It’s weird to think that just a month ago, Sasha and I were slinging sports bras with Anita at the LA Marathon Expo downtown. Life at that point was pretty normal. Sure, we had taken up singing “Good as Hell” while dutifully washing our hands throughout the day, but we also rode the Metro from East Hollywood to the convention center, did dozens of fittings in a pop-up dressing room, and even stopped to split a bottle of wine at the local haunt on our way home. Early March feels like ages ago.
March 2020 was always going to be a crazy month for us. That Sunday, our long-awaited Atlanta location opened its doors. I ordered strapless bras from France for Glamour Gowns, shapewear from Spain for our new store in Burbank, and nursing bras from Germany for the OG Eastside shop. The designer of Noblesse Oblige, Igor, stopped by to show us the fall collection. I looked forward to finally getting my Fall/Winter 2020 orders completed now that inventory for the new shops was on the way to Burbank and Decatur. Val was prepping for a massive block party at the end of the month with our amazing HelMel neighbors. Sharlene was brainstorming ways of reaching new clients in our community. We were kicking ass and taking names.
And then everything changed. And it happened so quickly. Everyone is facing things they fear and struggle with. Me? Well, I don’t do well with uncertainty. Survival is on our minds, on many levels, and I want to protect the women I have the privilege to work with. There wasn’t time to really process what was going on since everything changed so rapidly each day. We try to roll with the proverbial punches, but sometimes you just have to let yourself have a meltdown and mourn. I tried to keep it together as much as I could, but I cried a lot (tbh I’m still crying a lot.)
We put all our eggs in the brick-and-mortar basket because we’re confident that one-on-one service with expert fitters is something that hasn’t been replicated online, despite venture capitalists’ best efforts. And now we’re facing a world in which we can’t provide that service to our clients or that work for our fitters. I can’t really put into words how much it hurts.
What keeps me going is the refrain I hear from all around: that we will get through this together. Collectively, we’ve been through a lot, and collectively, we will help each other through this. I know how corny talking about a brand’s “community” can be, but I do feel a part of a community through my work and I feel an obligation to all of you. When it’s safe, I can’t wait to see everyone again. I want to provide our staff a great place to work alongside other incredible women, and our clients an experience and service they value. I love lingerie, but that is really what Jenette Bras is about for me–the women I work with and the clients we serve.
Listen, I don’t want to sell you shit you don’t need right now. I struggle with how to nurture our connection with our clients while being conscious of the fact that life is really hard right now. So I’m looking at the virtual connections I see folks making in this moment. Fitness studios and gyms had the order to close their doors before we did, and many of these local businesses have pivoted to offering streaming classes on a donation basis. I see my favorite instructors at studios like Avenir and Kinship working their asses off to bring their services to us however they can in this uncertain time. I see their leadership creating new communities online while offering a precious piece of normalcy, a sense of routine and structure, when everything feels like it’s falling apart.
So I’m taking their lead. I’m trying to concentrate on the things I can control and the ways I can help right now. And it might not be much, but: we have sports bras if you need one. Our selection from Anita, Elomi, Empreinte, and Primadonna, with and without underwire for activities low- to high-impact supports you whether you’re streaming classes at home or going for a run or walk in your neighborhood.
Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll pull up your purchase history to find you a great sports bra. Enjoy 15% off and free shipping while our shops are closed. We appreciate your support so much, so don’t be shy to reach out to chat even if you aren’t in the market for a bra right now. We miss you and we can’t wait to see you.
Manager + Buyer
Jenette Bras Eastside