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November 8, 2023
AN ENTREPRENEUR who struggled to find bras matching her size and style after having her breasts enlarged has launched a specialist lingerie business which is set to become a £1m-a-year global firm within three years.
Alexis Smith, from Whitley Bay, North Tyneside, has set up her own brand of underwear which is specially designed to fit women who have had breast augmentation operations.
Currently, in the UK, there are thought to be around 240,000 women that have had breast enlargements, with around 40,000 people being added to this figure every year.
Because breast implants are not as moveable as natural tissue, the metal wire used in standard bras can be uncomfortable for women who have had an augmentation operation.
And most bras on the market for larger cup sizes are designed with thick straps and cover the whole chest, meaning many women find it difficult to find designs to show off their body.
The Alexis Smith brand uses a specially-designed under support rather than wire and includes a mix of elegant black, white and pink designs cut from luxury silks and manufactured in the UK.
Ms Smith, who expects the business to have an annual turnover of £1m by 2014, said: “I had a breast augmentation operation four years ago and, after going from a C to an F cup, found the styles of bras and lingerie I could buy were very limited and not to my taste.
“I decided that there would be a great opportunity to produce my own range and create everything I was looking for. I also thought there must have been thousands of other girls having the same problems.
“My vision is for the brand to grow on a large scale, firstly because there is no statistical evidence of cosmetic surgery slowing down and secondly because breast augmentation is the most popular cosmetic procedure in Britain.”
In fact, as well as the UK market, Ms Smith is confident that her brand has the potential to be expanded in the US and South American markets such as Brazil and Venezuela, which has the second highest number of breast augmentation operations in the world behind the US.
Ms Smith was supported in the development of her product range by Newcastle-based accountancy and business advisory group RMT.
The firm’s commercial services and IT partner, Stephen Slater, said: “Alexis is a great example of how an unmet need can be turned into a successful business through hard work.”
To find out how RMT Accountants & Business Advisors can help your business visit www.r-m-t.co.uk