After reading this you may never look at any of your bras the same way again. Kimberly Cayce was fed up with “the girls” suffering in poorly constructed and ugly sports bras. While searching for a new sports bra to train for a marathon, Kimberly dislocated her shoulder trying on high-impact sports bras, “the athletic apparel industry’s equivalent of a straight jacket,” she quips. “As I was sitting there on the dressing room floor, surrounded by a pile of the most unattractive, uncomfortable sports bras imaginable, in tears of both frustration and pain, I asked myself ‘Why can’t someone make a better sports bra?’ It turns out, that someone was me.”
It was a perfect storm of circumstances. It just so happened that Kimberly had been awarded a fellowship by the UCLA Anderson School of Management to study athletic and intimate apparel manufacturing AND she happened to be a professional golfer and athlete. You name it, she’s played it – tennis, kick-boxing, scuba diving, basketball, and mountaineering.
She spent 3+ years studying “breast biomechanics,” textiles and manufacturing to create the perfect sports bras. “In the middle of my research, I really started thinking about all the different sports that I play, and, started looking more closely at the way a woman’s body moves while engaged in a variety of activities. Most sports bra companies just stick a woman on a treadmill and say ‘see, see how she bounces.’ Not every woman is a runner, and, for different sports – like yoga, golf, cheerleading and horseback riding – a woman’s breasts and body are subjected to different kinds of motion stress than they are when she is running over a period of time. That’s the genesis behind our decision to make KALYX sports bras activity-specific.” We call it genius.
The result? “Having the right sports bra really can change your life. Wearing a KALYX bra allows me to enjoy any activity, without pain. I don’t get distracted by my boobs bah-booming all over the place and that let’s me focus on my game, and, on whatever activity I am enjoying,” says Kimberly. The Uplift bra (shown above) is the world’s first patent-pending golf bra. On the KALYX site, you can choose your support and style based on your sport or activity. Launched last January, KALYX has already been called “The Best Sports Bras for Every Body” by Shape Magazine. And $40 – $48 is a bargain for style, comfort and support.
Kimberly didn’t just stop at great sports bra design. She also wants you to feel good about where your goods go. The fabrics contain at least 35% recycled materials (namely polyester and water bottles), wick moisture, and are silky smooth. The company estimates that each bra keeps 3-5 water bottles out of the landfill.
We asked her what legacy she’s creating, she responded: “I hope our presence in this industry, I mean our company’s existence, helps to draw attention to the fact that women’s bodies are different from men’s bodies [and] that female athletes have different needs. The apparel industry [needs to] dedicate more resources to uncovering and serving those needs.” Amen to that.
NOTE: As of spring 2012, KALYX has been purchased by ActiveWearUSA.com. You can now find Kimberly’s creations there. Congrats Kimberly!
Images courtesy of Kalyx.