'Doctors of lingerie' educate women about breast health.
By Michelle Martin
Molly Hopkins and Cynthia Decker, co-owners of Livi Rae Lingerie in Kennesaw and stars of the "Double Divas" reality TV show, do more than just help women and young girls find the right fit for custom bras and lingerie. They help transform women's lives and educate them about the importance of proper bra fit for better breast health. "We help women by not only lifting their busts but also lifting their spirits," says Hopkins, who opened the custom-fit lingerie store with Decker in 2006. "When women come here, they are not allowed to use the words 'fat,' 'old,' 'ugly,' or 'used to be.' We believe in helping women as they are — one breast at a time!"
Hopkins and Decker each have 20 years' experience in fitting and design, but the heart of their work is in one-on-one relationship service that extends beyond bra fitting. "We believe our desire to help women is a gift that was planted in our hearts. This is our life," Decker says. "When the clothes come off, women feel free to open up about everything." Decker adds that their experience also has made them astute observers of breast health issues, including moles, yeast under the bust line, and complications with breast implants. "We're known as the 'doctors of lingerie," she says. "We feel it is our duty to help educate women about breast health and encourage them to consult a medical doctor when we notice anything out of the ordinary."
Education about breast health and proper bra fit applies to women of all ages and all bust sizes, as their Livi Rae Lingerie custom t-shirts echo: "No bust too big or too small," and, "Never too young to check yo'self." Hopkins believes many young girls today have formed a certain perception about body image and lingerie based on advertisements and products that promote a sexy look over a proper fit. "Young girls see those ads and buy those types of bras because they think they're sexy, not because they offer the right fit," she says. "If the breast is remotely visible, it's not a 'secret.'" Decker feels Livi Rae Lingerie has a responsibility to educate young girls because middle and high school girls represent a large percentage of their "Double Divas" fan base. "That's why it is important for us to reach girls early and educate them about proper fit and breast health," she says. "We have to change the perception that sexy is normal. What is normal anyway? There is no normal; every individual, every young girl and woman, is unique."
In fact, 85 percent of young girls and women are wearing the wrong types of bras and/or ill-fitting bras because they have never had a custom fit. "The average bra size is 34G, but most women would guess it to be 34D," Hopkins says. Improper bra fit can lead to back problems, poor circulation and other health issues. Decker compares the importance of proper bra fit to shoe fit: "With shoes, we know that a bad fit can lead to discomfort and even foot problems if we wear the wrong kinds of shoes and heels over time. The same principle applies to bras — and yet every day most women wear bras that don't fit," she says. "Interestingly, department stores are more likely to have a salesperson to offer custom fitting for shoes than they are for bras. Women are wearing the wrong bras because stores don't see the value in providing custom fitting."
Hopkins, Decker and the entire Livi Rae Lingerie team are dedicated to helping women find their proper fit. Women from all over the country turn to Livi Rae for custom-fitted bras, lingerie, panties, shapewear, hosiery and accessories for everyday wear, bridal and honeymoon needs, nursing, after weight loss and breast surgery. "We get a lot of customers from New York and California, where you would expect to find boutiques offering similar services," says Decker. "No one else does what we do, like we do." Livi Rae Lingerie customers include Abbie Lee from the reality TV show, "Dance Moms," and Norma Stitz, who holds the Guinness World Record for the largest natural breasts (102ZZZ). Decker, Hopkins and the other Livi Rae fit specialists educate customers about proper fit — including shoulder straps, cup size, the center "gore," and underwire — and help them choose (or design) the right bra for their individual lifestyle. They recommend having two to three basic bras and one black lace, strapless, sports and sleep bra. Livi Rae Lingerie carries only quality designers known for fit and durability, including Affinitas, Panache, Wacoal and Empreinte, the "Rolls Royce of bras." Once bras have been broken in, Livi Rae Lingerie offers complimentary mending services as well.
As an added customer convenience, Livi Rae Lingerie now also offers Virtual Fit. Customers from all over the world can enjoy a custom fitting, through a private Skype session, with one of Livi Rae Lingerie's expert fitters. The session is by appointment only and completely private. "We walk customers through every step of the fitting process, just as if they were in our store," Decker says. "Virtual Fit by Livi Rae Lingerie brings the fitting room to you! It's a revolutionary service in custom fitting."
Livi Rae Lingerie does more than just fit women — they fix women. Hopkins and Decker are involved in numerous programs and events designed to promote women's breast health, offer financial assistance to breast cancer patients, and campaign against sex trafficking. "We all have a real compassion for women," Hopkins says. "Each one of us has a gift or a story that we can share to make an impact on other women. We do more than just help women look sexy on the outside — we help women from the inside out."
Visit Livi Rae Lingerie in Kennesaw and give the "gift of lift" this holiday season. Purchase a Livi Rae $100 gift card for only $75!
Livi Rae Lingerie
440 Ernest Barrett Pkwy., Suite #31
Custom-Fit Bras & Lingerie
Bustiers & Corsets
Panties & Thongs
Private Online Virtual Fitting