heart&core was started by two sisters, Jen and Lara, in 2008, after taking their mom shopping and finding limited sports bra options—the choices were underwire styles or a piece of material. After breast cancer surgery, she couldn’t wear underwire and the flimsy material offered little support. They were genuinely surprised to see what was missing in the market—comfort and support—and in that one shopping trip, an idea was born.
The Product Development
The sisters conducted extensive research and came up with a design addressing these needs for women like their mother—a market of women who require more from their sports bra. They launched their first line of products in April 2009, which featured a unique cup/band support system that lifts, encapsulates and compresses the chest for maximum support in high-impact activity. They’ve since patented their concept. Working to build their funding, they embraced their status as a woman-owned company and started to bid on military contracts. In September 2010, heart&core was awarded a government contract manufacturing bras for the military, and have since been awarded other various military contracts. In March 2012, they earned a WBENC Certification, joining a network of world-class, women-owned businesses working to succeed together.
In 2011, they were introduced to Mary Prody, an entrepreneur who patented a drainage bulb holder to take the place of safety pins for surgery recovery. They started thinking about how their initial bra idea could apply to women healing from breast, lung and heart surgery. More research led to the design and production of a post-surgical line of bras. The drainage bulb holder was built into one of their bra styles. heart&core conducted wear tests with clinics and received phenomenal feedback from the patients.
Both the sports and post-operative lines entail a tremendous amount of detail. From sizing (band/cup to universal), to a silky-soft quick-drying fabric, to adjustability and drain management, they've incorporated the aspects they hear women are searching for the most.These lines are thoughtfully designed with the focus on proper support and comfort, as well as being attractive.
"We support you!" It's the mission of heart&core, as Jen and Lara continue their work in their mother's memory.
Jen, the blonde sister and CEO, is a certified massage therapist and former personal trainer. She is the brainchild of the company, carefully developing heart&core's designs to the highest standards. Jen continues to research the medical industry as she works on expanding beyond the signature line.
Lara, the brunette sister and CMO, is an account director at an ad agency, with degrees in journalism, graphic design and marketing. Lara continues her market research to understand the health care market and how to best promote the unique qualities of heart&core's mission and product line.