SUP­PORT YOUR BUST

Con­stance Tipis has "big" girls cov­ered

Healthy Woman - - FRONT PAGE -

How did Dou­ble Dee’s come to be?

The idea started as a joke ac­tu­ally. One day, Char­ity Migwi (one of the co-founders) and I went shop­ping for sec­ond-hand clothes and bras. We are both busty and found it hard to find bras in our sizes at shop stores. It was eas­ier to find our sizes at mi­tumba stalls, and even that wasn’t guar­an­teed; you’d have to go through piles and piles of bras be­fore set­tling on a few pos­si­ble fits. Then, after buy­ing five of them, you’d get home and find only one of them re­ally fits… and that’s it! I told Char­ity, “This can’t be our life! We can’t be buy­ing mi­tumba bras for­ever! We should start our own com­pany and make our own bras.”

How did she re­spond to that?

She was all for the idea, al­though I’d been half-jok­ing. She asked, “What would we call it?” Still jok­ing, I replied, “Dou­ble Dee’s”. She said that sounded like a strip club. A cou­ple of months later, she pushed me about set­ting up the com­pany. When we were choos­ing the com­pany name, we found that Dou­ble Dee’s wasn’t taken yet, so we went with it.

How did you get the other co-founders (Mil­li­cent Wan­jiru and Stella Lan­gat) on board?

Like Char­ity and I, they were both busty too and had gone through the same chal­lenges we did. We talked to them and they were ex­cited about join­ing the ven­ture. At the time, Stella was study­ing at Skidmore Col­lege where we ap­plied for the Ken­neth A. Freirich Busi­ness Plan Com­pe­ti­tion and later, the Har­vard Un­der­grad­u­ate Women in Busi­ness In­no­va­tion Com­pe­ti­tion. We won $25,000 and $2,000, re­spec­tively.

This is the money you used to set up the busi­ness?

Yes. Be­fore we won the com­pe­ti­tions, we were also mak­ing monthly con­tri­bu­tions of 1,500 shillings each to cater for the ini­tial ex­penses of set­ting up the com­pany. Win­ning the com­pe­ti­tions gave us the con­fi­dence to con­tinue pur­su­ing our dream. How­ever, the money we had wasn’t enough to start our own in­de­pen­dent line; for that, we needed ap­prox­i­mately $100,000. We were still very pas­sion­ate about the busi­ness and were ex­cited about pro­vid­ing a so­lu­tion for buxom women in Nairobi. Find­ing a good bra as a big-bo­somed woman is no mean feat – some bras have a cup that fits but a band that is too wide or vice versa. We de­cided to go ahead and open the shop and re­tail other brands along­side our first line.

When did you launch Dou­ble Dee’s?

We in­cor­po­rated the com­pany in 2014 but opened the shop in July 2016. The busi­ness is still very young but grow­ing fast. The four of us work hard at the busi­ness, even though both Stella and Char­ity are based in the US. Cur­rently, I’m the one han­dling the day-to-day op­er­a­tions at the shop with Mil­li­cent’s help. We are still pur­su­ing our dif­fer­ent ca­reers on the side. I’m also pur­su­ing a Mas­ters in Psy­chol­ogy for which I at­tend classes in the evenings.

CON­STANCE TIPIS, 26, IS ONE OF THE FOUR WOMEN BE­HIND DOU­BLE DEE’S, A UNIQUE LIN­GERIE STORE THAT IS MAK­ING BUSTY WOMEN SEX­IER THAN EVER. SHE SHARES ON THE STRUG­GLE OF FIND­ING BRAS AS A BUSTY WOMAN, AND HOW TO­GETHER WITH THREE OF HER FRIENDS, THEY FOUND A SO­LU­TION.

Prom Dress, Mr Price, Kshs 2,100 Black Neck­lace, Kache by Angie, Kshs 2,900 Sil­ver bracelet with cir­cu­lar discs, Kache by Angie, Kshs 3,900 Gilet Cream, Mr Price, Kshs 2,100 Sil­ver Cas­cad­ing chain, Kache by Angie, Kshs 3,300 Black Corset, Dou­ble Dees Kenya, Kshs 5,000 Black Tights, M&E Sports­wear, Kshs 1,500 words Pauline Muindi Pho­tog­ra­phy: Kevin Buo Mua: Cathy Nder­itu Stylist: Natalie Ki­mani Hair: Kate Gathoni

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