One quote that you often hear parents say is, “Kids grow up too quickly.” One minute you’re bringing them home from the hospital and the next minute you’re shopping for training bras. Moms know the frustration that can come with choosing the right undergarments for a growing daughter. There’s a point that they’re not quite ready for their first bra, but yet they are a little too mature for the juvenile designs as well.
Aida Yodites, founder of Delicate Seams, has developed a line of undergarments to meet the needs of adolescent girls as they transition to young adulthood. Disappointed by the lack of appropriate selections for her 10-year old daughter (at the time), Aida created a line of 7 undergarment styles that are designed to transition with young ladies as their bodies experience natural developmental changes. CEOMOM caught up with Aida to learn more about Delicate Seams and why it’s not just a brand, it’s a movement.
Tell us about Delicate Seams. What products do you provide?
Delicate Seams is an apparel brand exclusively for maturing young girls. Our flagship undergarment line includes 4 style tops and 3 style bottoms. Each one of our top styles is designed for a specific developmental stage of a maturing girl’s body. Our Cami is designed for the “pre-budding” girl, probably close to the age of 9 or 10. This light single layer garment is the perfect introduction to undergarment layering. Our Bralette and Sportlette are designed with a double-layer front panel, which provides much more coverage around the chest for the “budding” young lady. Our 1st Bra is designed specifically for the “blossoming” girl. It offers a full-coverage “A” cup with minimal padding, no underwire, and no push-up effect. In addition, we think it’s the most adorable first bra you’ll ever see!
We offer 3 bottom styles; a classic Bikini, which offers a higher cut around the thigh; a Hipster, which offers a lower rise around the waist; and a Girlshort, which offers complete coverage around the entire bottom, with a more feminine flair! All of our bottoms offer flat fold-over seams to minimize those harsh panty lines that often come with the packaged juvenile panties.
Are there other companies like Delicate Seams? What separates you from competition?
There are many popular brands out there. However, when I was on my personal search to find something very specific for my daughter, I couldn’t find anything that I had envisioned. I wanted to introduce her to more mature fabrics and trims in a way that was incredibly appropriate. The garments I was finding were either too juvenile in bright patterns, and harsher textured fabrics, or the extreme was very adult designed garments with provocative styles and laces. There were really no “in between” styles using mature blended fabrics and trims in a way that was entirely appropriate. There are many popular brands and retailers that specifically market undergarments to girls closer to a 17 year-old, and that is clearly not my target market. I am targeting the 9 to 16-year old. Therefore, I feel like the existing brands are not my competitors.
Delicate Seams promotes positive messages to young girls at an age that is so impressionable – That modesty matters, that a growing and changing body is natural, that we all come in different shapes, sizes and skin tones. I don’t know of any other brand out there that is so inclusive, and I’m very proud to say that we are.
We learned that you auditioned in Las Vegas for Shark Tank. What was that experience like? What advice do you have for an entrepreneur who wants to audition for the popular pitch show?
The Shark Tank audition was absolutely one of the most memorable experiences of my life. I knew that if I could pitch on the cusp to a producer in that high-pressure environment, it was going to be a great learning and growing experience for me. I knew the connections that I was going to make with fellow business people would be incredible. I am still very close with the 4 entrepreneurs I bonded with over those 24 hours. There was no competition among us and we were all rooting for each other. I learned very quickly that strong comradery is clearly an entrepreneurial trait. We were there for ourselves but we wanted to see each other succeed just the same, and we continue to do so today.
I would recommend to anybody who has a great idea or created a great product to absolutely go for it! The Shark Tank audition process alone is a great exercise and wonderful opportunity to speak about your brand to someone who is genuinely interested. Show your passion and don’t let that moment be bigger than you – Try to take in every second. If you know your brand, it should come out naturally. That’s what the Producers want to see and hear.
You were inspired to create Delicate Seams for your daughter, Faith. How involved is she in the design process for your lines?
