(Filed Under wholesale Mastectomy News). Farrell Friedenberg and Hope Bear, owners of Jay Ann Intimates, which is fully accredited as a provider and fitter of post-mastectomy items, have seen many positive changes in the category this fall.
“As of the end of this past September, in order to be fully reimbursed for her post-mastectomy products by her insurance company, a woman must shop at a fully-accredited facility [like Jay Ann Intimates],” said Friedenberg. “This is a really positive step for the market, because consumers can now be assured the same quality of care across the board.”
Another positive step, said the two, is that many vendors in the market are now producing products in a growing variety of colors and styles. Currently, post-mastectomy intimates account for approximately 50 percent of the retailer’s merchandise and sales.
“The styles are getting better all of the time,” Friedenberg commented. “Over the last few years, there really has been a remarkable amount of improvement [in what is offered]. Now there are exercise and swim forms, camisoles, swimsuits, and even sleepwear. [Additionally], the bras available are getting much more fashion-forward [...]This is particularly important because women are being more proactive with their health and as a result more and more younger women are undergoing surgeries and becoming survivors.”
They named Anita International and Amoena as their top-selling brands in the category, and named $40 as the average price point for a post-mastectomy bra.
They added that vendors have begun catering to a greater variety of ethnicities by adding tawny and mocha shades in their forms and bras, and many have also increased their size ranges. “Vendors are realizing that this is something that affects the entire community, not just one segment of the population,” Bear said.
According to Bear and Friedenberg, women who have undergone mastectomies, lumpectomies or reconstructive surgeries are entitled to at least four bras per year (depending upon their insurance coverage), and one silicone form every other year. The two work continually to educate all women so that they are well informed about their rights and benefits.
“Its amazing how many healthcare providers aren’t even aware that their patients are entitled to these services,” Bear remarked. “We try to educate as many women as possible—including those who may know of someone who has undergone breast surgery. It is important for all women to be informed about their individual benefits.”
They also recommend that women be re-fit once a year “since the body can change,” and remind customers that post-mastectomy products are about more than improving one’s appearance.
“Its really important for a woman who has undergone one of these procedures to wear a bra and a form, because often times the weight is not evenly distributed on her chest wall and that can cause discomfort,” Friedenberg explained. “We are meant to have weight evenly distributed on our chestwall. If this is not the case, one can suffer neck and back pain as well as the rolling of a shoulder.”
And educating the women is made easier by the positive environment of the store, according to the two, because it offers the ambiance that only a lingerie shop can.
“We take a lot of time to make sure [our post-mastectomy customers] walk out looking good and feeling good,” Friedenberg said . “It’s a really great, nurturing environment to walk into.”
Jay Ann Intimates is located in Huntington Pennsylvania. For further information, call (215) 942-0120.
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