Responding to the Needs of Women
Debbie and Karen as women suffering from varicose veins themselves, and as owners
of a retail outlet for surgical support devices, were in a quandary. They wanted
to help women who were suffering from vaginal varicose veins and genital prolapse
(prolapsed uterus, cystocele, rectocele, enterocele, etc.), but they had no suitable
support garment to sell to them. How could they meet the needs of their customers,
if an effective product simply did not exist?
It didn't take long for Debbie to come up with an answer: she would design a suitable
garment herself, and Karen her sister, would help her manufacture it. Thus,
in March 1999, Fembrace, Inc.® was born.
Debbie spent many months talking to physicians and patients to determine the ideal
specifications of the V-Brace™, so named for its unique, cross-elastic support system
that provides maximum lift to the vaginal area. Similar in appearance to a lightweight
panty-girdle, the vulvar cross-elastic straps are threaded through a sleeve in the
crotch of the panty, thus allowing the garment to lift and support the vaginal area.
The V-Brace™ helps relieve symptoms of vaginal pain, backache, pelvic fullness, and
abdominal strain, and significantly reduces the problems of urinary frequency and
incontinence. The V-Brace™ is also effective in minimizing perineal edema following
abdominal liposuction, lymphedema, and other surgical procedures.
By the time the V-Brace™ was ready for market in the fall of 2000, orders were already
rolling in on Fembrace's® web site at www.fembrace.com.
Debbie and Karen trace their success as entrepreneurs back to years of growing up in
Rockland County, NY, where they worked in their father's shoe store. The store
specialized in custom-fitting children with problem feet, and was also the area's
largest distributor of surgical compression stockings. They learned early on the
importance of helping customers, and gained a lot of practical, hands-on experience.
It was not surprising that when they decided to go out on their own, they
followed, as it were, in their father's footsteps.
Debbie and Karen opened their business - aptly called The Surgical Sock Shop -
in May 1993. They took over the distribution of surgical support stockings from
their father, then began selling additional items with women's needs in mind -
mastectomy products, maternity girdles and other support devices. The business
grew rapidly, and soon they expanded to four additional locations throughout New York.
Now that they've launched the V-Brace™, Fembrace, Inc.® will be expanding as well.
A move to more spacious quarters is slated for May 2001, and plans are underway
to market the V-Brace™ internationally.
"It's all very exciting," said Debbie in a recent interview. "And the best part is,
we're really making a difference in the quality of women's lives."
"The response to the V-Brace™ has been fantastic," said Debbie, "not only from women
who need it, but from medical professionals who are eager to recommend it."