Featuring ~ Jenette Bras
Submitted by Jenette Goldstein owner of Jenette Bras in Los Angeles & Pasadena, California
I opened Jenette Bras in 2009 in an old working-class neighborhood in Los Angeles called East Hollywood. I found a great 1920’s storefront, formerly Pak-Am Stationery (for all your Pakistani-American office supply needs) in a sort of off-center bohemian district of bike shops, junk stores and small theaters. It was cheaper than prime shopping district space and loads more fun. My business plan, such as it was, didn’t call for browsers or impulse shoppers. I calculated that I was a destination store that women would be willing to travel to, and this turned out to be right.
I myself had to go all the way to England to be properly fitted. I was attending a science fiction fan convention (due to some notoriety connected with my other job) and I stumbled into a shop called Bravissimo. You all know what comes next: I went from 36DD to 32G in the twinkling of a tape measure. It wasn’t just math, either: I looked five times more hot. Back home in Los Angeles, my husband was pleased. I, however, was only growing more annoyed. “I’m a goddamn Hollywood actress,” I trilled, why can’t I find a store in Los Angeles that has bras in my size!?” “Why don’t WE open one,” he replied, and so our journey began.
Three pieces of advice I DID NOT take: 1. You need to locate in a nice mall or upscale shopping area with lots of foot traffic. 2. You’ve gotta sell online, that’s where you’ll make all your money. 3. Don’t limit yourself to larger cup sizes. You’re giving up half the market!
I’m sorry we can’t carry bras for my A to C cup sisters, but I’m very happy with my niche. Busty gals have been treated badly by the US lingerie industry, and there are a lot of us. We opened our second store in Pasadena a couple of years ago and both stores are doing well.
Three principles I follow religiously: 1. We are not a sexy boudoir shop. We sell high-quality bras to dynamic and stylish women who need them. Our crisp, mid-century design style complements that idea. 2. We are a bra FIT store. The front is for check-in and check-out. The fit salon is where the action is. 3. Talk to a human: we don’t read from a script, we don’t sell on commission, we don’t tell you it looks great when it doesn’t, and, of course, we don’t sell on-line (because an algorithm can’t fit you, no matter what you may have heard).
I love working in the shop. Of course we have difficult customers from time to time, but they are far outweighed by the throngs of terrific dames that walk through the door. Best is when we have a full house, and D-plus women of all shapes, ages and walks of life are popping in and out of their dressing rooms like whack-a-moles, comparing notes and cracking jokes while my girls and I labor expertly to find the perfect thing for each of them. Bras don’t actually fly through the air, usually, but it feels that way!
Jenette Bras is located at:
Los Angeles, CA