Liz Talks Podcast, Episode 28: Bras, thongs, and first layers that don’t cause misery with Ali Schwebel

 (What IS “clean fabric, anyway?”) Liz talks about her new obsession: the Vibrant Body Company’s safe, clean, underwire-free bras (that still look amazing!) with CEO Ali Schwebel! (Plus: be witness to a blossoming friendship in realtime!)

Vibrant has 3 first-layer products: bras, underwear, and soft-like-butter tanks that are made with comfort, health, AND look in mind. If you’ve worn nothing but sports bras for the last 2 years (and maybe even more so if you haven’t!) this episode is for you!

Liz Talks Episode 28

  • Introducing Ali Schwebel [5:18]
  • Structure of the bras [19:08]
  • The fitting process [26:33]
  • Future product plans [35:02]
  • A little TV talk [40:37]
  • Body privilege and clothing sizes [47:52]
  • The affiliate program [55:29]

TRANSCRIPT

Welcome to Liz Talks. I’m Liz, and I’m a nutritional therapy practitioner and best-selling author; but here, I’m 0% professional and 100% mom, spouse, friend, and over-analyzer. We’re going to talk food, beauty, family, fitness, mental health, friendship, marriage, and everything in between in this season of Liz Talks, and I’m so glad you’re along for the ride.

Remember; this is a podcast about thoughts, feelings, and opinions. And I definitely do not give individual, personal, or medical advice. 

This is episode 28, topic: Liz Talks safe, clean bras and the Vibrant Body Company with CEO; Ali Schwebel. 

In case you missed it, last weeks’ episode 27 was about myths in the holistic and conventional space about the sun and sunscreen. And my updated approach to the sun and sun protection. 

Before I begin this podcast, I want to quickly thank Arrowhead Mills for their generous sponsorship of the podcast. Next time you go to the store, I’d love to have you support a company that supports my work and look for Arrowhead Mills products. You can also find them on Vitacost.com. Arrowhead Mills pancake mixes are all we use for our Saturday morning pancake tradition, because I tried all the options, including homemade pancake mix, and none of them were as consistently good or as easy as Arrowhead Mills. They have gluten and gluten-free varieties; so let me know if you try it by tagging me @RealFoodLiz on Instagram.

Today’s episode is so exciting for me, because not only did I find my new favorite bra. So, my breasts are finally happy and not just completely flat pancaked by my sports bras 100% of the time. But I also made a new friend. My guest today and I have been in each other’s orbits here and there at various events, but we never actually connected. But today’s conversation really solidified our personal connection, because we didn’t just talk about bras. We also talked about quite a few other things that I hope you’ll enjoy listening to.

But before I introduce Ali, let me introduce my connection to this amazing company. I have smaller breasts, but the company, of course, serves people across the size spectrum. And they are adding more to that as quickly as they possibly can. But I’ve got small breasts. So I’ve been ok-ish for just wearing a sports bra for most of the last few years. I just don’t love free boobing. My nipples are sensitive, and it just feels like a protected area that I want to have an extra layer over. 

I do think it’s healthy to be without that extra layer at times. I believe it was Katie Bowman who has talked about those ligaments and tissues that make up the breasts. They need the natural movement to stay healthy and perky. In fact, yes, perky. {laughs} But I also have come to really want that extra layer a good percentage of the time. But, in changing out of these stupid sports bras with their stupid pads; I also hate the alternative. Bras are so uncomfortable! And if they’re comfortable, they completely manipulate your natural shape. Or they just give you a weird, wonky shape in the first place. And I’m sure there are elements of the patriarchy to this desire to lift and separate; but I will say, it is the aesthetic that my gaze prefers. So I’m going with it. 

So my guest and I talk about all of this in this very frank and fun conversation. So the reason I found out about the Vibrant Body Company is because my friend, Arsy, told me about it. It’s a company run by a fellow Beautycounter managing director; which is already awesome. But she tried the products, and did a fitting with their expert, Heidi, and said it was just life changing. And though I had long since given up ever having a comfortable bra, that also gave me the look and shape that I wanted, I decided to give it a try. And it was amazing. I just never thought I would be aggressively in favor of any particular bra, but I am! I am in love! 

