Emily Lau is the visionary founder of the petites-only lingerie brand, The Little Bra Company. We sat down to discuss all the good things that come in small packages. This interview has been condensed and edited for clarity and length.
Hi, Emily! Tell us a little about yourself!
As founder of The Little Bra Company®, I oversee product development, operations and business development for the company. [I was inspired to start the company] by my own efforts to find beautiful, attractive bras that fit and enhanced my petite frame; I created The Little Bra Company in 2007.
I spent years scouring department stores, lingerie catalogs, and boutiques, only to find that the selection of smaller sizes rarely deviated from training bra look-alikes that never fit quite right. In talking with my friends, I knew I wasn’t alone, and I recognized a niche that needed to be filled.
Prior to founding The Little Bra Company, I was a writer and producer for Skylark Media Group, Inc., producing documentaries featuring major international artists. I was also worked as a a freelance writer and producer, working on documentary programming including iVideogame: The History of Videogames for the Discovery Channel, numerous episodes of Intimate Portrait for Lifetime, and the award-winning series Modern Marvels for The History Channel.
I was born and raised in a suburb of Los Angeles, CA, and has been a proud Angeleno all of my life. I graduated from the Annenberg School of Communication & Journalism at the University of Southern California and pursued a career in broadcast journalism. Although I loved my career path and enjoyed being a writer/producer for several successful cable series, there was a passion and need of mine that was greater than television.
What gave you the idea for the Little Bra Company?
I was a late-bloomer, but ever since I could wear a bra I became obsessed with finding a bra that gave me extra oomph. I bought bras even if they didn’t fit me, just because I thought they were pretty or had a lot of padding (to fill in what I lacked). Of course, I spent years looking ridiculous wearing ill-fitting bras. That is, until I started working with some experts to design the perfect-fitting bra for my petite body type. After testing the product out on my petite friends, I launched The Little Bra Company® out of a bedroom in my home in May 2007. I wanted to create The Little Bra Company® to give women like me intimate apparel that not only fit their bodies better, but also made them feel more feminine. Just because a woman is an A, B or C-cup, it doesn’t mean she can’t have cleavage or feel like a woman.
What are some common pitfalls small-busted folks encounter when trying to get fit?
I think a common misconception with small-busted women is that they think they don’t need to wear a bra, or at least a supportive one. I’m not saying that all small-busted women want to look bigger than they are, but I think healthy breasts are supported. We have wire-free and lightly lined bras to give those women a little shape and lift without adding volume with padding.
On the other side, for those who do want padded bras, our push-up bras have more support on the side and the back. A lot of customers see that and wonder why a smaller-busted women would need more bra. In this case, we want to make sure the bra stays on the body better, so with better fit and construction, our bras do just that.
We couldn’t agree more! What are some considerations your client should make when shopping?
I think personal bra fitting is really important when shopping for a bra. If they can’t do it in person right now, at least speak to a professional bra fitter or fit consultant over the phone— that’s the next best thing. Your body changes constantly with weight fluctuations, health events, etc., so it is important to get a personal fit consultation at least once a year. There are so many things to consider and variations in the fit of bra between brands and even between styles, so it is key to get professional guidance on what works best for you.
What do you consider the absolute must-haves in your lingerie wardrobe?
I think every bra wardrobe should have these bras:
Everyday, smooth-cup bra
Special occasion, lace bra
Sports or leisure bra.
A lot of your pieces specify more about breast placement and shape than other brands. Can you speak a little about how you came to that and what the relative benefits are?
The first collection of bras I designed were essentially all the bras that I ever wanted to fit my petite body type. After listening to customer feedback, I realized that even within my petite size range that there were still people with different body types. For example, my breasts are closer together (two fingers or less between breasts) so most of the bras I designed at first had the cups placed closer together. So, I decided to add some bras into the collection that had the cups a little farther apart or wider-set (three fingers or more apart), and those bras fit other customers better. Now we have styles in both options to accommodate more body types.
What are you excited to see in terms of development in the lingerie market?
I’m excited to see that more skin tones are being added to colorways in lingerie. Traditionally, most bra styles have one nude option. I admit The Little Bra Company only offered one nude color in most styles. Although we have added other colors to match more skin tones through the years, we are now adding three new nude tones in three of our bestselling bras to be launched early 2021.