Local Biz Limelight: Lunnie offers products exclusively for postpartum audience

Nicole Mistretta

October 12, 2021

Dayton Business Journal: After the birth of her second child, Sarah Kallile was frustrated with the frumpy, big, matronly look of her nursing bra, a necessity for many moms postpartum.

Determined to find an alternative, Kallile sought the advice of friends who admitted to feeling similarly. In a state of curiosity, she sent a survey to friends and family who shared the link online. It spread quickly and, suddenly, Kallile had hundreds of responses echoing her experience and displeasure.

“I found that 84% of moms are dissatisfied with their nursing bras, which is ridiculous,” Kallile said. “A mom is wearing a garment for years on her body 24/7 that she doesn't like. This is a huge problem.”

That was Kallile’s light-bulb moment. She set out to create Lunnie, a brand focused on postpartum products to make moms feel pretty and powerful in what is often called the fourth trimester.

Kallile said brands often don’t pay attention to the postpartum phase because its invisible compared to the easily seen maternity phase of pregnancy. This lack of attention on the mother, which shifts entirely to the baby after birth, makes for a stressful recovery.

The pandemic heightened postpartum depression that leaves moms in isolation with little to no unity. Kallile felt the difference for herself between her 2018 and 2020 pregnancies.

“There's nothing more beautiful and strong than birthing a baby and moms often feel at their lowest low in postpartum because there's just so many taboo things that aren't talked about,” Kallile said. “Moms don't have necessarily the support they need, especially breastfeeding moms. Not having the right products and things to wear can hamper your breastfeeding experience.”

Lunnie will launch its first nursing bra in January 2022. The bra, to be offered only in soft pink at launch, is meant to be a chic, everyday bra for comfort, made from high quality, sustainable fabrics with a leak proof component, manufactured by Columbus Apparel Studio.

Presales are expected to open later this winter, closer to release. Nursing bras in additional colors and styles, such as pump bras, will launch in the second quarter of 2022.

“My hope is being able to not only create superior products but also to empower and support moms and take out some of the mystery around the postpartum experience and making it known for moms feel more prepared,” Kallile said.

Currently, Kallile runs Lunnie alone but continues to seek the advice of her original survey participants in a private Facebook group for major decisions, ideas and prototype comments.

“It's been really gratifying to see the engagement and enthusiasm for Lunnie,” Kallile said. “I am really grateful to the mom community here and across the country.”

Lunnie will remain online only, using referrals as a pushing force in continued business. Kallile said she expects to participate in pop-up shops but does not intend to open a traditional retailing space.

In March 2021, Lunnie won the Female Founder Collective’s Big Pitcher competition winning its $10,000 prize and additional resources, including use of a public relations agency to help with the 2022 launch.

Read the full article here: https://www.bizjournals.com/dayton/inno/stories/profiles/2021/10/12/local-biz-limelight-lunnie.html