Attorney’s bra-fitting accessory provides a slimming appearance
“I had zero experience with where to start. I am always up for a good challenge, and this was just that.” —Judith Samson
I love reviewing new women’s products. Occasionally, inventors contact me because they saw something featured in my Inventors Digest stories that is in a product category similar to their ideas.
In this case, Judith Samson, inventor of the Bra Bridge™, contacted me and said she saw my article on the Ta-Ta Towel by Erin Robertson (Inventors Digest, January 2018.) She asked if I’d like to interview her.
Because I feel inventions by women are few and far between in an often male-dominated industry, I was thrilled. Here is Samson’s story.
Edith G. Tolchin (EGT): Please tell us about your background.
Judith Samson (JS): My life is very busy and “self induced.” I have been married for 23 years and have three amazing children (all boys). I am a criminal defense lawyer by day and an entrepreneur by night. I have been a solo criminal defense lawyer for the last 22 years. I love what I do, there’s a level of excitement that is undeniable, and I was perfectly happy in my career. I truly had no intention of becoming an entrepreneur until I realized there was a need for the Bra Bridge. If I needed it, so did other women although I wasn’t sure where this challenging project would take me. After all, I had zero experience with where to start. I am always up for a good challenge, and this was just that.
EGT: What is the Bra Bridge?
JS: The Bra Bridge is a discreet bra-fitting accessory that attaches to your bra cups, lending support, lift, reduces bounce, “side boob,” and provides a slimmer appearance by pulling the girls in. I call it my secret “confidence booster.”
The Bra Bridge is for women of all ages and sizes. I love this because older women are often forgotten by beauty manufacturers, but they still want to look attractive and young.
EGT: How is it attached?
JS: I recommend standing in front of a mirror, attaching it to one bra cup, then directly across on the other bra cup at the desired height to provide the desired fit. The Bra Bridge can be left on the bra permanently (I even wash my bra with the Bra Bridge on there). You won’t even know it’s there, other than from the benefits it will provide. I have worn my Bra Bridge every single day for the past year and cannot go without it.
EGT: What brought about this idea?
JS: As I was walking back from court, I caught my reflection in a window, and saw my breasts bouncing up and down. As soon as I got home that day, I looked at myself in the mirror and noticed I looked wider than I should (my breasts were falling past my ribcage, which most larger breasts naturally do). I pulled my bra cups in and immediately noticed a difference. Not only did I look slimmer, but I liked the contained feeling. Having larger breasts has been a point of contention. I found myself slouching to hide them. Now I walk with confidence because of the Bra Bridge. I never wanted my chest to be the focal point with clients or the judge. Now, I finally like the way I look and feel about myself.
EGT: How many prototypes did it take until you felt that “aha!” moment?
JS: I immediately began sewing strips of fabric in my bras, giving me the desired look and feel I was after. I mentioned this to my husband (who is a patent attorney), and he said, “I think you are on to something.” I worked on four or five prototypes before we found the perfect accessory. The fabric had to be soft yet couldn’t be a stretch material; the clips had to be as discreet as possible but strong enough to hold heavy breasts.
EGT: Is the Bra Bridge “one size fits all?”
JS: Yes. You can raise it or lower it on your bra cup for the desired fit. I had a call from the sweetest lady recently who thanked me for inventing the Bra Bridge. She has a fuller-figured daughter and wanted to buy a set for her. She wondered if she needed a larger size. I was proud to tell her she didn’t.
EGT: What is it made of? Do you have different colors or styles?
JS: The clips are made of painted nickel, and the fabric is a non-stretchy poly material.
EGT: Where are you selling the Bra Bridge?
JS: The Bra Bridge comes in a package of three: black, nude and white for $19.95. We sell them at our website, at Amazon, Evine, and some retail stores.
EGT: Please share your patenting experience with the Bra Bridge.
JS: I am fortunate because my husband is a patent attorney. This is a pricey endeavor. We had to hire someone to prepare the drawings (a skill in itself), and pay the filing fees in several countries. Currently, it is patent pending.
EGT: Are you manufacturing in the United States or overseas? If overseas, have you had any problems?
JS: I reached out to several manufacturers in Minnesota (where I reside). Unfortunately, they were unable to manufacture the Bra Bridge at a competitive price. In fact, they suggested we go overseas. We ended up finding a wonderful company in China that is compliant with U.S. regulations and very responsive to all our needs. The quality of their work has been impeccable.
However, manufacturing a product in China can become somewhat complicated because not only are you dealing with the manufacturer, you need to hire an import company as well. They are responsible for bringing the product into the U.S. and taking care of the customs and shipment.
EGT: Any big obstacles during product development?
JS: When you have a product manufactured overseas, it becomes a time issue. For example, getting samples sent can take weeks. If something needs to be tweaked, which is highly likely, you need to send it back and then wait for the sample again. Ultimately, it took one year from start to finish to have the product delivered to our door.
EGT: Will you be adding to your product line?
JS: Yes, we are excited to have a new line with different patterns, such as animal prints, in the near future.
EGT: What might others expect in developing a similar product category?
JS: The Bra Bridge is a unique product to the market and lucky for me, there was an obvious need for it. It’s difficult to introduce an unknown and unique product to the market. There’s an education component that we are still struggling with. With the Bra Bridge, I need to educate the consumer why they need and will want this. Until they try it, they won’t know they need it.