“Most salespeople have no idea what life is like for full-busted women,” says neighbor Carissa Brown. That’s why she began last year designing and producing clothes made especially for busty gals — technically that means women with a narrow rib cage (28-40 back size), but with double-D and up sized cups. “When you have this shape, it’s tough to find woven button-up tops that fit and don’t gape, and need constant pulling and tugging and fixing in order to hide your bra.” Brown founded Bratique Helene as a tribute to her curvaceous mother, Helene Rose, whose motto was: “Stand tall and walk proud”. Rose died unexpectedly in May 2007, the same month she celebrated her 10th anniversary working at the White Rock Home Depot. “After walking through the nightmare of losing my mom, I decided to use the proceeds from her Home Depot 401(k) to pursue the dream of Bratique Helene.” Brown, a mother of four, ages 9, 7, 5 and 20 months, sells the line from her White Rock area home. “I’d like to have 20 stores all over the place someday,” she says, but for now she operates online, and makes or takes house calls. She’s bullish about the business, and making great strides, but she doesn’t take things too seriously — Bratique Helene tops come in sizes W (Well endowed) and R (Really well endowed). “We try to keeps things pretty lighthearted,” she explains. Most importantly, she wants women to feel confident and love their figures. “Women should embrace their endowment. It’s a blessing, not a curse.”

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For more information, visit bratiquehelene.com.