Andrea Munk, a local mother of two and breast cancer survivor, offers a bra fitting experience for local women through her business The Cedar Lily Bra Boutique.
Munk spent her entire young adulthood guessing her bra size and wearing ill-fitting bras.
“For a long time I didn’t know my correct bra size, I would go department stores, try stuff on and guess what size I was,” said Munk.
After going for a correct bra fitting in her early 30s, Munk discovered that her bra size was a 28G.
“I started to finally feel good and be supported. It’s too bad it took so long to figure that out,” she shared.
After having a difficult time finding a nursing bra that would fit her, she discovered that she could turn a regular bra into a nursing bra with easy-to-use magnetic clasps.
Realizing that she wasn’t the only one with this struggle, she began offering that service to other nursing moms in Guelph. She now offers bra fitting for women of all shapes and sizes, along with conversions for nursing mothers.
In early 2014, Munk discovered a lump in her breast. At the time she was still nursing her youngest daughter, and the doctor dismissed her concerns and told her that the lump was probably a blocked duct.
By August 2014 Munk had an official breast cancer diagnosis, and eventually underwent a double mastectomy, chemotherapy, and radiation.
“I had to wean my daughter in order to start chemotherapy. It was so heartbreaking to have to stop nursing her; we both really wanted to nurse but I just couldn’t,” shared an emotional Munk.
By April 2015 Munk had already underwent six rounds of chemotherapy and a double mastectomy, and was travelling daily to Hamilton’s Juravinski Cancer Centre for radiation. Munk decided to stop in to a Mompreneur event and became inspired to pursue her business.
“I heard that I needed to get in front of my target market. I was undergoing radiation, had just had chemo, a double mastectomy, and had two young kids. But I needed to go to the Baby Time Show, which was happening in two weeks, and get everything together in a short time,” shared Munk.
Munk ended up getting everything ready for the show, and within one year she was selling nursing bra conversion kits in 25 different boutiques across Canada.
Within the last year, Munk has focused on offering bra fitting for women of every shape and size.
Customers can come in for a complimentary bra fitting, purchase a bra, and if they are nursing Munk will offer to convert the bra to a nursing bra, for an additional fee. She also offers to convert bathing suits and dresses for nursing mothers.
“I carry a full range of sizes, from about 32A to 52I, and get whatever people need,” said Munk.
She sells a variety of different brands, including Wonderbra, Bali, Glamourise and Triumph, and the average cost of each bra is typically between $50 and $60.
“My prices are much lower than speciality stores,” she added.
Munk also offers bra fitting parties, where a group of five or more women can gather in Munk’s home and have a party with refreshments and receive a 20 per cent discount on their bra.
Munk said that she decided to go into this business at first to help other women in their breastfeeding journey.
“Part of me wanted to continue facilitating other people’s breastfeeding journeys, because mine got cut short. I wanted to continue making it possible and easier for people to breastfeed,” she said.
“Now that I am further away from that, when I do a fitting for someone it’s more about helping them feel good about what they’re wearing, and not have the experience that I had of stress and not having any help. I want it to be an enjoyable experience,” Munk added.
Munk said that she is extremely grateful for the support and encouragement from her clients and the community as she has built her unique business and overcome many obstacles to get where she is.