While browsing on-line for products that might be of interest to both my fellow bloggers and our readers, I recently stumbled upon the Karlee Smith company. I was intrigued to see that this company specializes in medical grade post-operative and sports bras for women who have undergone surgical procedures for breast augmentation, reduction, lift, mastectomy / lumpectomy etc.
Now when you hear the words ‘medical grade’ you probably don’t think ‘attractive and sexy’ but that is exactly what Karlee Smith has been able to do – deliver a unique and superior quality product which not only assists in post-operative healing, but at the same time allows the wearer to look and feel sexy.
Furthermore, the Karlee Smith bras can be used long after the healing period is over, but we will get into that in our upcoming reviews because Karlee Smith was kind enough to send four of the AEE bloggers (including myself) our choice of one of their bras each to test out and review for our readers!
Before we get to those reviews, I would like to give our readers an opportunity to get to know more about the Karlee Smith brand and its products via the following interview.
What influenced Karlee to get into the post op and sports bra industry?
Visionary Designer and Brand Owner Karlee Smith started the brand after a personal experience when her surgeon sent her home in a bra that fell apart after one wash and made her feel ugly while wearing it. At the time she was working for Victoria’s Secret and could not imagine why there were not better and more stylish bra options for women to wear “post-surgery.”
How did the Karlee Smith brand come to be?
Karlee started the brand after she had a personal breast surgery experience that influenced her passion for women to feel sexier after surgery. She started her own line after leaving Victoria’s Secret because they didn’t see how “post-op” bras could be sexy. So she developed the brand and made a “new niche” in the market that has dramatically changed the way women feel in their most intimate moments after breast surgery.
From the brand’s original ideas and design concepts through to actually creating apparel garments that are both surgeon and patient approved must have involved a tremendous amount of research. Tell us about that process?
According to the Karlee Smith design team, there is a lot of research when selecting the fabrics to ensure the best medical properties and the best quality to match our brand expectations for our customers as well as FDA standards. We spend a lot of time doing fit testing, product research, patient surveys, QA testing, and working with surgeons to improve our bras as well as design new innovations.
What makes Karlee Smith bras stand out from other post op bras and sports bras?
Our sport bras and post op bras are all front closure which as you can probably tell it is difficult to find many front close bras that fit well. Not to mention, the majority of front close sport bras usually have wires or padding or something making them not so comfortable for all day wear or use after you just had a breast procedure. Our bras are always tested on women who have had breast surgery. This process plus our fit models keep our standards high when it comes to making the best bras. Karlee Smith bras are most loved by women with or without implants.
How long has Karlee been designing post op and sports bras?
Our company is only a few years old, but Karlee, our designer & owner, has been in the fashion industry since she was 16. She has a lot of experience. She has worked with some great bra designers at brands like VF Corp., Fruit of the Loom and Victoria’s Secret just to name a few.
Where does Karlee find inspiration for the brand’s designs?
As a company, we attend many fashion shows, trade events (both fashion & medical), travel, and use customer feedback to influence our ideas for the next season or new concepts.
What makes Karlee stand out from other designers?
Our designer, Karlee, is incredibly talented when it comes to picking the perfect styles, silhouettes, and accents on the bras. It is medical and athletic wear which she reminds us how most people do not consider sexy but we must! This is what makes her so different. She knows the importance of making women feel and look sexy all day long even if it is in their workout or lounge wear! We also have the most innovative designs, fabric, style, comfort, and support in a bra for the medical market who cater to women recovering after surgery.
How often does your company come out with new designs?
We are always improving the quality of our existing bras and generally launch new concepts as we see fit.
Do you have any plans to introduce any other designs in the future?
Yes, the company has plans to expand our product line and launch updates to existing bras.
What is special about the company and the Karlee Smith brand?
The Karlee Smith brand is always fun, exciting, innovative and evolving. There are so many days that new ideas and things spring up that keep the job a surprise. Outside of medical and our sport bras, we have other fashion design collaboration projects we get to work on which are always super involved and entertaining. We are also working on some cool things for retail spaces (both medical and fashion) which is interesting. Every day there is something new and we love to keep our customers happy. It is always refreshing getting emails or reading reviews from all the women that support us and love our bras!
What is the best thing about the post op and sports bra industry?
We strive to design bras that women LOVE to wear all day not just post-op or in the gym. We design bras that make them feel supported and sexy all day long while lounging or even while at work. The athletic and medical markets are unique and both offer us the ability to be innovative when bringing something new to the market.
Where can our readers purchase your bras?
Our bras can be found online at karleesmith.com or through the patient’s plastic surgeon. If their surgeon does not provide them with a Karlee Smith bra after their surgery then they can ask their surgeon for a coupon code unique to their surgeon provided by us and if their surgeon is registered with us they will be able to purchase their first bra at karleesmith.com using this discount from their surgeon.
What is the best way for potential new customers to find or contact you with any questions they may have regarding Karlee Smith bras?
Be sure to stay tuned for our Karlee Smith reviews coming soon on the AEE blog. You won’t want to miss them!