I was bullied for having 32A boobs – now I’ve made millions off my small boobs, but my mom doesn’t always approve

WHEN Jaclyn Fu came up with the idea of ​​Pepper, a lingerie company that has sold over a million bras in just five years, the first person she told her about it was her mother.

Fu, who wears a size 12 bra, asked her mother a simple question: “Does your bra fit you well?” When the answer was “no,” Fu decided it was time to take action on an issue that plagued countless women she knew.

Jaclyn Fu founded Pepper, a lingerie company for women with small breasts

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Jaclyn Fu founded Pepper, a lingerie company for women with small breastsCredit: Pepper
Pepper offers bras for cup sizes AA, A and B

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Pepper offers bras for cup sizes AA, A and BCredit: Pepper

Today, Fu, 32, is the CEO of Pepper, a lingerie company that raised $10,000 on Kickstarter in just 10 hours and has since secured millions more in funding.

Though she now sees herself as “a poster child for the IBTC,” or the Itty Bitty T*tty Committee, Fu exclusively told The Sun that she remembers her small chest being a point of ridicule during her youth.

“I was called as usual,” Fu recalled. “People call me ‘flat’ or say I have a boy body.”

But it wasn’t the teasing from classmates that bothered her the most — it was the treatment of lingerie industry folks who insisted on “boosting” their breasts with push-up bras.

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“I remember I was buying a bra and a clerk said, ‘Here’s a push-up bra that looks two sizes bigger!'” Fu recalled.

“It was so embarrassing and humiliating that even a salesman tried to make me look taller,” Fu said. “I think what she was implying was, ‘You shouldn’t look like you do.'”

As an adult, Fu still had no luck finding bras that fit her well. Most bras had the dreaded “cup gap” between the material and her skin, or slipped off her shoulders when she moved her arms.

She consulted with other small-breasted women in her life, including her friends and her mother, before working with co-founder Lia Winograd to develop a business plan.

Through researching the lingerie industry, Fu and Winograd learned that most companies use a 36C bra as the standard when designing. The co-founders suspected that this model didn’t serve a large consumer group, and they were right.

“The day we launched, we were 100 percent funded for the first 10 hours,” Fu said. The company eventually raised $47,000 from its Kickstarter campaign.

“So many people have shared it, and I feel like they don’t have a brand or product for themselves,” Fu explained. “That’s one of the reasons we got funded so quickly.”

The company, its fandom, and its offerings have only grown; Fu was unable to provide details on Pepper’s current earnings, but the company forecast “2020 earnings of over $7 million” when it was listed on the Forbes 30 Under 30 list.

It’s not uncommon for Fu to meet Pepper customers when she travels the world, and she said she’s always amazed by their enthusiasm and gratitude.

“It’s fun to see it in the wild. I was at a concert at Red Rocks and happened to see a girl wearing a pepper bra,” Fu said. “I went up to her and told her I was the co-founder and we squeaked.

“Things like that happen much more often now,” Fu added.

Even celebrities like Heather Morris, who portrayed Brittany on Glee, found Pepper through word of mouth and are adoring fans.

“Heather Morris just found Pepper and posted about it,” Fu said. “It was a completely organic relationship.”

Now that Pepper customers have found the perfect fit, they want it in every color and style, so Fu and Winograd work hard to make that happen. They’re also exploring a plus-size line for customers who need larger band sizes but smaller cups.

“We want to learn directly from our customers,” Fu said, explaining that interviews and surveys are key components of the company’s product development strategy.

“We speak directly to customers and conduct interviews and research,” Fu explained. With that, Fu says, she found a community and changed her own view of her body.

“This process and this journey has helped me to love my body exactly as it is,” she said. “I’m showing what I’ve got, I’m playing it up now.”

And Fu’s mother, the first person to support her idea, is “an advocate” for the brand.

“She only wears Pepper,” Fu said. Of course, Pepper’s success comes with its own set of challenges: Fu said her mom had some strong opinions about a recent photo shoot.

“I just did a photoshoot with my co-founder,” said Fu, in which she paired a Pepper bra with a tailored suit. “It was very tasteful.”

Fu wears a Pepper bra with a tailored green suit in a recent promotional photo

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Fu wears a Pepper bra with a tailored green suit in a recent promotional photoCredit: Pepper

After seeing the photos, her mom sent a message, “She said, ‘You’re the founder of a business, you can’t show off that bra, you need to cover up more.'”

Fu just laughed at that. No matter how big Pepper gets, she said, “Moms will be moms.”

https://www.the-sun.com/lifestyle/5551103/bras-small-chest-pepper-company-breast-founder-fashion/ I was bullied for having 32A boobs – now I’ve made millions off my small boobs, but my mom doesn’t always approve

Jessica MacLeish

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