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Ask a few women about bra shopping, and you’ll likely find agreement that the whole process is frustrating, inconvenient, and sometimes downright absurd. After realizing almost every other woman they talked to about bra shopping had the same frustrations, business students Jane Fisher and Jenna Kerner had an idea they couldn’t shake: to make the whole process more accessible, comfortable and affordable. They established Harper Wilde to make bra shopping easy, with simple options, fair prices and home try-ons.
The Retail Gets Real team sat down with Fisher and Kerner to chat about how Harper Wilde is empowering women while revolutionizing the way bras are sold.
Fisher and Kerner met in business school while learning about direct-to-consumer businesses. After hearing how companies like Warby Parker and Casper were disrupting the way consumers buy basic commodities, they realized that the model could work for bras. “A bra is a woman’s most basic commodity,” Fisher says, “There's no reason why we need to be paying as much as we are or going through all the hassle that we typically go through just to buy our everyday bras.”
After surveying hundreds of women, they found that the average woman has 16 bras in her drawer but wears two to three of them 90 percent of the week. The duo found that women wanted simple and well-made bras but were unsatisfied with their options – especially when it came to marketing that seemed to be more targeted to men than women. “They wanted something that was a bit more authentic and spoke to them,” Fisher says. Kerner says that she and Fisher saw empowered women who were “not wearing corsets and matching lingerie to work. They need bras and an easier way to buy those products that are going to facilitate these amazing jobs that they have, and all the amazing things that they're doing.”
It is no surprise that Harper Wilde’s primary goal is empowering women to do great things. Fisher and Kerner practice the tagline “lift up the ladies” by donating a portion of sales to the Girl Project, as well as ensuring that they use ethical manufacturers in their supply chain.
Listen to this episode to hear more about how Harper Wilde is disrupting an industry while giving back. And learn more about innovation in retail at Shop.org, coming up in Sept 12-14 in Las Vegas.
Jennifer Overstreet is a co-host on NRF’s Retail Gets Real podcast. Meet all the co-hosts and learn more about the show.