the, you know, the sexual side of it.

Rich (08:16):
Got it. And so Victoria’s secret really was that the secret was that it was a man that ran the company.

Laura (08:23):
I know. And in fact, until very recently, um, he just, uh, sold it. Although I think that there’s, that’s a whole nother conversation, but I think there is some, some battling now about whether or not, uh, I think the people who bought it from him want to see if they can get out of the contract because they bought it right before COVID and obviously the first secret was already struggling and definitely struggling, struggling more now.

Rich (08:43):
Yeah, absolutely. And, um, you know, and so you, um, it’s funny, like, um, I learned more from your TEDx than I thought I would ever know. Like, I can’t believe I’m going this deep into the conversation on it, but like, so one of those biases, um, you know, for example, was that the underwire is not about support it’s about shape, right? Like, you know, people think like, Oh, it’s, it’s, it’s, it’s, it’s helping to serve the, the, the function of the broth as being a, um, you know, uh, a support garment. Right. But it’s not right. And that goes to what you’re saying is part of the, the, you know, the original, um, kind of aesthetic reasons that dictate a lot of the design.

Laura (09:26):
Yes. And underwires, weren’t even really a thing until the 1960s. So up until the late 1950s bullet bras, and that point he shaped was what was considered aesthetically pleasing, which isn’t true today, but they were able to use fabrics alone to get these very supportive bras without, without underwires. And then underwires came along as a way to make a more rounded shape. So to go from that point, he shaped to a more rounded shape, and it was absolutely about shape and not about support. So somewhere along the way, somewhere along the path, women got the message that they needed to have these uncomfortable wires. And they’re really just big pieces of metal essentially in their bras in order to have support. They’re really no different than course it’s honestly like, yes, they’re not compressing you dance your waist or where your organs are, but, you know, pieces of metal in a bra really aren’t any more comfortable or any better for your health. And then of course it is. So it’s not that much different.

Rich (10:18):
Great. And so, um, like let’s talk about like, what are some of the, um, um, the, the things that, um, that motivate innovation in this. So if there is kind of a bias against innovation, what are some of the factors or the opportunities you see for innovation?

Laura (10:36):
Well, right now I see a huge opportunity for innovation. So a few years ago, a wall street analyst would call me and they would, they were actually asking me about Victoria secret and where I thought Victoria secret was going. And I told them at that time that I did not think Victoria secret was a safe bet. And I said, because right now there’s a tsunami of change coming in the bra industry. And this tsunami wave has comfort written all over it. And it’s on the horizon. It’s not here yet, but it’s coming Victoria secret has nothing to do about comfort. It’s about, you know, um, again, it’s more of a sexual it’s about creating sexually pleasing bra bra uplifted, and push up in all of these things. And so I said like, that’s coming, it’s not here yet, but it’s coming. And, um, and COVID is the line in the stand where, where I would, I think fashion historians are going to look back on this and say that this is the thing that changed, how bras, how bras are manufactured and how off also, what is considered as aesthetically pleasing and abroad as well.

Laura (11:29):
So, um, so up until now, um, women have defaulted to underwires again, just because it’s like what they’ve always worn in what they’ve always done. But when now we have months and months at a time where women have not been wearing underwire bras. So when they go back to work and, you know, when all of this is over normalcy and SUSE, and they go back to putting an underwire bra on immediately, they’re going to realize just how uncomfortable is because they haven’t been wearing it. And then they have, they’ve gotten out of the, they’re no longer used to having that feeling anymore. And so I think that a huge opportunity for innovation and bras right now is to create a supportive bra that doesn’t have an underwire. Um, right now, if you go out into the market, there are supportive bras without underwires that are quite not aesthetically pleasing at all. Um, or they’re, they’re not all that comfortable. Um, and no, one’s really put a ton of time and effort into, and to figuring out how can you make a supportive bra that’s both comfortable, um, and beautiful and doesn’t have an underwire and it’s because no one was really asking for it, but I think now there is going to be a need for it. And, and, um, consumers are going to be asking for it and it’s going to be a real opportunity and innovation for bras.

Rich (12:40):
Got it. So, um, so it sounds like the, the real, um, opportunity has to do with comfort and that’s the motivating factor for innovation?

