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It isn't easy to be stylish when you're the mother of a new baby. Lee-Anne Kassel discovered this first hand when her daughter, Cheyanne, was born and she decided to breastfeed. Unable to find a comfortable yet fashionable maternity bra that would prevent breast milk from leaking onto her clothes, she decided to create one instead.
Lee-Anne founded Kasselot (Pty) Ltd., a company devoted to maternity lingerie. Its signature product, the Evanesse breastfeeding bra, is an elegant, leak-proof bra that draws moisture away from the breast using patented evaporative technology.
Breastfeeding has been shown to offer significant long-term health benefits to mothers and children. Thanks to Lee-Anne's invention, women can continue to enjoy the advantages of breastfeeding with grace and style.
"The last thing working mothers want to worry about is leaking milk or unsightly breast pads", says Lee-Anne. "With the Evanesse bra, breastfeeding mothers can live their lives as usual while remaining attractive and feminine. That should make for happier mothers and healthier babies!"
The most innovative feature of the Evanesse bra is its patented, breathable technology. The soft inner lining wicks moisture away to a special membrane, where it evaporates due to natural body heat. A similar high-tech fabric is used for sportswear and surgical gloves. "We've taken existing materials and applied them in an innovative way. I think this is the first time that female lingerie has benefited from such cutting-edge technology," explains Lee-Anne.
Supporting women worldwide
Having devoted the last seven years to product development and market research, Lee-Anne is now preparing to launch Evanesse breastfeeding bras on the international market this July. Retailing at about 52 USD, the bras will be available in shops across South Africa and the UK and on e-commerce sites like Birth and Baby in the US.
Lee-Anne explains, "Quality is the key to developing a market following and customer loyalty. There's no use inventing something if it's overpriced or poorly designed." Also, she intends to branch out and create sportswear for mothers trying to shed "baby kilos".
Pursuing her dreams
Born on the front seat of a Volkswagen Beetle on the way to the Mary Mount hospital in Kensington, Johannesburg, it's not surprising that Lee-Anne is an entrepreneur with real "drive".
She adds, "I can't wait to meet the other finalists and learn more about their experiences."
"If you have a winning idea, it's important to take the time to protect it, especially if you've spent years working to transform it into a viable business proposition. "
If her Evanesse Range model is still being improved in terms of packaging and comfort, it is yet sold on about 8 American e-commerce sites.