The Yellowberry Founder & Her BIG Bodacious Idea
**UPDATE** Yellowberry has partnered with Aerie (American Eagle) to create an exclusive collection. Congratulations to Megan on creating an amazing business partnership.
Megan Grassel was 17 when she started Yellowberry Company. She wants to change the bra industry by making young, cute, realistic, and age appropriate bras for girls age 11 to 15. That’s a big idea. She didn’t start out to simply sell some underwear.
In my book Your Own Business Can Be Great I teach girls about creating an idea and then figuring out if the idea is a good one (and if people are ready for their great idea!). I called Megan to dig into her mission and find out how she knew she had a winning idea.
Megan got her big idea for Yellowberry after a failed first bra shopping trip with her younger sister, Mary Margaret. On that outing Megan couldn’t believe the options, the bras were all padded, push-up, and sexy. Not only that, they didn’t fit her sister’s body properly.
I asked Megan if she had noticed this problem when she shopped for her own first bras. She shared that while her first bra shopping experience was uncomfortable, it wasn’t until she was the one watching someone else go through it that she got the big a-ha that this was a problem that needed to be solved.
After the unsuccessful and shocking shopping trip with her sister she went home and searched online. The options she found were also totally wrong for young girls; if they weren’t padded they were too lacy. Her online search further solidified that there was a hole in the market.
You know it’s a winning idea when…
Megan shared that the reaction to her idea was always positive; she explained further “The pushback was never about the business idea it was about my age. I was 17 and I wanted to CHANGE THE BRA INDUSTRY. It seemed like such a big goal and vision for a teenager, with zero experience and business knowledge.”
She continued “I remember a specific woman in my community who said I should graduate high school before I think about changing anything”. This made Megan angry and even more committed to her mission.
Megan needed money to get her business off the ground and decided to do a Kickstarter campaign with a goal of raising $25,000. People seemed to like Megan’s idea but would they buy this product from a 17 year old?
She knew she had to get the word out about her campaign but she was concerned “I was thinking who’s going to care about girls’ bras?”
She searched online and found sites and Facebook pages that were about girl empowerment, people who very well might care about her idea. She sent those sites information about her Kickstarter campaign. Some wrote about it and the followers of these sites “got it” and it went viral. Megan explained, “They were celebrating the social movement. This was the iconic moment that I knew Yellowberry was onto something. Before anyone had seen the product, they were excited about the concept, the idea of changing the bra industry.”
Megan and Yellowberry went really viral – she exceeded her Kickstarter goal by 70%, raising $41,795!
And back in April I was part of the viral response that sent Megan the very clear message that her idea was resonating. I didn’t meet Megan until eight months later for this interview. I found out about Yellowberry via social media from a friend. Pretty cool!
Epilogue: You know the “you should wait before you change anything” advice. Ironically that woman is on Megan’s office floor. While I’m sure she was just trying to give what she felt was the best advice, I’m waiting to hear from Megan that her new neighbor has finally stopped by to congratulate her on a job very well done. While we are waiting, we’ll congratulate this passionate and tenacious teen ourselves. Great job Megan, go get ‘em!