Laura (12:48):
Yes, I think so. I mean, and different, different people have different opinions on this. Like for example, um, you know, mass customization is something that a lot of manufacturers are looking at. Like, how can we make, how can we make the bras so that it’s custom designed for a certain person, because there are different, you know, most women have one breast that’s a little bit bigger than another, you know, do all these factors about why I brought my not fit somebody perfectly. Uh, and I think that, you know, there, although I think there is some opportunity there for sure. And especially, especially with 3d printing and that type of thing, becoming more and more popular, uh, at the end of the day, what it’s really about is comfort. Like nobody says they want a custom designed pair of sweatpants or custom designed pair of leggings because they don’t need to because it’s comfortable. Right. So as long as you make the garment in a way that’s comfortable, you’re not going to have a ton of people telling you they want their own custom version of it right now. Um, you might be hearing that, especially with, um, from women who are already extended sizes, larger, larger cups and larger fans, because they can’t find a product that works for them and they can Def certainly can’t find something that’s comfortable, but I think if manufacturers are concentrating on Oncomfort and really innovating in that space, that that’s where the opportunity is.

Rich (13:58):
Great. All right. So, so I’m curious, like, so you, you worked as the sports, the director of a sports bar and innovation and for Nike. And so, uh, I’m curious about that kind of corporate innovation, um, process, what it looks like, like, for example, um, you know, when you, when you’re innovating in a big company, how does it, how does it work? Do you, um, um, have an idea, then you have to pitch to someone to have them, um, approve you to develop it further, or just kind of, what does it look like for you to, to be, um, innovating within a corporate setting like that?

Laura (14:36):
That’s a great question. Uh, so there’s a few different ways that you can go about it. So as we, as the sports bra innovation director, I had a team of people working underneath me that worked in materials, biomechanics development design, um, and we came together as a, you know, a cross functional and we would work together and ideas came from the designers, of course, but ideas also came from other people in our pod as well. We would get people the materials based on, Hey, I have a materials innovation idea, or the developer would say, I have a construction innovation idea. Um, and as each of us came up with ideas, we would, as a group explore, how viable is this? How long would it take to produce what, you know, how much money would it take? What does it take for us to actually explore this?

Laura (15:16):
And so, so if somebody on their own came up with an idea, we would, we would first go to our, our, um, our patent lawyer team. And we would say, you know, can we do a search on this idea? Has somebody else done something similar? And if it came back that it looked like, you know, we thought there was real legs to this idea, and it didn’t seem like anybody else had done it. We would immediately put in a provisional patent just to protect the idea right. From the onset. And then that would give us about a year to actually delve into it a little bit further and see if there was actually something worth pursuing here, but it would take, um, it, isn’t just, you know, the innovation team and you’ll find this in corporations and you’ve probably worked with corporate partners and you notice as well that there was always like an innovation team and there’s like an inline team.

Laura (15:57):
So the inline team, they, they do the, day-to-day the regular styles that are out in the stores, you know, you know, from season to season. And then you have the innovation team that’s working over here on ideas, and they don’t always see eye to eye. Like the innovation team might be thinking really far out. There might be a little bit more visionary. And the people who are getting this stuff in the stores next season, they’re just thinking about dollars and cents and making sure that stuff gets produced. So you might have to really sell your ideas, socialize your idea to other people who might not see where you’re going with it right away. So there’s that component as well. Like you have to, you have to know the ideas about is viable. You have to know that no one else has pursued the idea, but you also need your, your partners and other parts of the business who are essentially responsible for the bottom line to also buy into your idea.

Laura (16:39):
So there’s, you have to be a good salesperson on top of a, a good innovator. Like that’s actually, I think the best innovators are also good salespeople as well. You know, good visionaries are good storytellers. Like if you don’t have that part of your personality, it’s really, really difficult to get an idea over the hump of somebody who’s going to start telling you all the reasons why it isn’t going to work and, and people, yeah. People don’t like change too. That’s the other thing, I think that’s just human nature. So here you got some like big idea that’s gonna involve a lot of change. You’ll get resistance to that as well. Yeah,

Rich (17:11):
Absolutely. I mean, uh, I think that’s great. It’s so true that as an innovator, you have to be a salesperson. And as a salesperson, you have to be able to listen and understand, um, the point of view of multiple parties and, and what matters to them. What matters to that team that is busy with getting the styles ready for the next season. And, uh, and so understanding that gives you a path towards showing them that what you have to offer can fit what they need. And, um,

Laura (17:43):
So, so

Rich (17:45):
It sounds, it sounds like that’s, that’s, you you’ve seen that. And then that’s been a part of your, um, a part of your professional life. There is really like selling your ideas, um, which means finding the way that it fits into other people’s worlds.

