is it just me?
from tears in a changing room:
turning a grump into a plan
millie's story, told by Sue Pringle
millie's story, told by Sue Pringle
Sue Pringle is the Founder of millie lingerie. She was diagnosed with breast cancer at the age of 40, undergoing a mastectomy and reconstruction after two inconclusive lumpectomies, and a further lumpectomy 10 years later, following a recurrence on the same side.
Sue, like thousands of other women, soon realised how difficult it was to find a bra [any bra] after her last surgery, because she needed to wear a breast prosthesis, and experienced permanently sensitive scar tissue. Sue just wasn't satisfied with her choices, and decided to turn her grump into a business.
Sue is a mother of two wonderful girls, now fully grown. She's had long, successful career in product development and marketing, with retailers including Clarks, Boots and Interflora. She led the team that launched luxury cosmetics and fragrance at Boots.com, where her boss once asked: "If you can get this passionate about a lipstick Sue, imagine what you could achieve if you really gave a damn?" She does.
Meet Millie, Sue's maternal grandmother. She was a gentle, kind, and loving woman and mother to 9 children. Sue is one of her 27 grandchildren, and has lost count of the next two generations. Sue says, "I chose to honour her because she was a quiet, gentle force in my early life, and taught me to find a smile, even when I didn't feel like smiling."
"I have a photograph of my grandparents taken at their Golden Wedding anniversary 25+ years ago; it sits behind my bedroom curtains, and I greet them with "Hello" and a smile each morning, and wonder what they'd have made of all this. They created quite a legacy together [frisky devils] - this business is to create a legacy for my daughters."
Laura is a designer with a rare blend of talents. From the first moment she met with Sue in a busy coffee shop in Leicester, she has wholeheartedly embraced the wants and wishes of the women she's designing for.
Her greatest skill has been to articulate the 'wish list' Sue has accumulated during her ongoing research, and sensitively bring this to life, injecting true spirit into the design to mirror what she's witnessed in each woman who's engaged in the design process with us.
Laura's successful career in the lingerie industry includes designing for High St and Designer brands alike, and uniquely qualifies her to design the full wardrobe of millie bras women have told us they want and need. Both Sue & Laura can't wait to get started working on the launch collection.
Laura says: "millie is the most considered work I have ever undertaken, but considered doesn't even do it justice. The amount of influences on the garment from every angle is astonishing."
Tony is Sue's mentor and advisor, and has been working with Sue for over a year now. Tony has extensive expertise and success in the lingerie industry, and a track record which includes Head of Sales and Marketing at Triumph, and MD for Gossard UK for 6 years until his recent retirement.
Tony brings insight and experience to each stage of the process, he's tested and validated many of Sue's assumptions, adding gravitas to a new venture he believes can and will succeed.
Tony says, "It is such a joy to work with someone so inspirational as Sue. She shows real passion and determination in her desire to 'make a difference' to the lives of so many women. This is clearly being shown in the work she has already put into developing this unique bra. Sue thoroughly deserves to succeed in her end goal of making women feel confident again after breast cancer."
NTU is a dynamic university that truly embraces entrepreneurship and local enterprise. The breadth of support our venture has received from NTU is endless; the Thank You we owe is immense.
The Left Lion is a famous landmark in Nottingham, and an aptly named arts and culture magazine, who have helped to create our Kickstarter project video. It's been a true adventure, from story board to final cut. Special thanks to Georgi, Natalie, and Jared.
Molly graduated from Nottingham Trent University in 2016 with a BA Hons in Fashion Marketing Communications. Molly has been creating our stylish brand graphics, and capturing some of our informal photography moments.
Rebecca is also a Nottingham Trent Fashion Marketing graduate, currently studying her MA in Commercial Photography. Many of the photographs you see here were shot by Rebecca in the studio at NTU, where she has helped us to develop our style.
Jonathan is the MD of Picture Studios Ltd, and has lent his support to our venture by shooting our first professional product images, which are simply superb, and usually beyond the reaches of a startup venture like ours.
a small selection of some of the features about millie to date
"These brands will change your perception of mastectomy lingerie"
"Breast cancer survivors designs own range of fashionable post-surgery bras"
Sue and journalist Sian Williams 'met' on Twitter, and their conversation ended up in Sian's book, Rise