I did a virtual bra fitting with Heidi at the Vibrant Body Company; which I did not have to get naked for, by the way. So don’t worry. And it gave me so much insight. I got myself the everywhere bra, the shelfy tank, and the thong. And I wish I could literally only wear them at all times. 

Have you ever been this excited about underwear, ever? Probably not. So trust me, you want to try these. And I actually have a page set up for you to go to. You can go to www.RealFoodLiz.com/Vibrant and navigate from there, and then use the code LIZ15 all caps at checkout and you’ll get 15% off your order.

So, let me tell you about my new friend, the CEO of the Vibrant Body Company, Ali Schwebel. Ali has a passion for mission based female focused businesses. She’s an experienced business leader who has successfully worked in senior roles across several industries, including beauty and fashion. And she’s spent the last 7 years doing so as a change advocate, defining clean beauty at Beautycounter. As a top field leader at Beautycounter, Ali has worked with lawmakers to ensure safety of product ingredients and consumer access to transparent labeling while also propelling sales of Beautycounter’s premium category; disruptive product line. 

In 2021 she took her passion to Vibrant Body Company in the role as CEO, with the mission of disrupting the intimates industry and pioneering certified, clean first layers for women. Onto the show with Ali! 

  • Introducing Ali Schwebel [5:18]

Liz Wolfe: Ali Schwebel, welcome to Liz Talks! 

Ali Schwebel: Thank you for having me! I’ve been excited all day waiting for this. 

Liz Wolfe: OH my gosh. I’m really excited about this. And not just because; we’ll talk about the products and everything, too. I’ve never told you this; I would have never had occasion to tell you this. But Ali is my favorite name. Which is very strange, I know. 

Ali Schwebel: Really? 

Liz Wolfe: And you and I have crossed paths at Beautycounter events, because we are both managing directors with Beautycounter. So I’ve crossed paths with you; I’ve seen you. And I actually knew who you were before I found out about Vibrant Body Company. And I was like; man, she’s so cool. And her name is Ali. This is just…

Ali Schwebel: I’ve literally never met anyone who has said that to me before.

Liz Wolfe: Well I’m not entirely surprised about that. 

Ali Schwebel: {laughs} 

Liz Wolfe: Because it’s a very strange thing to say. We actually; we were planning to name my daughter Ali. But we ended up calling her something totally different. Because it just fit; she’s not an Ali. But still, it’s just my absolute favorite name. I think it might go back to the Notebook.

Ali Schwebel: I didn’t even watch that movie. 

Liz Wolfe: OH my gosh. Oh my gosh. It’s just. It’s what’s his name? What’s his name? 

Ali Schwebel: Well. Well I know…

Liz Wolfe: Not Ryan Gosling. Yes! Ryan Gosling. 

Ali Schwebel: Yes it is. 

Liz Wolfe: Right? Yes. Ryan Gosling at his just like peak.

Ali Schwebel: I’m a huge fan of him. For sure. 

Liz Wolfe: Oh my gosh. 

Ali Schwebel: Well my name, Ali, is actually a nickname. So my real name is actually Alexis.

Liz Wolfe: Shut. Up. 

Ali Schwebel: I don’t really know how we got to Ali from that. 

Liz Wolfe: OK. I’m going to just; now everybody is going to know what my daughter’s name is, which is fine. But my daughter’s name is Alexis. 

Ali Schwebel: Stop! 

Liz Wolfe: Uh-huh. 

Ali Schwebel: OK, Liz. We’re obviously meant to be together in some cosmic way.

Liz Wolfe: Clearly. Clearly! What’s your middle name? You don’t have to tell me on the show. 

Ali Schwebel: No. It’s Michele. With one L.

Liz Wolfe: OK. 

Ali Schwebel: It’s my mom’s middle name. 

Liz Wolfe: That is crazy. There are not very many Alexis’.

Ali Schwebel: There are not. Especially since; well I actually am partially Ukrainian, too. So Alexis is actually the male version; it would have been Alexa if they were going to be correct about it. But my mom used to always tell me that she named me after Alexis Smith, the movie star. But I don’t know if that’s necessarily true.