Laura (17:59):
Yeah. And what I will tell, if I am mentoring a young innovator, what I will tell them is hone your storytelling skills, like your, your idea generation. You already have that, like, as an innovator, that’s something that’s inherent to. You’ve probably always been somebody who has great ideas and you’re creative in that way. But if you can’t be a good storyteller, you’re never going to get your ideas over the hump. The other thing I tell them is partner with somebody who’s good at numbers who can help you to see, like, is this actually going to be profitable because it’s one thing to innovate in a think tank or in a university. And those in the, you know, the it’s totally blue sky and no one’s going to really hold you to any kind of budget or whether or not you can actually make money on it. But when you’re, or innovating in a corporation, especially a publicly traded one at the end of the day, you have a responsibility to your shareholders and you have to show that you can actually make money on this idea. And then it’s not going to be a money sink, but you’ve got to show that as well.

Rich (18:51):
So you have to show, I guess, that that blue sky can lead to blue ocean. Yes, exactly. I just made that up. Yeah. Thanks. You can go, go right ahead. And, um, you know, so in terms of, of having the story down, I think that’s perfect. And I think that really applies to people that are not only in a corporate setting, but even individual inventors. It’s kind of like, um, the elevator pitch, you know, one of the things you need to get good at is telling the story of your innovation of your invention and 30 seconds, um, so that someone else can get what it’s all about. I’m gonna have to say that as a patent attorney, I’ve often, um, you know, you know, often in talking with inventors, it takes them 20 minutes to get across what they actually have invented. And, uh, and what I always encourage people to do is to, um, is to find a way to, to, to, to sell it in 50 words or less to really get across quickly that elevator pitch, because if you’re going to be successful with any innovation, you’re going to have to sell it over and over and over again, you know, to, um, people that might invest in it, two people that might partner with you to, um, to further develop it and manufacturers, you just have to get really good at telling that story.

Rich (20:13):
So I think that’s

Laura (20:14):
Absolutely right. Rich. I totally agree with you. And I, and I think what I will say to people is if you can’t explain it to, you know, a seventh grader and they cannot regurgitate it back to you and why it’s cool, you need to keep working on it because it really, it has to be, it has to be that simple and that big of an aha. Um, really, because otherwise, if it’s, it’s, you know, out in the ether, I’m very philosophical, you’re going to lose people. No, one’s going to want to invest in that.

Rich (20:40):
Yeah, absolutely. So you transitioned out of, um, uh, of corporate life, the world into consulting. So, so tell me about what that was like and what you currently do as a consultant.

Laura (20:53):
Sure. Um, so I, so as you know, you just said, I was the sports innovation director at Nike, and I really, I mean, I honestly truly felt like this is my calling. This is how I want to change the world. Like I felt so passionately about it. And I realized that in the context of one corporation, I couldn’t make a huge change. I could, I mean, Nike has great market share, so you can make, you could definitely make change being, working for Nike, but still it’s not the same as actually going out and making, like, being able to educate consumers and working with multiple companies to help them make their products better. There isn’t a lot of knowledge, especially about sports bras, sports bras are the most scientific bra out there. Um, and there is very little knowledge about them. I mean, surprisingly little knowledge about

Rich (21:35):
Scientific bra, you said yes,

Laura (21:37):
Because they re you have to, they’re really, it’s really a piece of athletic equipment. It’s so much more than just a bra. Um, so it has to, you know, support and protect the breasts. It’s got to hold the breast during really high with high forces, uh, um, affecting the breast from high-impact activities. And so there’s all of these factors that go into it. It’s got like sweat, it’s going to got to withstand multiple washings. Like there are all of these things that go into designing a great sports bra honors. There’s so little information about it out there. And I’m literally the most educated person on the planet in sports bras. Like not only there, there are biomechanists who are amazing at the biomechanic, uh, area of sports bras about seeing how breasts move and, and that part of it, they know nothing about the design or the material development, or how to make a pattern.

