KTN Women in Innovation 2022/2023 Applicants

Meet Heather – One of The Founders Of The Skarlette® - Sexy Lingerie For Flat Women

Heather is one of the founders of The Skarlette®, a U.K-based sexy lingerie for flat women brand designed for ladies who have had a double mastectomy and live flat. Skarlette®Limited are proud to introduce a selection of gorgeous Skarlettes® to get excited about! 

 

So who are you? 
 
My name is Heather Glover and I grew up in a little village in Cheshire, in a house full of boys. With 5 brothers, I learned who to make myself heard! I always, for as long as I can remember, wanted to be a nurse, more specifically a children’s nurse. That is exactly what I achieved. I loved nursing children, and that’s how I met Kate. I gradually moved away from the sickest children on cancer wards and intensive care, and moved into the community, working in research and more recently practice nursing.

 

I didn’t see breast cancer in my game plan, not as a fairly young and very active health-minded woman. However, none of us know what is around the corner, and had I not had this experience then it wouldn’t have led to the birth of the Skarlette; our sexy lingerie for flat women.

I was diagnosed in 2017, when I was 46. I had suffered with breast lumps since being a teenager and there was never anything serious discovered when I had undergone investigations, so why would this “breast lump” be any different? It was though. It was breast cancer. I had all the standard treatment, which began with chemotherapy, as triple Negative Breast Cancer is quite an aggressive form of breast cancer and can quickly spread.  Surgery followed, then radiotherapy. Then I was done – back at work and I trained for a half marathon (which I completed in under 2 hours, I was super proud!).
 
On New Year’s Eve 2018 we had a wonderful evening planned with close friends and family (the times when you could go out in big numbers and have people stay over!). I had a shower in the afternoon and BANG. A breast lump which felt huge, right there in my previous breast cancer surgery scar line. How the heck was this possible? I had no idea this could happen, and I felt pretty well educated with my nursing background. Fast forward two years and I have had further chemotherapy, further breast cancer surgery and remain on treatment which will hopefully keep this “intruder” away. 


Where do you get your inspiration for the style sf Skarlette®? 
 
Well of course I wish I wasn’t part of this “club” but once you’re in, you are in and you make it what it is! I joined a campaign in 2019 that the Prevent Breast Cancer charity ran along with Margo Cornish – The Boobee Campaign. The purpose of this was to educate and empower women regarding breast awareness and to build networks and supportive friendships. This is priceless and through these connections and conversations it has become widely understood that there just isn’t any suitable, pretty and affordable lingerie for women who have undergone a double mastectomy and live flat. The need for sexy lingerie for flat women was my motivation and inspiration. Living flat myself helped me with the design and shape of what I wanted. Now when you have overcome breast cancer and the side effects of the treatment, you do kind of feel you can conquer anything, so a lingerie line it had to be. However, I had no experience in business and definitely not in the design and manufacture of underwear. A quick phone call to Kate to see if she was interested resulted in a speedy response of “Yes please!” So, we have the inspiration from beautiful lingerie that is out there for women with breasts, we add a deep soft band to accommodate the sore ribs associated with breast cancer surgery and treatment, and Kate develops a pattern with entirely flat triangles – no cups, no pleats, no darts. The Skarlette® is designed by flat women, for flat women.


What is your favourite part about being an owner of a lingerie company? 
 
The Skarlette®. The Skarlette® is for strong women who aren’t defined by their breasts; confident women who know they can look great without showing lots of cleavage; mature women who know that the love of their children and partners, family and friends isn’t dependent on having a pair of breasts and active women who enjoy exercise without the impingement of implants or prosthetics. I love the fact that Kate and I have brought this sexy lingerie for flat women from concept to reality, and that is my most favourite part of all of this. The legacy of breast cancer surgery – a double mastectomy, needn’t be drab and expensive lingerie.
 

What makes you proud? Made in the U.K.

 

Manufactured in the UK, right here in the North West of England; that makes me very proud. We have a huge sense of pride in The Skarlette® at LHK Lingerie. Britain has a strong heritage of design and manufacturing and we imagine this adds value for our customers: you can be proud when purchasing your own “made in the U.K.” Skarlette®.

 

Quality and relationships matter to us and we believe the same applies to our customers. Faster delivery is possible to anywhere within the UK as our products are manufactured here. This means we can retain manufacturers and their skills needed to make the high-quality products that we are known for as a nation. Our brand celebrates British manufacturing and manufacturers, which has never been more important than it is now. Since Covid-19, the economy has been severely affected and now, more than ever, it is vitally important to provide opportunities and income to our community and economy. The more products that are made in the UK, the more job security and opportunities there will be. That will be a huge positive to come out of my breast cancer journey, that also makes me proud.

 

 
What have been your biggest challenges with The Skarlette®? 
 
Launching and running a small business is not easy, not in the slightest, but the Skarlette® is so much more than just a bra, it is sexy lingerie for flat women, who have already suffered so much through breast cancer. We are so determined to get this to the women who are crying out for attractive and affordable post-surgery lingerie. Running a business on top of a normal job is hard and exhausting work, especially when I jumped in with both feet having just returned from sick leave following my breast cancer surgery. Some business decisions are very tough and I guess there will be plenty more challenges ahead. Finally, to do all of this, over periods of lockdown with limitations on our movement, it has been tricky and time-consuming to source our fabric and our manufacturer, but hey, WE DID IT! 

 

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