Liz Wolfe: Well that’s ok. Well, so I named my other daughter after one of the actors on the Mary Tyler Moore show. So. {laughing} 

Ali Schwebel: {laughs} 

Liz Wolfe: So I get it on either level. My mom’s name is Alexis. And her grandfather’s name was Alexon. So we just pass it all the way down the line.

Ali Schwebel: That’s a beautiful tradition.

Liz Wolfe: Isn’t that cool? 

Ali Schwebel: Yeah.

Liz Wolfe: I love that. Ok, well I just felt connected with you since always. So I’m just excited to be having this conversation with you today. I’m just really excited that you’re here to talk about your work with Vibrant Body Company, and everything that you all are doing. I want to talk about everything; about the products. I also want to talk about Heidi. I think that’s going to be an important part of the conversation. {laughs} Love Heidi.

So I guess we should just start; I’ll start from the beginning. I wanted to have Ali on the show. She is, as I said before, the CEO of the Vibrant Body Company. And folks who have been with me for a long time know that I kind of started out with food. What you put into your body, being more conscientious about it. Being more thoughtful about it. And thinking about how everything that you put into your body affects you. 

And then from there I started thinking about; well, we’re also putting stuff on our skin. That has to be affecting us. There are plenty of ingredients in skincare that can be transported into circulation that maybe problematic from what they do to the skin cells down to what they do to our hormones. All of that stuff. 

So I kind of thought I had this whole, holistic living thing on lockdown. But then, you come along, and you make me start thinking about my clothing! And it makes so much sense because I’ve said; anything. And people that are trying to figure out how to; what’s the word. Gauge what they really need to swap out and what they maybe can wait on for a little bit. I’ve always said; whatever stays on your skin. Lotion, makeup, serums. That type of thing. Maybe switch that out first before you do shampoo, conditioner, whatever. 

But thinking about the fact that my clothing is touching my skin at all times; the first layer, right, is what you guys call it. 

Ali Schwebel: Yes. 

Liz Wolfe: Yeah. Ok, talk to me about that. How this all came to your consciousness, and why it’s important.

Ali Schwebel: Yeah. It was not in my consciousness either. And I consider myself; I mean, I have been and am with Beautycounter, it’s going to be 8 years in August. So for 8 years, I’ve been thinking about what I’ve been putting on my skin. And I had never really considered what I was putting on from a textile standpoint. Until; and I think this is how it is. Wellness is a journey. And we all start somewhere. And you kind of build. And it would be too overwhelming to do everything at once. So once you get a peek at something else, you’re like; ok. Well now I can slowly add this in. 

And I agree with you on making sure that you’re changing out things that you’re going to have on your skin for a long time. So Vibrant came to me; I’m not the founder of the company. I’m just the CEO. Through the founder, whom I’ve known for quite a while. And actually had done a Beautycounter event with him. Which is very odd; yes, he’s a man. 

Liz Wolfe: {laughs} 

Ali Schwebel: Years ago with Vibrant. And I just remember loving the bras. And then life got busy, and COVID, and it kind of fell off my radar again. And then he came to me this summer, this past summer, to talk about the CEO opportunity. And it just made so much sense to me. Specifically; technically this industry is called intimates. For me, I just don’t like that word. I feel like; that word “intimates” to me invokes the idea of a male gaze or someone’s gaze on your body. Not necessarily the empowering things that you’re wearing to feel great every day. 

So we are trademarking this term “First Layer” because it really is that first layer you’re putting on your body. And to me, that terminology feels more comfortable and more empowering and more about me than someone else.

So Vibrant is pioneering certified clean first layer. And we specifically do, right now, bras, tanks, and underwear. And these are things that are going on your two most porous areas. So if you think about where you’re wearing your bra; where you’re wearing your underwear. And then you think about the off-gassing that can happen. And for off-gassing to happen, you just need heat and moisture. And you think about where you’re wearing your bra and where you’re wearing your underwear. It’s all kinds of hot and stuff happening there.

And similarly to how your car smells funny in the heat when you open the door; that is off-gassing. So the toxic chemicals that I was fighting to get out of our skincare are actually allowed to be in our textiles. Of course, not in the EU, but in this country. We have way different standards. So formaldehydes, toxic dyes. It’s really challenging because there are a lot of companies who talk about using organic fabrications and things like that. But, the dyes are a whole other component. 