Laura (22:24):
There are brilliant pattern makers who don’t know anything about the biomechanics. There are brilliant designers who don’t know anything about the biomechanics or the pattern making. And I combined all of these things into this degree. So I, I really am like a very unique and deep expert in this, in this, um, in this area. So I thought, okay, I want to actually go out and I want to work with multiple companies, and I want to help them to make better products because that’s how I’m going to impact the world in the biggest way is by working with multiple large companies. So, so although I transitioned out of corporate corporate America, um, as a, as an employee, I actually do, do still work in incorporations, um, and major corporations and help them with their, their sports bras. So I work with our design development teams. Um, I actually I’m both right brain left brain.

Laura (23:10):
So I actually, um, I used to, uh, my very first career was in strategy consulting. So I, you know, I work on strategy and I even work on, um, you know, pricing and that type of thing. And so I’ll go into factories and helps them make their production more efficient. So there’s a lot of different things that, that I can work on. But the thing that really, I think fires me up the most and gets me the most passionate is when I can work with designers and I can show them how to make their broad designs better so that they actually work better. And then I feel like I’m really delivering a lot of value. Um, I know that the people who didn’t have to crunch the numbers think I’m delivering a lot of value when I help their margins and that type of thing, and get their, um, uh, products, more production efficient. But for me, it’s about how do we actually make products that consumers love that and rave about online and say, Oh my gosh, I can’t believe who designed the system. Amazing. And then I feel really good when I see that.

Rich (23:56):
That’s awesome. And so then that’s, what you’re passionate about is, is CRE is, is giving that type of guidance so that people can make products that people are just blown away by.

Laura (24:07):
Yes. And there are very few bras that women are blown away. I can tell you that you very rarely hear a woman say that she loves her bra,

Rich (24:16):
I guess there’s an opportunity there. Right? Yeah, absolutely. Awesome. And so, um, you know, I know that you’re looking to, um, to, to, to move from consulting, into innovating some of your own products and, uh, um, and actually, um, kind of following that entrepreneur journey. So, so tell me a little bit about where you’re at with that and kind of, what’s got you interested in becoming an entrepreneur.

Laura (24:43):
I think my goal always was eventually to have my own product line because I, like I said, I do have such a deep expertise in all of the, all of the facets of making the product. Uh, I wanted to start off in consulting because I wanted to see like, well, what’s that path like, and what kind of change can I affect in companies that have a lot of market share where I can immediately see an impact because they sell millions of units. Um, but ultimately the thing is with, with big corporations, they’re not big risk takers. So if you, um, they’re risk averse and understandably so, so if they have something that’s working well, enough, people are buying it. They’re not going to be too keen to make huge, huge changes. Um, and I have, I’m like a visionary. I, I feel like I see, see how products can change quite, quite drastically and still be, be really great.

Laura (25:29):
Um, so I I’ve always wanted to own my own product line and I wanted to start off by not, not making those drastic changes because I think that consumers aren’t ready for that yet, but, but to start with some, some pretty impactful changes that other brands might not be quite ready to, to explore because it’s just too risky to them. Um, so I wanted to start out in that first and, uh, and probably, you know, especially now with, with COVID and everything online sales is, is the way to go. Um, so I would love, I would love to, to launch a product line that caters to, to a lot of the groups that I feel like are being ignored by the industry right now. So particularly women with larger busts, um, I think that they, they really struggle, struggled, finding great broad people, uh, women over 42 I’m in breast changes as women get older and, uh, and being in the industry, I know that the fit models that we use and make the products on, they’re always like under 30 years old. So there really aren’t products that are for, for women that are catered specifically to the breast changes that happen to women as they get older. And I think that there is products for those people as well, that where there’s a lot of opportunity there as well.

Rich (26:33):
Got it. And so it sounds like you, um, um, you know, you’re a visionary, you see some big possibilities for change. Um, you also recognize that maybe the, um, the biggest changes might be too soon. Um, and, uh, you know, you mentioned before how it’s important to have someone who can kind of crunch the numbers and see the opportunity. So are you that person, or do you see yourself as like, like, um, partnering with people that are more numbers oriented?

Laura (27:02):
Like I said, I’m left-brained and right-brained, which is why I feel like I probably should eventually go into this, um, you know, owning my own products because I, I crunched the numbers for other companies. So I know that I, I can also crunch them for my own company. Um, so I do feel like that I can do that as well, but the reality is when you own, when you own a company or a product line, as it starts to take off, which hopefully it does, you can’t do everything yourself. So you need to partner with people who, who can help you in those areas. And I have to admit, like if I was going to partner with somebody who could help me, it would probably would be more in that area because the visionary and the product creation, that’s something that only I can do at least, you know, especially in the beginning, there aren’t many people who have, have the amount of knowledge that I have or, or think the way that I think, whereas the numbers part, there are a lot of people who can do that part. So, um, so yes, I would probably look to partner with somebody eventually as it got bigger.

