WILSON, WY, April 16, 2014 (LifeSiteNews.com) – “’Mary Margaret, you can't wear that!’ I whispered to my 13 year old sister in the dressing room as she tried on a leopard push-up bra that was as empty and as fake as the ad on the wall beside her.”
So begins the story of 18-year-old Megan Grassell’s new lingerie line, Yellowberry. After taking her younger sister to the mall to shop for her first bra last year, Grassell was angered by the lack of practical, modest choices for adolescent girls.
“I couldn’t believe the bras that she was supposed to buy,” wrote Grassell on the Kickstarter page that would eventually fund her fledgling company. “The choices for her, and for all girls her age (the 11-15 age group) were simply appalling to me. They were all padded, push-up, and sexual. Not only that, they did not fit her body properly, which automatically made me wonder ‘Where were the young, cute, and realistic bras for girls?!’ There were none! So, upon returning home I realized that I could do it; I could make those bras for girls.”
Grassell had no knowledge of the fashion industry, but she knew that if she could find funding, she’d be able to hire someone who did. Using Kickstarter, Grassell was able to raise more than $40,000 to finance the design and production of her first line of bras, which cost about $40 on the Yellowberry website and quickly sold out (you can still backorder the bras, which are expected to be restocked by May 15). The company is currently conducting a second round of crowdfunding, hoping to raise $100,000 to expand the line to include new style and color options, and underwear.
Yellowberry takes its name and icon from the middle stage of the growth of a berry. “Before a fruit is fully ripened, it is just a yellow berry,” Grassell explains on her website. “The berry first is green, and as it grows and ages it becomes closer to its final stage of red, purple, orange, or pink. First, however, it passes through several shades of yellow. Those yellow stages take time, but they are what will eventually create a beautiful berry.”
This yellow stage, Grassell compares to a girl’s adolescent years – years she says are fleeting enough without mainstream lingerie makers pushing girls to make themselves look older than they are.
“This company is my effort to help other girls who feel the same way I do: that our society pressures us to look and dress a certain way at a very young age,” Grassell writes. “Mary Margaret should feel confident in whatever she wears, not that she is lesser than her peers if she looks different than a goddess-like model ten years her elder.”
Yellowberry bras are constructed from a soft, stretchy cotton spandex blend and have no hooks or wires to irritate young girls’ skin. They come in four sizes (XS-L) based on band size, and can accommodate up to a C-cup. Each bra comes with a hangtag printed with one of six “mantras” inspired by Grassell’s youngest sister Caroline, who died in an accident at the age of five. They are: 1) Water the flowers every day. 2) Watch quietly and observe. 3) Go barefoot. 4) Love the outdoors and nature. 5) Seek and find a hug when you need one. 6) Campfires are rare; eat as many marshmallows as you can.
“Each bra is made with one of these statements attached to the tag in my own effort to share their wise values, as well as to keep Caroline's memory alive,” Grassell explains. “These statements help reiterate the value behind my simple goal: build a bra that is unique, colorful, and young made for all girls who love and enjoy their youthful, yellow stages in life.”