Coffee Talk with Free Reign Founders

What personally motivated you to start the company?
Necessity is the mother of invention. Friends since childhood, we grumbled often about how hard it was to find a good bra for our small breasts. We never felt a need to wear a bra. For years, we would buy and wear clothing so you couldn’t see we were braless. This might be a shirt with two pockets, thick fabrics, or layers. Since we didn’t need the support, it felt crazy to wear an uncomfortable bra, and most bras were either too thin to provide coverage anyway or too “push-up” to be meant for us. The biggest insult of all was the underwire bra, rigid and unforgiving to body movement, an overly constructed shelf for little to hold.

What obstacles did you overcome to give you a totally unique perspective on what the market needs?
As smaller-busted women, all we asked for was a comfortable bra with a little support and coverage. Feeling completely misunderstood and underserved inspired us to create Free Reign – a line of comfortable bra tops with integrated lightly padded molded cups engineered to contour to the unique shape of smaller busts. We saw an opportunity to take what we were seeing developing in seamless activewear tops and apply that to everyday wear with soft fabrics, an innovative inner bra and a modern look. Our first product is the Everyday Tank, and we have plans to expand the line in the future. We’ve designed our apparel for the A and B cup woman. We know our customer. We are her.

What inspires you and fuels your creativity? 

We’re inspired by Guy Raz and the entrepreneurs whose stories he brings to life through his NPR podcast How I Built ThisAs with most start-ups, creating Free Reign has been a rollercoaster ride. There are moments that are thrilling and others so anxiety producing they make your stomach drop. Listening to the journey of other founders – the barriers they encountered and the pivotal steps they took on their way to success — is an ongoing source of inspiration and learning

What advice do you have for the next generation of entrepreneurs? 
Follow your dream. Don’t shy away from challenges because of fear.

Words to live by.

Do what you love!

P.S. Carroll lives in her Free Reign tank — from tennis to pilates to Zoom. The perfect everyday tank! 


5 Marketing Tips To Prepare For The Holidays

Woman in purple pjs holding a santa mug

The holidays are upon us (kind of, almost, not quite, but they’ll be here soon!) and it’s time to start thinking about how you’re going to market your products and services to your current loyal customer base while also welcoming in new customers. In doing this, you’ll want to consider the mindset of consumers right now. People are looking for connection. They’re looking to connect with each other, with your team, your brand, and they’re being incredibly thoughtful about how they go about it. Today’s conscious consumers are looking for authenticity and trust when it comes to who they’re engaging with and buying from. So this holiday season, how will your company provide meaningful experiences and engagement for your customers while showcasing your brand’s sincerity?

Get Online

E-commerce continues to be a huge shopping platform (duh) and, with customers less comfortable visiting stores, you can expect a huge increase in online shopping. Don’t have an e-commerce website? Now is the time to hurry up and build one! (Contact us for a quote!) Already have a site? Start fine-tuning! Is check-out seamless? Are you offering add-ons like gift wrap and personalized notes? Is your e-commerce site connected to your social media platforms so customers can shop directly on Instagram and Facebook?

You’ll have to think outside of the box when it comes to offering virtual or social distance-approved customer-based experiences that allow customers to form those connections while keeping in mind their comfort level regarding the current atmosphere. Consider fresh solutions for getting your products to your customer base in a way that offers personal touches and a similar in-store level of attention.

Segment Your Customers

As the saying goes, ‘know your audience.’ Chances are, you’ve made the effort to get to know who is engaging with you, who is purchasing from you, and how often. Utilize that information to create smaller groups within your customer base and then consider a different marketing strategy for those who engage with you often. Discover who these customers are and put them in a separate email list, then offer them a special incentive, such as a pre-holiday deal in October, while continuing to offer your regular holiday specials to your general customer base. This small shift in direction can help boost your sales from customers who you already know are loyal and engaged with your brand, while showing them that you appreciate their participation in your company. Personalizing experiences such as this helps create the connection customers are searching for.