Rich (27:56):
Okay. And so how ready do you feel for your entrepreneur’s journey?

Laura (28:01):
I feel pretty ready. I had, um, you know, hope to do it sometime this year. I honestly, I’m taking a little bit of a pause for which is with everything going on in the world. It’s, it’s, you know, it’s a very unusual time and probably not the best time to be launching something right now, but I feel like within the next six months, I definitely want to make that transition and start to go in that direction, especially because of the opportunity I see post COVID with creating a whole different new type of bra and even, you know, and I could also see the aesthetics of what, um, what breast support looks like changing as well. Like, like I said, they changed drastically in the 1960s after women’s lib, when bullet bras transitioned into the bras that we have today. So we went from that point, he aesthetic to more of a round one. I could see us transitioning into it yet, and even another aesthetic now, which maybe isn’t as round and lifted, still supported, but not, um, not as rounded and lifted so that you can wear a garment. That’s a lot more comfortable, still get some support, but maybe not have that super push-up look, which I think is I can see that transitioning for sure.

Rich (29:01):
Got it. Um, and, uh, you know, I’m gonna circle back to something you mentioned before that I, I didn’t address you. You would talk about the, the innovation process when you, um, had worked on new designs and, and it sounded like the patent played a rather big role in it that when you had an idea, it would be well let’s search and find out, um, how close we are to other people. Um, and, uh, um, and, and then that was a big factor in whether you did further development. So I guess, tell me a little bit about the role of IP in, um, you know, in developing products, in your experience.

Laura (29:36):
I think it’s also depends on the kind of company that you work for. So Nike is well-known for out and patenting, a lot of things. I think that they probably block other people from getting into spaces by, and that’s part of their strategy, which if you’re a large company and you have the funds to do that is a good strategy. Um, so, so you, you want to make sure that you, I mean, you definitely don’t want to be trampled on somebody else’s patent. You want to make sure that your idea is unique in Roz. There are a ton of patents, so it is difficult to find a space where something hasn’t already been done. Um, but we want to like, you know, we want to do that search. We want to do the provisional, and then we want to, you know, see that it’s actually something worth pursuing and then, and then filed a patent.

Laura (30:18):
There was a, we had our, um, our flying it bra, which came out and I was on that patent, the flynet bra Pratt patent. And then there was another company that came out with a very similar broad at the same time. I think that the patents were filed within months of each other. And, um, and I think the last, the last I heard, although, I mean, don’t quote me on this. The last I heard is that the other company actually, I think beat out Nike on, on the pet. So, but it was on, it was within months that they were, if they were filed. So it is really important if you have a really unique idea that you, um, that you Pat you do the provisional and you patent it as soon as you possibly can. I mean, you, you know, this as a patent attorney is, is like that. I feel like you have to sort of assume if you come up with a really great idea that just, just assume that five other people have come up with the idea at the same time. And it’s like a race is going to actually done and protect it first, because that is just the way it works. I mean, it’s like, it’s the zeitgeists of things like you, don’t, it’s rare that somebody comes up with an idea on their own that somebody else hasn’t already thought of.

Rich (31:21):
Right. They say great minds think alike. Yes, exactly. It’s really true that there is, um, um, like kind of the same factors that, that, um, you notice and motivate you to come up with new ideas, uh, probably impacting many other people simultaneously. Exactly. Awesome. Well, this was, this was really great. And, uh, uh, and I, I’m wondering if people want to learn more about you or get in contact with you, how do they do that?

Laura (31:48):
Um, you can go to my website, which is [inaudible] dot com, um, or I’m on LinkedIn as well. I have a Instagram account, which is a Lucian, and also I have a TEDx talk, which you can just go to the Ted site and you can search my name or a Tempesta and it will come up. So there are lots of ways to contact me

Rich (32:05):
And we’ll be sure to link to it in the show notes as well. Um, so that’s great. Um, Laura, once again, I really appreciate you being here. This was, this was awesome.

Laura (32:13):
Thank you so much for having me.

Outro (32:20):
Thanks for listening to innovations and breakthroughs with your host, rich Goldstein. Be sure to click, subscribe, check us out on the [email protected] and we’ll see you next time.