So there can be a lot of greenwashing that happens in this industry, too. So for me, it was just such a no-brainer; joining Vibrant. Because it just was an extension of the journey I was already on. I understood this idea of, what you put on your body matters. And I truly loved the products that we have. It’s a very tight collection, but I truly loved all of our products. And that was really the only way I was going to be able to be involved in anything, is if I’m passionate about the products. 

Liz Wolfe: It’s just mind-blowing to me. Everything you’ve done; it’s so elegant. It’s so elegantly simple and just something I had not thought about ever. And I still can’t believe that. It’s just nuts. And thinking about; one of the things we’ve talked about with Beautycounter is safer deodorant. And we’re talking about the same area here, where the underwire would be. And by the way, I think it’s totally fine and totally cool that a man started this company. Which I want to hear a little bit more about him in a second. 

But I always thought; underwire seems like something a man would design. Just uncomfortable, completely nonfunctional. Just all around evil.

Ali Schwebel: Yeah, it’s interesting. The majority of the intimate apparel industry is male dominated. And some people really believe they need an underwire. They really think that is helping. But we have this amazing wire free constructed bra that I’m telling you is the most comfortable bra I’ve ever put on my body. And it fits you in a way that your body is meant to move with. The thing I always hated about underwire bras, because I thought them, because I thought I should. And in actuality, you think about wearing an underwire; not even just the uncomfortable nature of it but how it’s restricting that lymphatic system. 

Liz Wolfe: Yes. 

Ali Schwebel: Underneath your armpits. And how it’s not allowing those toxins to flow. And people post breast cancer and post reconstructive surgery can’t even wear underwire. So for me what I really love most about our bra; our everywhere bra, is the design of our cup. So if you think about an underwire bra, usually it’s a U-shape underwire. As if your boobs are two oranges that just sit right on the front of your body and they just fit in these little U’s. 

Liz Wolfe: {laughs} 

Ali Schwebel: But it’s not the case. Your breast tissue actually extends all the way up under your armpit. So I now realize that what I always found so uncomfortable about underwire was how it always poked into me on the side. 

Liz Wolfe: Yeah.

Ali Schwebel: And it always felt like I was trying to get my breast tissue back in it.

Liz Wolfe: Yeah; like, who hasn’t reached in the middle and kind of pulled everything back into the middle before? 

Ali Schwebel: To the front. Right. Pull it to the front. Because that was the look. The look was projection towards the front. When in actuality our bodies are not designed that way. So people also, because of those U-shaped cups, have these crazy sizes, too. So someone will be like; oh, I’m a 34D. And you look at them and you think; how are you a D? But it’s because they’re trying to get that cup wide enough to get all that breast tissue in. 

So, with the everywhere bra, what I think is amazing is we have a checkmark shaped cup that actually extends underneath your armpit and collects all that breast tissue and pulls it in. And you will not have that poking feeling. And you feel like your whole breasts are just in the cup like they’re supposed to be. That is my favorite thing about the bra. That I can twist and turn and move all day and not feel like I’m constantly having to shift my boobs back into that structure in the front. 

Liz Wolfe: Yeah. And I have very small breasts; even more so now that I’m almost done breastfeeding. And it’s interesting because I think some of the problems of having small breasts are kind of similar to the ones of having larger ones; especially with the bras that are available on the market other than, of course, yours. Where you can kind of feel like it moves out of place. Either because it’s too; not restrictive, but too structured or whatever it might be where you’re always having to move something back into place. And I didn’t feel that at all.

I did a bra fitting with Heidi; a virtual bra fitting. Which was actually really fun {laughs}. 

Ali Schwebel: I will say, I feel like there needs to be a big disclaimer on the site that says; virtual bra fitting. You do not get naked. 

Liz Wolfe: Yes! 

Ali Schwebel: Because that’s the first thought. They’re like; I’m not going to get naked with some lady on a camera. So you do not get naked.

Liz Wolfe: Which, I would have been fine. I would have been fine with it. I went to boarding school. You know; had a couple of babies.

