When SweetNothingsNYC, MissUnderpinnings and I told one of the swap workers on Saturday that she could wear a 32F, we were each a little jealous. “There are so many great styles that come in your size!” we congratulated her.

Those great styles in her size include the Peony line of chemises (pictured above) from the new lingerie brand, Real Girls Lingerie. Sarah Colnic, its founder, contributed hair ties to the Busty Clothing Swap goody bags, each one sewn from the leftover scraps of dotted taupe and ice blue silk charmeuse used to create her chemises.The fabric feels even more beautiful in person than it looks on the Real Girls website. (Read through to the end to find out how you can receive your own silk charmeuse hair tie, plus Soak and Forever New samples, if you live in the United States!)

The woman we helped size into a 32F on Saturday can also wear one of these soft mesh camis from Sarah’s Zinia collection:

Other than the Claudette bras on her website, Sarah designs each piece of lingerie and has everything manufactured in Los Angeles.

She has taken a very practical approach to sizing. Over the phone the other day, she described a decision that most self-funded niche start-ups face: whether to provide multiple styles in several fabrics and colors but fewer sizes, or to provide many sizes in fewer styles. Because of her love for pretty things, she went with multiple fabrics and colors. Even so, her size range is pretty extensive–cup sizes run from a B through an F (American/French sizes) and waists from 28″ to 36.5″.*  Her current styles work best on hourglass and pear shapes.  She plans to add more sizes over time, so if your measurements aren’t represented by her size chart, it isn’t that she doesn’t consider you a “real girl”. She simply hasn’t gotten to you yet.

With the recent outcry against using “real” to describe subgroups of women (because “all women are real”), I asked if she had received any pushback on her company name. Not yet, she told me. She uses “real” in the sense of being natural whatever your bust size, but she’s just as happy to work with women who have had enhancements and reductions as with women who have had no work done. She also has a special place in her heart for B+ cup “mommies who are saggier than they want to be”. She has found that all women want the lift provided by the underwires and adjustable back straps in her Peony collection. Her pieces are meant to be both a physical and an emotional perk.

Sarah currently works full time running two businesses. Not only is she the founder of Real Girls, but she is also a process improvement consultant. When she decided to quit her old job to start Real Girls, her consulting clients refused to let her go, so she also began her own consulting company.  It sounds exhausting, right? As so many entrepreneurs have found, now that she’s doing what she loves, she doesn’t mind the intense work. When she worked for an employer, she traveled all 52 weeks of the year. When we spoke, she hadn’t traveled for business in 18 months.

I’ll be updating today’s post with a Real Girls 15% discount code exclusive to Hourglassy readers soon, but in the meantime, do you want your own Real Girls hair tie made out of the silk charmeuse used to create the Peony chemises? How about free samples of Soak and Forever New lingerie wash (made possible by Soak, Forever New and Lion’s Lair Designs)? Be one of the first 25 readers in the United States to email me the following information (yes, I’m doing market research), and I’ll send one of each to you this week:

  • Whether you prefer an ice blue or dotted taupe hair tie, and whether you’re fine with either color if your preference is no longer available (if you only want a certain color and it is no longer available, I won’t send you anything);
  • Your mailing address;
  • The following sentence: “I am willing for my email address to be included in the mailing lists of Real Girls Lingerie, Lion’s Lair Designs, and Campbell & Kate.”; and
  • Fill in the blanks: “I am _______ years old and I work as a ________________.”

I look forward to hearing from you! Email your answers to me at darlene [at] hourglassy [dot] com!

*I’ve sent her a follow-up question asking why the standard and large cup measurements are identical and hope to update this post with her answer soon.