Add Personal Services

Houppette, one of our lovely clients, is tackling this by offering a gift-giving service. You tell them what your budget is and who you’re shopping for, they send you images of options, and when you choose your gifts, the Houppette team will beautifully wrap them up and mail them out! Their innovative and personal approach will take the work out of gift-giving for you and simultaneously makes the recipients of these gorgeous gifts feel your love and appreciation, even from afar.

Support Other Small Businesses

In displaying your authenticity to customers, if there are small businesses or organizations in need that you regularly work with, share that! Your customers care about you and there’s a good chance they’ll be interested in learning more about your partners and the people you find important. Does a small paper company down the street source your thank you notes? Do you give back to nonprofits that have a special meaning to you? Don’t keep that a secret! Share with your customers how much you love collaborating with local businesses and giving back to causes you support, and how essential it is to support one another right now and always.

Give Back

In efforts to assist unemployed members of the community who are looking for work, Houppette offers complimentary makeovers to a person on the day they’re taking a new headshot. This is their way of boosting confidence and pride, and in helping people put their best foot forward. For many years, our client Kindred Skincare Co. has donated a percentage of their sales from specific products to nonprofit partners, and this summer they added another one: Bâton de Couleur, Amour! A percentage of profits from the sale of this gorgeous, moisturizing color is donated to New Leash on Life USA, a nonprofit organization whose mission is to reduce recidivism and save the lives of at-risk dogs. These meaningful collaborations and dedication to giving back to their local communities makes these businesses stand out and showcase their authentic nature.

Today’s consumer is thoughtful about their purchases, striving to connect with the right people, and they’re watching how brands are conducting themselves during these times of significant change. What will your brand do to help build consumer connections and confidence?

If you’re stuck on inspiration, contact our team for a personalized consultation.


The Social Scoop

Laptop and coffee on a tray with a taupe blanket and white comforter

Welcome to The Social Scoop, a series that shares what’s happening in the marketing world each month. Here’s the latest social media marketing news…

Instagram Reels
Instagram’s answer to TikTok, Reels users can record, edit, and post 15-second videos to IG Stories, Explore Page, and Reels Tab, adding in music and effects.

Mailchimp Integration
Let your tech work for you. Integrating your apps with Mailchimp will make your life easier by streamlining and automating your contact list, marketing campaigns, and targeted audience approach.

Shop Facebook
Bring your store to your customers! Via the newly released Facebook Shop, clients can shop your products directly from the Facebook mobile app, even during your Live events.

Suggested Posts
When you’ve finished scrolling through your IG feed, instead of seeing the ‘End of Feed’ message, Instagram now features a Suggested Posts option, so you can keep scrolling and view new-to-you content from people you don’t follow yet.

Holiday Ecommerce
Square suggests small businesses start now to prepare an online shopping experience for the holiday season. Cyber Monday has outperformed Black Friday for the last few years, and the current COVID situation suggests that trend will continue.


The Monthly Round-Up

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Our client, Lilliana Vazquez, launched her first podcast, DNA of a MAKER, where she has one-on-one conversations with true trailblazers for change. By partnering with MAKERS, she is fueling the women’s movement through storytelling to ignite change. Episodes reveal what individual traits set these high achieving women apart and how these traits shape who they are.

We’ve been working behind the scenes with Free Reign for over a year and are so excited that the site is launched and products will be available soon. They’ve created an innovative top with a built-in bra perfect for smaller-busted women that’s eco-friendly and built to last. Check out their kickstarter campaign going on now.

Our very own co-founder, Carroll Ivy, got engaged to her fiancé, Doug, on July 12th in St. Barts! We are elated and wish them a lifetime full of happiness and love.

Our client, Sunny Goode of LOVEVOLVE, created a mural in Richmond, Virginia to represent the need for evolving as a country through love, trust, and peace. Baby swaddles have also launched on the LOVEVOLVE site with a mission to create social change with the movement of love starting at infancy.

We would like to wish a belated congratulations to our PR Manager, Kathleen McFadden, who had a beautiful baby boy named Jude on February 11th! He is blessed with a wonderful momma and is so loved by the Social Stylate family!