Despite the fact that my lingerie drawer may signal otherwise, I honestly don’t enjoy bra shopping. I actually have so many because rather than return the ill-fitting ones, I just keep them to avoid having to interact with a salesperson who might get up close and personal with my chest. I always order my bras online, but even after all these years it’s still very much hit or miss.
Enter ThirdLove, the amazing new site that not only offers bras in half sizes (yes, for real!), but also has a killer “try before you buy” policy. Just pay the shipping fee and you’ll get ThirdLove’s wildly popular 24/7 bra shipped right to you. You then have 30 days–yes a full month!–to put it to the test. If you don’t love it, just send it back. But I have a feeling you, like the thousands of other converts, are definitely going to love it.
I could go on and on about why ThirdLove is one of my new favorite sites, but I’d rather give you the chance to meet Heidi Zak, the super smart founder behind ThirdLove. Get to know her below:
SHEfinds: Tell us a little about yourself. Have you always been an entrepreneur?
Heidi Zak: My background is a blend of retail and technology, but yes, I have always had plenty of ambition and the drive to solve problems. I spent 4 years at Aeropostale in New York City, launching and operating their international business. Then I came out to the San Francisco and took a role at Google focused on marketing to large retail companies. Both roles allowed me understand opportunities in traditional retail models that could be created by using technology to design better products and create a better shopping experience.
SF: Tell us about ThirdLove. Why did you feel compelled to start this company? How did you come up with the name?
HZ: Most women hate shopping for bras, and I was no exception. I disliked the whole process–finding time to get to a store, getting measured by a stranger, trying on lots of overpriced bras. Finally I thought, there’s got to be a way to use technology to make bra shopping easier and more fun. ThirdLove started with lingerie because shopping for bras is not only frustrating, it’s a private process. It’s not a social shopping experience like shopping for a dress, so it’s actually the perfect category to bring online.
As for the name ThirdLove, when a woman truly loves an item of clothing, it’s because it hits all three points–style, fit and feel (comfort). We strive to do that with each and every bra, which is why we named the company “ThirdLove.”
SF: If you had sum up ThirdLove’s true value to women in a few words, what would you say?
HZ: The perfect fit and style for every modern woman.
SF: ThirdLove offers half cup sizes–how did you discover this was even a thing?
HZ: After we launched we spent the next year developing our iPhone app, which uses patented technology to provide a simple virtual sizing process that calculates a woman’s precise measurements, and she is presented with the perfect size and style of bra, all without having to leave the comfort of home. All this app data revealed a pattern–we realized that traditional bra sizing wasn’t serving countless women (50%!) whose breast sizes weren’t ‘standard’, whatever that means. We had a new mission, and set out to design bras that would really fit real women. The full line is available online and in the app, both in traditional full sizes as well as ThirdLove’s exclusive half sizes, to ensure a superior fit and level of support.
SF: What are some of the bestselling products on ThirdLove? Any insights as to why?
HZ: Our best-selling 24/7™ memory foam bra represents 35% of our sales and has a return rate of under 10%. Our customers tell us that this bra is “the one” they’ve been searching for, and even that it’s so comfortable they can sleep in it. It’s been so successful that we’ve actually rolled out an entire new 24/7™ collection with new styles, color and additional sizes, and we also launched our “Try Before Buying” program, which lets customers try our flagship 24/7™ T-shirt Bra for free, just paying for up-front shipping. They have 30 days to fall in love (and they do!), and can keep it for $68 or send it back at no cost.
SF: What’s next for you? For ThirdLove?
HZ: For me, I’ve recently taken up surfing, and am loving life as a mom to my two kids (my son Zak just joined us in February!). For ThirdLove, more styles, more sizes and (eventually) more categories.
SF: If you weren’t running ThirdLove, what would you be doing?
HZ: I’m a huge foodie, so I’ve always had a secret dream of being a food critic.