As Renelle Braaten sat watching her teammates hustle during a volleyball match, she knew she should be cheering, but she felt like screaming. If only manufacturers made a decent sports bra for large breasted women, I'd be on the court instead of sitting her in pain, she thought. But the best garment she'd been able to find her had thin elastic straps that let her large breasts bounce all over the place. "Just minutes into a game, my back would start spasming," she recalls. "I felt neglected and offended. Did companies think women like me couldn't be physically fit?" When the discomfort disabled her for weeks, causing the pounds to pile, Renelle vowed to make her own bra.
"I played without pain"
Determined, Renelle enlisted the help of her seamstress mom. Together they whipped up a prototype featuring wide nonelastic crisscross straps and a full back. "I wore it to volleyball practice, and when I lasted the entire session I was thrilled. " Before long she was sewing bras for her large-breasted teammates. Like Renelle, many went on to lose weight, thanks to the bra, which made it so easy to exercise.
"Helping women feels great"
Today Renelle is in the best shape of her life, and she owns and operates Enell (enell.com), the company that makes her sports bra. "I wanted to help as many women as possible because I know how it feels to find something comfortable that works," she says. And judging by Enell's success, it's clear she's won lots of grateful fans who know first-hand that physical fitness comes in all sizes.