Our Story Is Your Power
A formidable friendship that created empowering lingerie. Heather had breast cancer not once, but twice. Heather's experience and mastectomy highlighted the lack of sophisticated lingerie for flat-chested women. Through their supportive friendship and determination, Heather and Kate created a unique bra that empowers flat-chested women and cancer survivors across the world. Skarlette isn't just a bra, it’s a lifestyle and community. A lifestyle that encourages confidence in your own skin and a supportive community by strong women for strong women.
"In the summer of 2017, in my mid-40s, I was diagnosed with Triple Negative Breast Cancer (TNBC). Suddenly and unexpectedly, life became a rollercoaster. Following chemotherapy, surgery and radiotherapy, I got back to my nursing job in the spring of 2018 and was extremely proud to complete the Macclesfield Half Marathon in September, raising money for Macmillan with my great team of supporters who ran with me. Life was returning to a better place. On New Year’s Eve 2018, it all came crashing back down when another breast lump signalled the return of TNBC. So, more surgery and chemotherapy and complications were my occupation throughout much of 2019, as well as my sanctuary and support of the Boobee campaign. Further preventative surgery started my year in 2020. Then, as I returned to my job, the pandemic was the next big interruption beginning with C! My attitude is to have a positive outlook; hopefully I am done with breast cancer. I am more determined than ever and have so much energy and enthusiasm for our new lingerie concept – the future is most definitely a bright one."
"I'm a busy working Mum and wife, and previously worked as a commercial airline pilot for over 20 years. Sewing has been a great ‘down time/and ‘me’ time’ throughout my life - I just love the creative side of it and have experience in lots of areas. So, when Heather contacted me about what was to become The Skarlette®, I was delighted and felt privileged to be part of it. I'm extremely excited about the prospect of delivering a fabulously thought out and highly designed Skarlette® to the amazing ladies who have endured so much. Every woman is entitled to wear lovely lingerie to help them feel how they desire - Skarlette® Limited can make that happen."
Identifying the issue
for flat-chested women
Heather took part in the Boobee Campaign in 2019, the inspiration of Margo Cornish, in partnership with the Manchester based charity, Prevent Breast Cancer - PBC Skarlette Limited hope to donate a proportion of profits to PBC). During her volunteering, Heather discovered she faced the same frustration as others at being unable to find affordable, comfortable and attractive underwear, having undergone a double mastectomy. It is the general assumption that women will have reconstruction or wear prosthetics, however, this isn’t the case for a variety of reasons.
Creating a solution
The concept of this lingerie was born from Heather's experience of living completely flat, and Kate's experience of sewing for various projects. For some women, reconstruction isn’t possible or fails and, for some women, it just isn’t wanted - neither are prosthetics. For many, femininity remains hugely important. Feeling attractive and sexy, as healing and recovery take place, is essential for the repair of psychological well-being after such a gruelling regime of treatment and experiences.
Designing the Skarlette
"We researched the availability of underwear for flat women during 2019 and discovered a distinct lack of choice. We discussed the concept of designing our own lingerie to try to resolve this with some ladies Heather met during the Boobee campaign. - Kate "We aimed to create something with the sexy lines and appearance of a bralette, without the pockets or darts found in a traditional cup. It would need soft and deep bands, which stretch and sit comfortably over the ribs where surgery and radiotherapy cause discomfort and sensitivity. Some women have limited mobility following surgery, making pull-on lingerie difficult and uncomfortable to manoeuvre over stiff or sore shoulders. For this reason, it was important for it to fasten like a bra rather than a bralette." - Heather