As a mom and an entrepreneur, this profile is near and dear to my heart. The Belly Bandit has given women a way to build confidence right after they give birth.The idea happened when the inventor, Lori Caden, gave birth in 2005. She had just given birth and the kindness of a stranger asking to help what he thought was a pregnant Caden carry her cat food led to this product. Caden had given birth the week before and that chance encounter created a product that is available in 900 stores and 55 countries. I had the opportunity to speak with Lori about the Belly Bandit, how it works and how the Belly Bandit fits into the debate about the ideal of beauty for women.
LC: “Can you give me a little information on your Pre-Bandit background”?
Caden: “Pre-Bandit days seem a bit hazy!!! I have been in the product and marketing world since the day I graduated college. I own a promotional products (swag) company, Caden Concepts. You name it; we printed anything with your name and logo on it (except money)”.
LC: “Should women look at your product as the answer to post pregnancy weight loss”?
Caden: “The Belly Bandit (aka: your BFF post delivery) is a compression belly wrap that helps tighten and shrink you belly post pregnancy. It accelerates the healing process, helps with water retention, back support (especially moms who are breast feeding) and best of all you’ll to get back in your skinny jeans the natural way.
LC: “You’ve created tanks, pants and a breast product around this idea, are there any new products on the horizon”?
Caden: “My mind does not rest so yes there will always be new ideas and items on the horizon. I can’t talk about them just yet but we are constantly searching for solutions to alleviate discomfort during after pregnancy.
LC: “Have or will there be any improvements to the product”?
Caden: “We take the feedback from our new mommies very seriously. With their comments and suggestions in mind are always looking for ways to improve and better our products. For example, we created the BFF in response to moms WHO want two modes of compression instead of one and found that the regular body band didn’t fit well on their shorter waists”.
LC: “ In my research the inability to size properly comes up a lot, how is that being handled”?
Caden: “Many women tend to match up small, medium, and large to their regular clothing sizes when in fact you must measure the belly around the belly button in your 8th month of pregnancy to properly determine the right size. The information is on our site but people seem to miss it so we are trying to draw more attention to this and are in the process of shooting another sizing video with our next Celeb partner.
This step by step sizing video will show how the Belly Bandit looks when it’s too large on your body, too small or “just right”. This will take any guessing out of the equation”.
LC: “Your website shows a lot of celebrity testimonials, how has that helped your product”?
Caden: “Celebrities tend to have access to the best procedures money can buy and having them elect to choose our product over surgery, diet pills and other bands shows consumers the validity of our product. It certainly helps, but the best endorsers are just regular moms letting other regular moms know about their successful experiences with us”.
LD: “There is a lot of historical information about binding on your site, how did that affect the credibility of your product”?
Caden: “It demonstrates that people have been practicing compression garments for centuries and America seems to have missed the boat on this. It’s similar to the introduction and assimilation of acupuncture into mainstream society”.
LC: “What parts of this product was the OB/GYN consulted on and how did that influence this product”? Caden: “My first question to Dr. Jay was, “Does compression binding really work”? Getting that “Yes” from him jumpstarted our product (along with his knowledge of all the medical facts).
LC: “If you could change anything about this product, what would it be”?
Caden: “We are always changing and evolving as a company -this is how our current Belly bandit (the “BFF” was born). By listening to the needs of women with all different body types- short waisted, those with hour glass figures. We didn’t want to leave any BODY out!
LC: “What’s your response to the thought that this product emphasizes how a mother looks more so than motherhood itself”?
Caden: “I feel that we (as new mothers) get a bit neglected right after child birth -and for me this was one of the most vulnerable times in my life. I remember being at Target a few days after I delivered and thinking, “ok there is the maternity section; here is the newborn section -but what about a body after baby section so I can feel good about myself”?
LC: “Do you think this product feeds into the unfair demands placed on women to fit a stereotypical type of beauty”?
Caden: “No, I think we offer a solution to an already existing problem. The Belly Bandit helps women look good and feel more confident about their body post pregnancy. (It’s much safer and much more cost effective than a tummy tuck!)”.
Businesses are often born out of necessity and the Belly Bandit is a great example of how need turned into innovation leading to great success. Well Done!