Underwire: June 2022 ‘Leave the Bra, Take the Cannoli’

Take the Cannoli

“It’s not personal, Sonny, it’s strictly business.” So spoke Michael Corleone in The Godfather and, by my count, nearly every business book I’ve read over the past thirteen years. And yet I struggle with this every day.

Employees are wonderful and I want to pay them more than the company can afford. Employees depart and I feel abandoned. Our vendor starts selling to a competitor without telling me? Knife in my Back.


It’s my company. I spoke ...continued

Underwire: May 2022 ‘Part 2 + Parties’

Person in an Alien costume

My Other Job, Part 2

{Last month I described the ins and outs of signing autographs with other B-listers on the horror-fantasy convention circuit. Occasionally the glamour quotient ramps up…}

For the Aliens 30th anniversary in 2016, a con in Calgary invested an ungodly amount to pull together very nearly the entire cast, including the stars. Sigourney Weaver is a fabulously tough autograph to get, and Bill Paxton was a hard one as well. Fans who ...continued

Underwire: April 2022 ‘My Other Job, Pt I’

group of fans with Jenette Goldstein


As you may know, I had parts in a couple of genre movies in the ‘80s that did exceptionally well: Aliens and Terminator 2, both directed by James Cameron. These were thrilling opportunities in their own right, of course, but what I didn’t know at the time was how those roles, the former shot in a couple of months, the latter in a couple of days, would be grafted to the rest of my life, thanks to the trans-generational loyalty of the science fiction fan community (fan is ...continued

Underwire: March 2022 ‘East of Eden’

East Hollywood at Sunset

East Hollywood. The neighborhood where I was born, eventually moved back to, bought a house, had my kids, and opened the first Jenette Bras. It’s a mishmash of old houses, crammed next to apartments whose only distinction is that they are designed in the worst style of each decade. It’s a neighborhood where Thai Town and Little Armenia coexist on nearly the same strip of Hollywood Blvd and where the once prominent Jewish hospital moved westward leaving the Scientologists ...continued

Underwire: February 2022 ‘What do Clothes Mean?’

If you’ve been a client of ours for more than two weeks and read our emails, no doubt you will have heard about Glamour Gowns, the annual event where we dress hundreds of young women and men living in foster care in brand new attire for their Senior Prom. If you missed the email about volunteering, here’s the link. No worries if you can’t make it this year, but for those ...continued

Underwire: December 2021 ‘Friction vs Non-Friction’

Burbank Jenette Bras Blue Hour Hour

I’m in a business coaching program, have been for years. My daughter calls it “the cult”, but it’s not. I mean, cult-lite at the most. There’s a little jargon involved, but we don’t get branded. I was talking with another member last month. She’s a beautiful “woman of a certain age” like myself, charismatic and accomplished, world traveller, owns two companies, holds a double M.A. from Stanford, has homes in Hawaii and Silicon Valley, and possesses a smashingly ...continued

Underwire: November 2021 ‘Finance and Finery’

saleswomen 1969

Blake Snyder, in his wonderful book on screenwriting Save the Cat!, describes a subtle beat that happens in every successful script: the Theme Stated. It’s a seemingly offhand remark, often delivered by a minor character, that neatly sums up the driving idea of the film. In Netflix’ gruesomely watchable Squid Game, the moment comes near the end of Episode 3:

**SPOILER**

The game in this episode involves carving shapes out of ...continued

Underwire: October 2021

In each Jenette Bras store, one wall in the front room is painted with a simple grid. The direct inspiration for that was the gridded notebook paper I used for my earliest inventory system, but the real message of it is order, logic, engineering, planning. It’s a subtle counterbalance to the riot of emotions and sensuality that I intend should hold sway in the fitting room.

It’s a reminder of the other side of the culture I’m working to build here: we talk straight. Jokes, ...continued

Underwire: September 2021

lingerie seamstresses

We had a disgruntled client the other day–yes, even Jenette Bras does not please everybody–who saw the “Made in China” label on a PrimaDonna bra she was trying on and stormed out of the shop, fuming about “Chinese crap at French prices!” I begrudgingly have to admire the snap of that phrasing. I wouldn’t blame her if she tweeted it out. On an iphone 12. Assembled in Shenzhen.

Snark aside, Chinese manufacturing is pretty competitive these days, obviously in ...continued

Underwire: August 2021

This Underwire is late. I am late. I can’t find my phone charger, my keys or even a can opener. This is because I’ve just returned to Los Angeles after an unexpected stay in Atlanta of over a year and half, and now I find myself in a house with five working adults, one shower, one pick-up truck and six cats. We are gingerly staking out our territories – the cats and I – so unpacking my life contained in two suitcases was about all I could manage last week. So this is going ...continued