Meet Sophia: The Force Behind Our High-Tech Bras
Trusst is incredibly proud to be a female-owned (and operated!) business, and we strive to be a company of women that lifts other women up. For today’s blog post, we wanted to interview our amazing founder and CEO, Sophia Berman, about what inspires her and how she’s using Trusst to revolutionize comfortable and supportive bras for D+ women everywhere.
What inspired you to create Trusst?
A need for change and a desire to do something out of the ordinary to affect women’s lives. I have a background in industrial design, and I’m always looking for uncommon ways to solve problems, as well as to pursue my passion for supporting women. After chatting with my family and friends, I started noticing how difficult it was to find a well-fitting bra, and in particular, how few comfortable and supportive bras for curvier women were out there. Even though the lingerie industry has changed a lot over the last few decades, the physical technology still remains virtually the same.
I saw an opportunity to create an innovative bra design that would revolutionize bras for the D+ woman, and, after some serious brainstorming, was inspired to use the truss bridge structure as our primary design inspiration. It made perfect sense: Like the truss bridge structure, our bras would lift the weight from underneath, rather than from above, to maximize comfort and all-day relief. I really wanted to create something different that would provide support and comfort in a new way.
Can you describe the process of starting your own company?
I started working on Trusst in 2014. I was incredibly fortunate to have the opportunity to join an accelerator, AlphaLab Gear, in Pittsburgh, who provided Trusst with office space, funding, and mentorship to help form and grow a company. We spent about two years in research and development before we launched our first collection, and this wouldn’t have been possible in such a short amount of time without the support of ALG. Because of them, we were able to focus on one task – creating the BAST™ system – without much interruption.
Overall, the process of starting Trusst required a lot of diligence and hard work. It took over 300 prototypes, hours of testing, and tons of real customer feedback to arrive at our current structure. There are amazing days, when I make a lot of progress on a task or find great people to work with, and there are the not-so-amazing days, when I need to remember to just power through, one step in front of the other. It’s definitely been a long ride, but it has all been worth it to get to this point and to be able to see a bright future ahead of us!
How do Trusst bras differ from other bras?
Beyond the fact that Trusst offers sizes that aren’t usually available at traditional lingerie stores (from 32DD up to a 46F), our bras are radically different from other bras because of Trusst’s technical approach to bra design -- and because of our passion and personal connection to our customers as a women-owned business.
Our BAST™ system has revolutionized bra design. It counterbalances breast weight from underneath and replaces the underwire in a traditional bra, eliminating common problems like wires that dig into your ribcage, as well as back and neck strain. And it doesn’t stop there: Every detail in our bras is engineered to provide maximum satisfaction. We use a high-tech jersey lining that’s antimicrobial, moisture-wicking, and cooling so that our clients never have to worry about boob sweat again!
But I think the biggest reason our company is so unique is because of how much we prioritize customer satisfaction. By exclusively focusing on developing the most comfortable and supportive bras for the D+ woman, we’ve invested in an incredible and diverse community of women. And it’s paid off -- customers who visit our Pittsburgh headquarters almost always leave wearing their new Trusst bra, and we have an 80% purchase rate after try-on. We’ve seen astounding growth since last year, and our company is continually expanding.
What’s your favorite thing about working at Trusst?
My favorite thing about working at Trusst is the fact that there are so many different things to do every day. Running a startup means that things change all the time, which is awesome because you can be flexible, but it also means that you have to stay on your toes and keep up with the rapid-fire changes that need to be made. I’m also lucky that I have an amazing team working with me. It’s very inspiring!
What are some of the biggest challenges you’ve faced as a female CEO?
Funding has been a big challenge, but I know that can be a big challenge for any new CEO trying to grow a brand. As a female entrepreneur, I’ve heard a lot of “no’s” over the past few years, and that’s been difficult. But then when I get that “yes,” it’s an amazing feeling. Finding people who believe in Trusst’s mission and products and who want to invest their time and resources to help the company grow is an amazing feeling.
What inspires you to keep creating?
Happy customers. Great feedback. Women asking for more products, colors, and styles.
Our jobs are all about helping and supporting women to feel their best, and it’s incredibly inspiring when we hear their thoughts on our products and technology. Whether they are positive or critical, those comments inspire us to keep innovating and designing that perfect style! We've heard from women that they've postponed breast reduction surgery after finding Trusst, and we receive feedback about a reduction in back and shoulder pain all the time. Knowing that what we’re doing is actually making a difference is incredibly rewarding and motivating.
What are some of the things you’re looking forward to at Trusst?
We have so many things in the works...I can’t share too much just yet, but I promise it’ll all be really exciting. I’m so excited about launching new products (see below!) and growing the team. We’re always looking for passionate, talented people to join us. It’s really fun to add new personalities and skill-sets to our current ensemble!
Lastly, what’s your Favorite Trusst bra?
Her pick: My favorite bra is from our newest collection, Naomi. The Naomi comes in a range of colors and has been meticulously designed to reflect much of the customer feedback we’ve received. We’ve added a side-mesh feature to make our bras supportive yet breathable, and we’ve added double-adjustable straps with a J-hook for even more versatility. I can’t wait for the launch of this style mid-August!
We’re so excited to continue inspiring -- and being inspired by -- you. Keep visiting this space to read more about the female leaders who motivate us and to find out more about the new products and revolutionary D+ bra technology we’re bringing to women across the U.S.!