Rebecca Aughton has been in the bra business for the better part of two decades. To say she's an expert on sizing, support, and customer service is an understatement. The owner of Bra~vo Intimates has been outfitting ladies with perfectly fitting undergarments out of her Royal Oak boutique for the past 14 years and she has customers around the world.
According to Aughton, the secret is in the size. And sizes are something she has plenty of.
"We carry 160 sizes and in those sizes we have several categories — T-shirt bras, nursing bras, fashion bras, strapless bras, sports bras," she says. "We stock up to an N cup and 28 to 46 in band sizes."
But when Aughton says "size," she means more than what the tag on the bra says. She and her employees spend up to an hour with each customer in order to get them a bra that fits perfectly.
"We spend, on average, 45 minutes to an hour on an introductory appointment. We do measurements and then try on several types of bras until we get the perfect fit," Aughton says. "A lot of women will come in with shoulder issues, neck issues, and all that stems from wearing an ill-fitting bra, so we spend a good 15 minutes on education. We educate them about all the different types of bras and what you might wear each for."
According to Aughton, even ladies who've been measured before probably aren't wearing the right bra.
"Ninety-nine percent of people who walk through the door are wearing the wrong size bra," she says. "Your bra is the most technical garment you wear besides your shoes." So, if you step foot inside Bra~vo, you're getting measured. There's no two ways about it.
A stop into Bra~vo also won't come without having a hearty chat with the affable and talkative Aughton. But getting to know her customers is likely what keeps her business booming. Though some of her clients have moved as far away as Thailand and New Zealand, they're still shopping for their underoos on the boutique's website.
Aughton stocks about 20 bra brands, but you won't find any sleepwear or lingerie in the store. Instead, she chooses to focus on undergarments as well as bra-sized swimwear, which she carries in 70 sizes starting at DD. Staying true to the store's named has helped it become one of the biggest of its kind in the region.
"We're one of the largest bra shops in the Midwest. And we're right here in little old Royal Oak," says Aughton. "I consider us the Detroit bra resource."