Local company Meer Bras redesigned the bra with recycled materials to be comfortable, functional and fashionable.
By Danielle Ortiz, Photos courtesy of Meer Bras
Finding the perfect bra with the trifecta of comfort, style and support seems impossible to many women. But in 2016, Adriana Arispe and her husband, Matt DeIulio, started Austin-based company Meer Bras and took on the task of redesigning the notoriously uncomfortable undergarment.
After Arispe grew two cup sizes and was experiencing back pain, she was on the lookout for a supportive bra without uncomfortable underwire. She quickly realized the bra industry often doesn’t support bigger sizes, so DeIulio started tinkering with old bras and pantyhose to come up with a design that offered everything Arispe was looking for.
“Women take their bras off the second they get home because they’re uncomfortable,” Arispe says. “It was this hole in the market, which seemed strange. It’s something that women use every day and it should be [functional].”
After 16 months of designing and more than 100 prototypes, Arispe and DeIulio found the solution to uncomfortable bras. In 2016, they launched Meer Bras. Today, Arispe wears her bra all the time, even at home. She says it’s just that comfortable.
The functionality of its design sets Meer Bras apart, and the company currently offers five styles. The X-shaped strap in the back, a patent-pending design, pulls from underneath the breasts, not putting the weight on the shoulders. The bra is also doctor-endorsed and made from 100 percent recycled water bottles.
With no prior entrepreneurial experience, the couple found joining the bra industry challenging. They quit their jobs to focus on Meer Bras full time.
“We just dove into it. The whole process was a learning curve,” Arispe says. “But we are go-getters and that’s why we felt comfortable leaving our jobs. We didn’t want to be go-getters for another company; we wanted to do it for ourselves and something we believe in.”
The global bra market is expected to be worth almost $35 million by 2026, according to a Transparency Market Research report. With many competitors in the market, Arispe says Meer Bras stands out because they put comfort first.
“I think a lot of brands claim that they are something different and you can look at the bra and it’s still the same underwire design,” Arispe says. “We are not like the overtly sexy bra stores. We’re mostly about fashion and function.”
The company’s name and logo (two triangles reminiscent of cat ears) stem from a friend’s cat doodle. Arispe originally wanted to include “siere,” as in “brassiere,” in the name but after learning it was already trademarked, Meer came to mind.
“Matt is allergic to cats, so I think that’s why my friend drew the ears. I loved how it was close to what we originally wanted, and it’s more feminine than ‘siere’ and it’s like the cat I’ll never be able to have,” Arispe says.
Besides helping other women find their perfect bra, Arispe loves hearing stories from her customers because they make her feel like she’s making a difference.
“For me, it’s like we are just two people who started this business, and to hear positive feedback is very touching and humbling,” she says. “We’ve had a lot of people leave a review telling us it’s the only bra they’ll wear, so it’s very touching to hear.”
An Austin native, Arispe wanted to run her business in her hometown because of the opportunities for small-business owners. Her advice to women wanting to start their own business is to reach out to other women on the same path.
“I think that if I had done that a little bit more in the beginning and been a little less shy, we would’ve been better off,” she says. “Now that I’m creating real friendships and relationships with other women business owners, it has been what I least expected but has been the most rewarding.”