Podcast Ep 1. Who is House of Anesi?
So you’ve heard this story before, I’m sure.
You know, where an industrial engineer, a fashion communications professional and an aerospace engineer walk into a bra… oh wait, I mean bar!
Well, that’s because it’s not a joke. It’s a true story folks and today, I’d like to share it with you.
So what and who is House of Anesi?
House of Anesi is Toronto’s very own fashion tech start-up that is making the news everywhere. From features in Bustle, Glamour mag, to winning pitch competitions and even surpassing their first Crowdfunding campaign, these three geniuses are totally badass. So without further ado, let me introduce you to Stephania, Leen and Jacob.
Coming from very diverse backgrounds, what brought the three of you together, in the same room, and lead to House of Anesi?
Steph: We met about 4 years ago in the Re-engineering Fashion competition hosted by Ryerson university’s Sandbox. We were all students with interests in fashion and technology. We were challenged at the competition to create an innovative product that would disrupt the market. All of us have had trouble finding perfect fitting clothes! So we decided to tackle bra design, there was a huge gap in the market. We created a bra that would adapt to a woman's breast size changes and be 10x more comfortable, and we ended up winning the competition. It was great that we were able to to use our multidisciplinary backgrounds to solve this problem.
Where did the name come from? It sounds regal and couture...
Leen: Thank you, Anesi means comfort in greek.
So no one heard of technology and lingerie matching up together, can you give us your elevator pitch.
Steph: Of courses, House of Anesi is a lingerie tech startup based in Toronto. Anesi means comfort in greek, and our mission is to create products that improve the health and wellness of women. The Anesi bra is our first product, using 3D printing, advanced fabrics and biocompatible gels to create a bra that adapts up to two cups and two band sizes.
Leen, as an industrial engineer, is bra development something you’ve been dreaming about your whole career?
Leen: Not really, I don’t think I ever thought I would be in the lingerie industry. But I was always interested in fashion, technology and engineering, and I always wanted to combine my passion. This has been the perfect way to create a product that is in all my interests.
Jacob, did you or do you get teased for being a founder in the lingerie space at all? Do people/investors challenge your involvement? And in what way?
Jacob: The general public always asks, but our network is really supportive. when some of our customers ask, anytime I let them know what I do at Anesi from the problem-solving side, product development, 3D printing, patent filing process, they generally understand. So there is very little debate after the explanation regarding my involvement.
What has been the most challenging thing coming together from different disciplines?
Steph: I think our biggest challenge was to adjust to each others thinking styles, and honestly it has been our biggest advantage as well. We approach design solutions very differently, and it helps us create better products and services for our consumer.
From finding great fitting clothes, How did the concept for the Anesi bra come about?
Leen: We wanted to solve a problem in the market and, the bra is a garment that hasn’t been touched or innovated and improved in years. Personally, I have struggled with my bras, and Steph has struggled with hers as well.
My mom is going through menopause, and I have heard the complaints. Its been a roller coaster at home. It all leads down to that our breasts change in size due to menopause, period, losing and gaining weight, so we wanted to solve a problem in the market.
Steph: I never dreamed of making bras in my life, but I have always had the urge to empower women. I used to have the best role model growing up; my Greek grandmother. That woman was everything, she was a wonder women. When I was 9 years old, she got breast cancer. I didn’t know what breast cancer was, I saw her lose her hair and she got her mastectomy, but she never showed me any fear or sadness. She was always smiling and laughing, and after her mastectomy, she would make jokes about her one boob and tell me to know that one of her boobs is missing, I can hear her heart beat better. A few years later he cancer speared to Ovarian, Lung, Bone and Brain Cancer. She had cancer for 10 years, and throughout this time, she took care of everyone. She was and is the strongest person I know, and I wish one day I can be as half as strong as she was. For me, Anesi is a tribute to her and everything she has done.
Why is having the right bra so important?
Steph: When you find your perfect bra, your confidence boosts up. It's a physical and emotional advantage that you can get.
And on that topic, can you tell us about the sold-out event you guys hosted last year?
Leen: Our first event was called “Appreciating your Boobies 101”, and it was hosted in Toronto. It was an amazing night, we started the conversation about breast health and how society standards affect the way women view and love their boobs and bodies. We are planning a 2.0 in on May 23rd, so if you are in Toronto stay tuned.
Are bras going to be the only thing you produce?
Jacob: Definitely not, the Anesi Bra is our starting point. This is not the last thing you will see from us. We want to create more products both physical and digital that can improve women’s health and wellness. We want to partner with institutions and research labs that really focus on why breast health is important.
That’s super amazing! It sounds like you have a lot coming, Why now?
Steph: We believe that every woman has the right to start her day brimming with confidence. Worrying about ‘spilling out’, ‘wardrobe malfunctions’, or tender boobies when you’re hormonal is all bullshit that men don’t have to deal with, so why should we?
And where can our listeners purchase the Anesi bra?
Steph: You can join our waitlist here >> JOIN
And just like the Anesi bra, this podcast is going to be inclusive, supportive and liberating! Can you tell us what we can look forward to hearing in the forthcoming episodes?
Steph: We have planned a podcats that will be specifically about breast health and societies issues. We will dive deep into breast changes, breast diseases, breast health, perimenopause, and body images When it comes to breast health, there is so much more than breast cancer out there. Women suffer a lot of problems and we want to shine a light on them.
Alright, that’s all folks.
- Joella Almeida