The innerwear industry in Singapore has gotten more demand in recent years, offering other alternatives to bras such as nipple stickers or tape that cater to consumer’s needs in terms of style and comfort.
“In my opinion, nipple stickers have always been popular, it’s just unspoken because no one really openly says ‘hey I’m not wearing a bra!’,” highlights Nicholette Pang, founder and CEO of Barebodies.
She notes that while bras are still understandably a staple to some, she feels that nipple stickers serve as a good alternative for those who enjoy the feeling of going entirely braless.
While nipple stickers and stick-on bras already exist in the market, Nicholette feels that some of them are not very effective, and consumers may still end up skipping their backless dress or low-cut top simply because of concerns that they would slip off.
Stick-on bras can also be heavy and thicker, making its shape visible under tight-fitted clothing. Additionally, the ones with a clip in the middle, will be visible when wearing low-cut tops.
These issues are what Barebodies, an innerwear brand established in late October 2020, hopes to address, by catering quality, water-resistant, sweat-proof nipple stickers and tapes to those who need it.
Keeping it real
“I’ve been a nipple sticker user for many years and I always felt that it was lacking,” she comments.
26-year-old Nicholette recalls that there was mainly one kind of nipple sticker available back then, and pointed out that there was a lack of diverse shades and sizes to cater different consumers’ bodies.
With a problem-solving spirit, she created Barebodies’ first and current best-selling product, the Nipstick. It is seamless when put on, durable, has long-lasting adherence, and comes in four skin shades and two sizes that fit bust sizes from A to DDDD.
I dived into this industry because I am passionate about creating better experiences in this space to help people feel good in their own skin.
– Nicholette Pang, founder and CEO of Barebodies
Recently, Barebodies has also launched its own version of the nipple tape — Liftstick — earlier in May this year. It holds similar characteristics to the Nipstick, such as being gentle on the skin, durable, waterproof, sweat-resistant and suitable for cup sizes A to DDDD.
However, instead of coming in various shades, the Liftstick is made colourless for a better true-to-skin match, considering the way in which it is used. It can also be used to enhance the breast’s shape for a more flattering cleavage.
Another added functionality of the Liftstick is that it is extremely versatile, for users can cut and shape the tape to different lengths and sizes.
The Nipstick retails for S$23.90, while the Liftsticks range from S$39 to S$45, depending on the size. “I justify my pricing with my time, effort and resources used for research and development (R&D), depending on cost and pricing competitively,” she explains.
As the one behind the creation of Barebodies’ products, Nicholette points out that the R&D process usually takes her about a year per product. She also makes it a point to personally test out the products first to ensure that it’s of good quality.
I keep in mind myself and my customers when developing my products. If this product is something I will find useful and will love, then I would bring the best version of it, after quality testing, to the consumers.
– Nicholette Pang, founder and CEO of Barebodies
Despite the products being reusable up to 98 times (if it’s well-maintained), Nicholette mentions that she’s had customers surprise her by sharing that they’ve managed to prolong its use by up to 13 months with exceptional care.
Succeeding in entrepreneurship
Nicholette is not a newbie in entrepreneurship. When she was in secondary school, she made a “business” out of selling water babies to her peers, and selling Do-It-Yourself denim shorts online.
When she was pursuing her diploma studies at the Institute of Technical Education (ITE), she studied professional makeup and a year of accounting, but later dropped out due to bullying.
She then went into private studies to complete her diploma and graduated with a business and law degree before taking up psychology in her current years.
Equipped with business knowledge, she decided to give entrepreneurship another go with Barebodies. She invested S$5,000 into the venture and quickly broke even within four months of launching.
She shares that when starting up, the business problems she faced weren’t technical. Even during the pandemic, Barebodies was hardly impacted, as her overheads were low and the business operated online.
In fact, Barebodies has managed to ink its first retail collaboration with CurveCult, and a second retail collaboration with Design Orchard.
Running the business alone has also been a challenge, but she believes that she will better manage it over time.
However, the main problem she faced was herself. “I am my struggle because I question myself a lot,” she says, but adds that the continuous support from family, friends and customers have helped her pull through.
For now, Nicholette is set on taking things one step at a time, to steadily grow Barebodies as a business and as a community, and come up with new innovative products that continue to help people feel better and confident in their own skin.
Featured Image Credit: Barebodies