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It's a Bra!

How one woman gave birth to a $100,000 product

This story appears in the April 2001 issue of Entrepreneur. Subscribe »

Some people get sympathy pains when they're around pregnant women. Linda Turner got a business idea: to create lingerie that, as she describes it, "doesn't make a pregnant woman feel like a cow." The 49-year-old Golden, Colorado, entrepreneur conceived the idea for the Bellybra while in an exercise class. "I was watching a woman who was hugely pregnant holding up her belly and thought, 'There must be something out there to help her.'"

But after a patent search, countless conversations with pregnant women and tons of research, Turner found there wasn't. "I sewed a bit, so I went to Wal-Mart, bought a jog bra and a heavy girdle and put together a crude prototype," she says. "It was the most ridiculous-looking thing I'd ever seen, but it worked. One of my pregnant friends wore it, and she loved it."

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