Photo courtesy of Germaine Caprio
If you've ever given birth to a child, you're familiar with the need for a little extra support up top. For Germaine Caprio, this sparked the creation of an entire line of clothes.
"I just hated the fact that I had to wear bras to bed," says Caprio, founder of the Majamas clothing line.
So the new mom with no design experience sewed up a tank top with a built-in bra.
"I gave it to a sample [seamstress] and had her make it presentable for me, and I went to Nordstrom and asked, 'Would you buy these?' and she said, 'I'll take 90.' "
Within a year, Caprio went from just making tanks to a full line of maternity and casual clothing now being sold across the country.
Caprio also designs for women who aren't pregnant. The line is called Eliseo, for her late grandfather (http://www.eliseofashion.com).
"I'm really environmentally focused and I think the textile business is one of the biggest polluters so I decided to go a little more green with how I produce my line," Caprio says. "We have a lot of waste fabric so instead of pitching it and putting it in a landfill, I thought we could use it to design more clothes."
With her daughters now ages 15 and 13, Caprio is amazed how far she's come since those early days of nursing her oldest child.
"Whole Foods picked up our organic bras a couple of years ago, which is so wonderful," she says. "We sew here in Chicago and do everything in the United States, which presents a much bigger challenge because we're competing with China and not raising our prices to our consumer. But I look around me and see many competitors have fallen off, so I know we're doing something right."
For more information, visit http://www.majamas.com
(Above: Germaine Caprio with one of her products)