Friends find the perfect fit with Vernon’s help for bra business
WEOC is proud to share success stories of women entrepreneurs from the WEOC National Loan Program
From the Vernon Morning Star, reposted with permission
By Jennifer Smith
It’s a product that almost every single woman needs, yet it hasn’t seen much innovation in nearly a century.
Likely because it is the most difficult part of the body to fit.
Jessica Bosman and Bryn Davis Williams found that out the hard way.
It’s not a one-size-fits-all approach. Even the sizes that are out there don’t do women justice with their support, and comfort, needs.
“We are women feeling those discomforts of bra strips digging in, underwires and just wanting to fling it off at the end of the day,” said Bosman.
The young Vernon woman, along with Toronto’s Davis Williams, are breaking the mould when it comes to bras.
The pair have created a business called DOUBL that builds custom-fitted bras.
There are no alphabet sizes like traditional bras try to fit women into.
“So many women feel uncomfortable with their bodies because they don’t fit these sizes,” said Bosman, adding DOUBL has no foam or underwires.
Davis Williams said, “There’s not a singular way to be a woman or a singular size.”
Instead, the made-to-measure garments are created using an AI-powered algorithm they created. During the purchase you upload automatic digital measurements of your body (taken from your phone camera).
Following many trials they have created a system that has a 100 per cent success rate with the fit.
“We chose the most challenging part of the body to fit,” said Bosman, adding it’s all online so women don’t have to leave their home to buy a bra.
“It’s such a technical garment and carrying such a soft tissue area.”
DOUBL was born from an Ivey Business School project after Bosman and Davis Williams met at Western University in London in 2015.
The pair continued to be friends after university, but the project was shelved temporarily.
The women each went into corporate jobs after graduating – Bosman into merchandising for fashion company SSENSE and Davis Williams into brand management for CPG company Unilever. It wasn’t until 2019 when a trip to New York Fashion Week resparked their interest in DOUBL.
“We had our first prototype made in 2020, it was horrible,” said Bosman, who has always wanted to be a fashion designer, sparked by her Grade 8 W.L. Seaton teacher Mrs. Vance.
She even worked at Fabricland, which she called her “first learning experience.”
In 2021, Bosman’s mom told her about the Enterprize Challenge for entrepreneurs.
DOUBL placed third.
“It’s such a great opportunity,” added Davis Williams of the Dragons’ Den-style competition put on by Community Futures North Okanagan.
That along with some other programs and funding have helped the friends form the business, ethically and sustainably.
Not wanting a shop overseas to create the product, they have kept every part of production in Canada.
And the bras are created with recycled products.
“It diverts one water bottle per bra from waste,” said Davis Williams.
The women each still have their corporate careers as they get set for a full launch of DOUBL in February.
They encourage all those interested to subscribe to their email newsletter at doubl.ca so they can be the first to be notified once their Kickstarter 100 Program goes live at the end of January.
Bosman’s goal is to move to Toronto, closer to her business partner, and ultimately they would love to move into apparel. “It’s been a long journey to make a bra,” said Bosman.