Underwear Entrepreneur: Sexy Period Founder Julie Sygiel
Monday, February 07, 2011
Julie Sygiel co-founded and heads up Sexy Period – a company that will change the way we think about the lacy hierarchy. Sexy Period makes period underwear, not antique Victorian bloomers, but rather lingerie specially created as a reliable backup for that time of the month.
The protection she needs, the style she wants
Last week, Sexy Period launched 500 pairs in a preview, after nearly three years of R&D. At $32 to $44 they are more than the average pair, but well below the steep price of many frivolous lacies, and they’re certainly not frivolous or average. Julie, a bright and cheerful recent Brown graduate, explains that Sexy Period’s undies are constructed from a unique fabric that makes them leak-free, stain-resistant, breathable, comfortable, and fashionable.
The solution to a problem
Julie founded Sexy Period in 2008 with Eunice Png. The two met in an entrepreneurship class at Brown. “Our professor said that the best businesses are built on a solution to a problem,” says Julie, “and that spring break Eunice went on a trip with several women who had this very problem, so Eunice and I set about creating a solution.”
The two girls worked through graduation in 2009, researching, designing, interviewing clients in campus coffee shops, and cold-calling fabric companies. It was a goose-chase to find the perfect fabric, but by the winter “my dining room table was covered with fabric, thread, and envelopes,” and by spring 2010, Julie and Eunice had sewn and tested two hundred prototypes.
“We asked women to test them in a stress free situation but during worst case scenario,” says Julie, “However, worst case is impossible to predict, so some testers wore our pairs to meetings, horse back riding, and to spin class.” Certainly not stress-free. “These women crossed their fingers and said, ‘Okay we’re putting faith in these pairs,’ and thankfully the results were positive.”
Sexy Period’s design goal aimed to fit into women’s predilections for cute cuts, pretty patterns, comfort, and fit. “If we were going to introduce a new product,” one that added function to fashion, “we knew it had to fit in with what women already wear and want.” Fit they do, right into a gap you didn’t even know you had in your lingerie collection.
Sexy Period panties are available online through the Web site, here.
Photos: Isaac Blankensmith, Daniel Gagnon
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