Some people say that a well-run company should be like a great TV show, in which you can never wait for the next episode! Our brand’s director, Ewa Michalak, does make it feel like that. If you have a moment, sit down, grab a cup of tea, we’ll tell you the whole story from the beginning ;-)
Episode 1, in which the voice of the busty lobby is finally heard
It all began in 2009, recalls Ewa… back then I was the most sought-after designer and seamstress of women’s lingerie on the Polish market. I happened to read an interview with the founders of the Busty Lobby, under the distinctive title “the alphabet doesn’t end with D…”. Curious, I started reading the forum of the Lobby and found out that I was ignorant! And to what degree! I read post after post of women’s troubles with something as simple as buying a bra – all because they didn’t fit the thirteen most common sizes made by the biggest manufacturers. I couldn’t believe it!
Episode 2, in which Ewa is unmasked
I became hugely invested in the forum. At first I was only lurking and reading, but eventually I started to participate as well. I asked questions, analyzed problems, gave advice – all without revealing my real identity and profession. But the other users figured me out eventually. Then an idea arose - to hold a meeting and confront the pains of busty women face-to-face (As it turns out, the UK imported bras, colloquially known as "the Brits", weren’t really all that comfortable for them). We decided to call the event the “Busty Con”. I showed up with a suitcase full of prototype bras in sizes I’ve never made before, and even a sewing machine, to adjust them on the spot.
Episode 3, in which comfort triumphs
The girls loved the bras. The news spread, and over time I was invited to other conventions. Sometimes I would even get an order from a few guests, and I would sew new bras for them. However, the bras I prepared rarely proved to be a good fit. It puzzled me for a bit, but eventually I figured out that the whole problem came from the way women measure their busts. Then I had my eureka moment – I developed my own way of taking measurements and it proved to work wonders! From that moment onwards nearly all the bras were a perfect fit.
Episode 4, in which a great idea takes root
In the meantime, I was working out of my workshop located on the 10th floor of a skyscraper in which I lived. Many women would come to me, hoping that together we would create a perfect bra for them. We would often end up working until late at night, sewing, tearing, adjusting, and sewing again – until the bra really was perfect. Coming up with new designs was a lengthy process – I was still going around conventions, still helping out women from the Busty Lobby, until finally my own fans started bombarding me with requests to create a normal store in which you could buy my bras. Apparently, it was the high time to do so…
Episode 5, in which a brand is born
Back then, the most shocking thing for me was that not a single one of the big companies I worked with, all leading Polish bra manufacturers, was interested in expanding into other sizes. I became a true believer in the cause, and yet they treated me as if I were crazy. “If what we already make is selling well, why complicate things?” – they told me. Meanwhile, I had a long line of women waiting to create a bra in a size beyond “D”. And so, following the wishes of my fans, I decided to create my own brand: “Ewa Michalak”. Our bras received the nickname „Effuniak” just like the one I had on the forum. Many women can claim they had a part in making the brand what it is today ;)
Episode 6, in which the Effuniak family grows
The first bras were padded plunge - models with a relatively low bridge, offered in a staggering 130 sizes - 10 times more than our competition! Sizes were tailored to real body shapes, so that one could measure oneself, drop the measurements into a calculator we developed, and enjoy the new bra. This proved to be a very practical solution. What's more, we included our customers in photo shoots advertising our lingerie. No unrealistic models – just regular women who actually used our products on a daily basis. We’re still doing this today! Our photos turned out to be revolutionary – you could see the bras on women of all sizes, shapes, and ages. Before the movement even became a thing, we already followed the rules of body positivity and rarely photoshopped anything. As time went on, some clients started requesting other styles – unpadded or strapless… We had to roll up our sleeves and start designing.
Episode 7, in which…
Women were telling other women about our products. The news went out into the world and a community formed around our brand. After some time, female customers started requesting sizes that went beyond the original 130. They wrote to us from all over the world, flew in to get bra fittings, we prepared more sizes for them... and then some more... and that's how we reached our current record of over 300 sizes. Eventually, it turned out that we created the world's largest usable underwire bra! We were even interviewed for the New York Times, and then... a pandemic broke out and the world shut down. We survived. Mainly thanks to our loyal customers and the optimism inherent in our brand. And now? We’re not planning on stopping, we're all set for growth, and we’re ready for what the future may bring.