This first time I began looking for breastfeeding clothes was when I assume most first time moms do— after being home from the hospital for about two weeks, right before your in laws are due to arrive from out of state to visit. I needed something to feel human again, like a person and a woman, and something that wouldn’t show my in-laws all my bits.
I searched for about two days and finally settled on a couple of t shirts with unflattering diagonal stripes. Why designers think that is something postpartum moms want to wear is beyond me, but the t shirts seemed to be the best option that was a semi-cute and still a nursing shirt. I also picked up a couple of tanks that online reviewers said could be worn out of the house. That was something else that was important to me—part of starting to feel like myself was getting back to my routine and leaving my house was a huge part of that!
However, when everything arrived, I was horrified to learn my 40G postpartum breasts were apparently much larger than those who had reviewed those tops. The tanks barely cover my areolas- there was no way I was leaving my house like that. And the stripes on the tee shirts were more unflattering in person, not to mention the length-they were like crop tops! The best I could do was the unflattering t shirts or an oversized t shirt and workout leggings.
Needless to say, it was not my best look.
Before having my first son, I was a professional nanny, and the family I worked for allowed me to continue working part time and to bring my son with my when I returned to work. However, they were uncomfortable with me nursing in front of my nanny kiddo. Their clubhouse also had a strict dress code: no workout attire or jeans. Guess where my nanny kid liked to spend a lot of time at during the summer—the clubhouse pool. Enter frantic breastfeeding clothes shopping search number two. This time I wound up with three maternity maxi dresses that I could pull down to nurse in.
It was a huge emotional blow to have to go back to maternity clothes, but as long as I used a cover, it worked for my job. Getting dressed every morning was so stressful and I hit so many emotional lows—why couldn’t I find cute breastfeeding clothes? Was I doomed to wear maternity clothes until I was done breastfeeding? I would look longingly at all of the clothes in my closet I couldn’t wear. I’m pretty sure I wore those three dresses, one each day, three days a week for as long as I worked there. I couldn’t find anything else that was flattering, cute, and functional.
I needed adult professional clothes, not just t shirts, leggings, and maxi dresses.
If you didn’t know, Brittany and I are next door neighbors and she came over to my house shortly after having her second daughter for a playdate. My son was about ten months old at the time, and I had grown so sick of rotating between my three dresses and few diagonal striped shirts. One afternoon, after venting to each other about the slim pickings of breastfeeding clothes on the market, she said the craziest thing. That we should just make our own breastfeeding clothes and sell them on Etsy.
Now, I have a sewing machine but limited sewing skills. Straight lines are my limits. Actual clothing? Forget about it. But the idea resonated with me. What if we designed our own breastfeeding clothes and found someone else to make them? We could develop the styles, and the colors, the fabrics and materials used. Surely, we weren’t the only new moms out there who were desperate to feel good in our clothes again.
Could we do this?
That idea sparked a passion to make this project bigger. I have a degree in hospitality management, advertising, and entrepreneurship (and the student loans to back those degrees up), but I was a nanny because I love children and love helping families. I also recognized a time was coming where I couldn’t raise my own children while raising someone else’s. It was a great college job, and early marriage job, but I was moving into a space in my life where I needed to grow and be challenged in a different way. I knew that I could put my education to use. My head swirled with all of the designs we could do, LLC’s, and business plans. The idea of creating our own breastfeeding clothes could be something great if we were crazy enough to take a chance.
Spoiler alert, we were.
Two weeks later, I handed Brittany a preliminary business plan, and we’ve been pushing this crazy idea ever since. Had I known then what this adventure would entail, would I have given it a second thought? Absolutely. We’ve tackled each step together, built a friendship and a business we are proud of. And we get to raise our kids next door to each other. Business brainstorming often happens during naptime or while the kids play in the splash pools between our houses. Which lets face it- in south Florida is almost every day. We are so proud to have a product manufactured in the USA with materials sourced from reliable sources that we chose ourselves.
Brittany and I are excited to share Cassie & Britt Latchwear with other new moms who just want to look good and feel good, while still being able to nurse their babies. We wanted something that would work for a range of moms, in a wide selection of sizes. Because we understand not every mom is a diagonal t shirt and leggings sort of mom. Not every breastfeeding baby wants to nurse under a blanket. Just because you are a new mom, doesn’t mean you have to sacrifice parts of yourself because you can’t find clothes to wear.
We didn’t set out to change the clothing industry. We just wanted something cute to wear while still cherishing those breastfeeding months. I’m really proud of where we landed.