Bumbrella Grows Its Business
N ow every bum is covered by Bumbrella. The 2-in-1 panty slip that combines the comfort of a panty with the convenience of an attached mini slip is now available in plus sizes.
The Bumbrella has a unique design unlike any undergarment on the market. The attached panty helps keep the slip in place so it won’t twist, turn or ride up, and the no-squeeze fabric has just a bit of spandex to hug and smooth, but not constrict like shapewear.
Tara Gallagher, designer and president of CiCi Soleil, is quick to point out that the Bumbrella is not a shaping garment. It’s meant to conceal, but not shape so it offers no tummy coverage or control like a traditional shapewear garment does. She says that this is a healthier alternative than shapewear because it doesn’t squeeze the body.
Having a product that is so special in design, it’s no wonder why the brand felt it was necessary to extend their sizing to include sizes 2X and 3X. “In my opinion, there is always a need to offer products that all women can comfortably wear,” says Tara. “We responded to customer feedback about wanting these additional sizes by offering them in our most popular style, the beige hipster.
The extended sizes work well for dress sizes 20 to 22, with the size 2XL relating to a size 9 panty and the 3XL relating to size 10 panty.
“We now have a product to offer the plus-sized market which is a very important and growing segment in apparel in general,” says Tara.
Customers have already begun responding to the addition of the new sizes, which launched eight months ago. “Customers are impressed with the garment’s comfort,” Tara adds. “They love how lightweight and barely-there the fabric feels, yet feel they are getting superb coverage.”
Many women have shared with Tara how much they love that the product is a modern take on the old dated half-slip. “Wearing the 2-in-1 Bumbrella makes the slip stay in place,” she says. “It’s easier to wear and doesn’t shift and twist like a traditional half-slip since the integrated panty keeps it in place.”
Tara is thrilled that the expanded size range will also allow her to expand her retail footprint. She says that since the new size range has launched, existing retailers have increased their orders, and she’s expecting to gain new customers, too. “Wholesale customers who cater to the plus-sized market are delighted to have this new undergarment available for this customer,” she says.
Knowing she had a good thing, Tara applied for a provisional patent based on the product prototype in August of 2012. She later applied for the actual product patent in 2013, only to be awarded the patent just this past May of 2018.
“The process requires a lot of patience,” says Tara. “There is often lots of back and forth between the legal team and the patent examiner. Nothing ever goes as smoothly or as quickly as you’d like. In the end, however, it feels very rewarding. Seeing your name as a US Patent holder is a very exciting accomplishment.”
When creating a product that is unique and the first of it’s kind, patents can help to keep a product true to its original function and protect its authenticity. “It makes sense if you have an original idea for which you want protection,” adds Tara. “Many products can be knocked off, so it’s nice to know you have protection if that were ever to happen.”
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