Meet Danielle Elias Las: The millennial mom, who went from attorney to entrepreneur, and set out to fill a void in the maternity-wear market.
Bump'n, Danielle's collection of postpartum leggings, was dreamt up after she realized that the new moms in her life were opting for uncomfortable "postpartum belly contraptions in an effort to get their pre-pregnancy bodies back." The solution? An ultra-sleek legging with a waist-trainer built in made from top-notch fabrics.
The full line includes four essential leggings designed with moms in mind. Styles range from theEvery Mamma –– a high-waisted silhouette that takes you from your first trimester to your third was created especially for comfort and support –– to the Zen Mamma, which features a moisture wicking four-way stretch fabric perfect for all stages of pregnancy.
Aside from the under-$80 price tag (a rarity when it comes to high-quality maternity brands), portions of all sales is donated to IVF charities around the world. In honor of Women's History Month, we chatted with the female founder who is paving the way for modern moms who are seriously doing it all. Check out our full conversation below!
What inspired you to start Bump'n?
I initially had the idea for Bump’n after watching close friends and family stuffing themselves into unflattering, uncomfortable, and egregiously priced postpartum belly contraptions in an effort to get their pre-pregnancy bodies back after giving birth. These products were impossible to wear while breastfeeding and you couldn’t wear them outside of your home.
I believed there had to be a better way and with my background in apparel, I set out to design and manufacture the perfect postpartum legging with a waist trainer built in. This was the idea behind our stylish and affordable body-shaping legging, a.k.a. the “New Mama.”
While working on the “New Mama” I got pregnant and I asked around as to what pants were the best to own during my pregnancy. People I trusted suggested either leggings that were astronomically priced and would only fit for pregnancy or they were suggesting sizing up in my usual workout leggings, which was not only expensive, but it meant they never fit again after the short time period when I was a few sizes bigger than normal.
So, once again I saw a void in the market and was determined to add the perfect maternity pants to my line. After two years of product testing, research, hard work, and a lot of love; the Bump’n core line of products arrived the same week as my first born son. Twins!
While I was fortunate to be surrounded by family and was able to start a business during my fertility journey, I realize that many Mamas are going at it alone, so a lot of my inspiration for the line was tied into the give-back model of Bump’n. Our aim is to create more Bump’n Mamas, that’s why a portion of the proceeds from the sale of every pair is donated to IVF charities worldwide.
What’s your career background before starting Bump'n?
I’m an attorney by trade. I started my career doing white collar criminal defense work and medical malpractice defense work for a firm in midtown Manhattan. I left the firm and came to work for my family business, Ben Elias Industries Corp., as In House Counsel some time ago. Ben Elias is a fourth-generation family business that has been in operation for more than 75 years doing off price apparel distribution. Funny enough the company got its start manufacturing women’s dresses.
After I joined the company, I was grateful to learn that there was not enough legal work to keep me busy one hundred percent of the time. I also saw the need to modernize and expand our product offering, so I started a new division of the company called BEyond; which focuses on higher end, contemporary and designer closeouts. Effectively, my division buys excess inventory from advanced contemporary and designer brand names and sell to off price retailers domestically and internationally. Its fast-paced, fashion based and I interface with new people constantly. I love what I do. I am still running both Bump’n and BEyond simultaneously.
How is your brand changing the way pregnant women get dressed?
Not only did I have a hard time getting pregnant, but once I got there, I was SO grateful that I felt guilty for how uncomfortable I was in my own skin. Not everyone feels “beautiful” when they are pregnant, I certainly did not. I just wanted to feel like me. I didn’t want to shop in the maternity section, I didn’t want to buy all new clothes, and I definitely didn’t want to spend money on something I was never going to wear again after my third trimester. That was part of my inspiration for Bump’n and part of what I wanted to change about maternity wear. Every piece on my line is wearable before, during and after pregnancy. I am back in my pre-pregnancy clothing and I still wear my Zen Mama leggings, my Power Mamas and I rarely wear anything other than my New Mama leggings with a sweater or a blazer in the winter!
What's the biggest misconception about maternity clothes?
This is a great question and one that I thought a lot about. I decided the biggest misconception is that the market is well covered! It’s not! I think there are still so many women out there trying to find the right thing to wear or trying to size up in non-maternity clothing and feel “normal” during their pregnancy. One of the greatest things I found is being able to rent during pregnancy! I wanted to dress as fashionably during my pregnancy as I always like to be, but I didn’t want to own things in sizes I would never wear again, so I found subscriptions and rental options to be amazing during that time. But I believe a lot of designers and manufacturers shy away from the maternity market because it’s such a “limited time” product or “limited market” or because they believe it's “well covered” I think there is so much more opportunity in this space.
How is Bump'n filling a gap in the maternity fashion market?
Bump’n is meant for women who care about the quality, comfort, price and durability of the products they are purchasing. Moreover, our postpartum pant is unlike anything else on the market. We built the waist trainer and belly band into the legging, and made it c-section safe so you can wear it starting the day you deliver! All of our leggings look good and more importantly, feel good. And as I mentioned earlier, all of our leggings are wearable before, during and after pregnancy. If that’s not enough, our customer can actually feel good about purchasing and wearing our clothing because of the give-back component that is such an integral part of our brand.
How do you go about choosing the fabrics and technology for your product?
I went through hundreds, if not thousands, of different fabrics and yarns before landing on the ones we chose for our styles. Durability, stretch, comfort and weight were big concerns for me and I needed to be sure that we were everything that our competitors were not. In terms of technology, we don’t like to share the “secret sauce” but suffice to say that our products were not born overnight. It took months of testing and re-testing different designs and layouts to ensure that we got it right, for every Mama at every stage.
Which legging style is your go-to?
When I was really Bump’n I lived in the Every Mama, I felt secure, comfortable and supported. I dressed them up, I wore them to work with a blazer and I wore them to work out in the evening. As soon as my son arrived I put on the New Mamas and I haven’t taken them off since. I LOVE how they make me feel and I loved nursing in them too!
What's next for your brand?
We have big plans for Bump’n in 2020! We’re expanding and improving our product line and continuing to grow our team. Keep an eye out for the next generation New Mama’s, I’m thinking of calling them “Sweet but Psycho,” they’re for the Mama who has graduated from the gentle compression of our classic postpartum legging and is really, really ready for the #snapback! We’re also adding to the basics element of our line with some layering components and of course the jumpsuit every Mama can’t live without. Stay tuned!
The interview has been edited and condensed.