Changewear: Please tell us about why you created Brilliantly.
Kristen Carbone: The seeds for this business were sown, much like many of the best things in my life, by my dear mother. With her passing, my mom left behind a ghost of my own mortality and potential struggle with breast cancer, which took me years to face head on. In 2013 I had a preventative mastectomy and reconstruction. Healing was a journey through sometimes crippling loneliness, nagging body image issues, and the entire spectrum of uncomfortable sensations. But the surprising one that I’ve continuously struggled with - that has changed the way I maneuver through the world everyday- is feeling constantly cold. And, after a whole lot of research I’ve learned that I’m not alone!
There are many women who struggle with this cold sensation that’s created from their implants not having any insulating tissue. With my experience and input from other women facing this issue as a guide, my amazing product development team is designing a warming insert that will make any bra into a heated bra.
While doing the research to find out if other women experienced constant and distracting coldness, I discovered that there are so many other products and services women in this community need to support their long-term prosperity and wellness. That realization was the spark for creating Brilliantly, which will unroll and ecosystem of products, services and content for this community.
Our brand empowers women to embrace their new self; to come to terms with their new normal; to say honestly how they feel, and to ask for what they need. This, in turn, will have a vast emotional impact that extends to our families, friends, and communities. Through warmth, I am hoping hundreds of thousands of women will find resilience and freedom from the distraction and confines of being cold.
CW: Change is a big part of our brand and we believe in effecting change where you are and that even the smallest change can bring about huge benefits. What are some changes that you made in your life that had great impacts on you or others around you?
KC: Learning to ask for help may sounds like a small change, but it was a difficult skill for me to cultivate. As a woman who likes to believe she’s got everything under control, admitting that I needed help during recovery was an obstacle. I think that going through a process where I had very little control and needed all kinds of help made me a better communicator, easier to collaborate with, and more patient. I’ve also been able to give myself a break from constantly trying to make things perfect (or, my particular version of perfect.)
CW: What are some ways that we can help support you? What would you like us to know?
KC: I love knowing that Changewear and Brilliantly have so many wonderful overlaps in their mission to build each other up through storytelling, products and services. I’d love to stay in touch about ways we can help each other expand our reach.
CW: What are you most looking forward to in your immediate future?
KC: Our warming insert is coming to market in September, and I’m simply delighted that we’ll be providing relief to so many women in time for next winter.
I hope to that Brilliantly will be a tribute to my mom, Lisa, and that I can create a brand, a vision, and a community that embodies her essence - smart, beautiful, authentic, supportive, and, above all, warm.
Blog originally posted on changewear.com
Changewear sells stylish and comfortable undergarments as well as gives back to nonprofits by giving products and sharing profits.