She shopped the design around, but no one bit.
“I don’t think that the big companies thought what I’d come up with was worthwhile,” she says, laughing a bit as she recalls the “good-luck” and “that’s awesome, but we’re not interested” letters she received. “So, one thing led to another, and I guess I was just stupid enough to do it myself,” she says. “I kept telling myself that there are more women out there who need the extra support; I’ve got to get this bra to them.”
Just like that, Enell was born. However, it would take several years to take off. At first, Braaten was making sports bras for friends. Then, she got down to business. She and her husband owned a building downtown with what they both thought was a perfect basement for production. So, she hired one seamstress to help make bras.
“My husband told me that I had to sell one bra per day to break even,” she says. “I honestly wasn’t even sure I could do that.”
But she did.