When I initially started creating designs, my daughter provided input like, “I don’t like these panty lines. You can see them”, or “I don’t like how you can see my undershirt through my top”. It was clear to me that she wanted a more modestly designed undergarment. In other words, she didn’t want the whole world to see her first bra. Or, at least she didn’t want to feel that way about it. I brought home many replacement garments of what I thought would work. As she sifted through the piles she was saying “yes” to a few, and “no” to most. I started the process with her stating how she felt about each design.
You can consider my Bralette to be the trainer, which prepares a young girl for her first bra. The trainers I kept finding were very small in cup size and front profile all together. They are often so tiny, that to me, they were somewhat unrealistic. That’s why I designed a real full-cup “A” bra. My daughter was 10 at the time she came to me with her undergarment issues. She had already outgrown the camisoles she was wearing, and I wanted to introduce an entry level bralette/sportlette and bra that offered fuller coverage and that was more realistic to what many growing tween girls’ bodies are like. Delicate Seams is more for the girl that is outgrowing childlike attire, but is still very much a young girl.
As a clear result of Faith’s input, I designed the back of the Cami with a very lower profile because my daughter didn’t like that you could see she was wearing a camisole under some of her favorite cut-out summer tops. In addition, our entire collection is offered in a tonal color palette so that the undergarments can blend with various skin tones, and not be seen through clothing. So, I consider Faith to be quite involved in the design process. What’s even more important and fulfilling, is that she wears Delicate Seams just about every day!
What advice do you have for a mom who wants to start her own clothing line? What has been your greatest lesson in the formation of Delicate Seams?
I think the advice I would offer to another mom is if you think you can “fill a gap” in the market, research as much as possible. This can be done in a very organic fashion. Through my own personal quest, I learned the competitive landscape without even knowing I was doing so. I studied what was “out there” simply because I was looking for something that didn’t exist.
Another piece of advice is to get initial feedback from your close circle. The feedback I received told me a lot. You know how our moms just know things? When I first told my mom about Delicate Seams, her immediate reaction said it all. Her eyes lit up and she said, “Aida, I think you have an idea.” Not one person, who I introduced Delicate Seams to looked at me like I was crazy. That was my initial gage. Determine how you think your idea will be received. Those are 2 things I did before I took the leap. Once I got a lot of positive feedback, I realized I was onto something.
Most importantly, trust with your gut! Moms have something that not even dads have. It’s called a “mother’s instinct”, and it’s there for a reason.
My greatest lesson on this journey has been learning to tackle “fear” head on. Fear is what prevents a lot of people from doing something really big in their life. Sometimes we are afraid of something that doesn’t exist, but rather of something that we’re simply creating in our heads. I learned how to deal with this challenge pretty quickly. Early on, if I came across an obstacle, I would panic and see the obstacle as a stop sign and I would second guess myself. Once I realized that the fear I was experiencing was not real, I looked at things much differently. Stop signs gradually became detour signs for me. What I mean by this is when I came across an obstacle, instead of panicking and thinking I should stop, I realized that I simply needed to look in another direction for a better solution. I became fearless, and it has been the greatest and most rewarding lesson for me.
Where do you see Delicate Seams in 5 years?
I see Delicate Seams growing from a popular and loved national brand to a global brand within 5 years. In a nutshell, my dream isn’t necessarily to become a millionaire. Better said, my dream is to give a million girls confidence because of the undergarments I’ve created for them. That would make me a very happy businesswoman, designer, and mom.
I want Delicate Seams to be known for more than quality undergarments, but more for what it represents – a brand that truly cares about its young customer. It’s unfortunate that young girls feel pressured to grow up all too quickly these days. I know it’s impossible to keep our little girls from growing up – that’s inevitable. However, I think I’ve created a brand that simply wants to hold on to them just a little longer.
To learn more about Delicate Seams and to place your order, visit https://delicateseams.com.