Ali Schwebel: You’ve got two kids. 

Liz Wolfe: Yeah. 

Ali Schwebel: After you’ve had kids, it really doesn’t matter. But yeah.

Liz Wolfe: It doesn’t matter. But yes, you don’t get naked. So it was just so helpful. And I could really see Heidi; I was like; what; can I just measure myself and let her know what the measurements are? No, she was actually really taking into account my body shape, and all kinds of different things that I had no idea were relevant in sizing. And I’ll admit; I used to work at Victoria’s Secret. 

Ali Schwebel: I did too! Oh my gosh. 

Liz Wolfe: {laughs} 

Ali Schwebel: We definitely are meant to be. 

Liz Wolfe: For sure. And I was very bad. I don’t know if they made you do bra fittings. 

Ali Schwebel: I’m sure I had to. 

Liz Wolfe: We had to do that. 

Ali Schwebel: It was so long ago.

Liz Wolfe: You probably did. You probably were walking around with the, what is it? 

Ali Schwebel: Tape measure around your neck? 

Liz Wolfe: Measuring tape? Tape measure around your neck. And I would get so nervous and I would be doing these measurements. And I would be so unsure. You know; you’d measure it, and you’d get like a 34 or 36 or 38 or whatever. And you were supposed to do the cup size. And I would always end up saying; well what size do you wear now? And they’d tell me, and I’d be like; yeah, that’s what I’m getting. I’m getting that exact thing.

Ali Schwebel: {laughing} 

Liz Wolfe: And then it would be like; well, if you can’t find the 36B you could go to a 34C and it’s all the same. You know. No big deal. And just looking back, I’m laughing so hard at the entire concept. Because this makes so much more sense. The checkmark shaped cup. And also; how do you provide structure? They do provide support and some kind of; what do you call it. Mmm. Stability, maybe? 

Ali Schwebel: Yeah, well back to the sizing thing real quick. 80% of women are wearing the wrong size. 

Liz Wolfe: Yeah.

Ali Schwebel: So the fittings with Heidi are amazing. It’s a really special service that we’re able to offer. We also do have a fit quiz online for people who don’t feel comfortable or don’t have the time. Though the fittings are only like 15 to 20 minutes. But Heidi does take into account your body shape. I know; there’s another friend of ours who had done a fitting and immediately Heidi had said; do you have a problem with your bra straps falling off? And she’s like; yes! That is a problem my whole life. 

Liz Wolfe: Yeah.

Ali Schwebel: So working with someone who is not like us working at Victoria’s Secret.

Liz Wolfe: {laughing} 

Ali Schwebel: Someone who has actually been in the industry for decades. She’s a master bra designer. She designed this bra. She has so much knowledge to impart that every single person that has had a fitting with her raves about her to me. 

Liz Wolfe: Yes. 

Ali Schwebel: I mean, we call her the Dr. Ruth of intimate apparel. There’s no one that can make you feel more comfortable than her. She’s German. She is so skilled that; it’s a wonderful experience. And most women also haven’t either been sized; they just keep wearing the same size even though they’ve had kids, gained weight, lost weight, whatever. Or you just still have those bras you’ve been wearing for 5 or 6 years. 

Liz Wolfe: Yeah.

  • Structure of the bras [19:08]

Ali Schwebel: So I highly recommend doing a fitting with Heidi. Now, regarding the structure of the bra. She is the one who is more of the expert. So in general; so if you look at the bra, it looks as though it could have an underwire in it. The seamlines look as though it could have an underwire in it. But it doesn’t. The cup itself, we have a patent on it. 

So it’s this really unique combination of foams and mesh and a teardrop cut out that kind of acts as a sling. So it’s this patented cup that helps with the lift and the support of the bra on top of on the side of the bra there’s some flexible side boning that helps to kind of move things forward a little bit. So everything coming together; it took over 7 years for this bra to be designed. I think there were over 80 prototypes. So this is something that was really; we have spent a lot of time perfecting.

Liz Wolfe: Mm-hmm. It’s funny because when you say all of that; you think; gosh, this must be constricting. If you’re doing all of that; lifting, and moving forward, and sling, and all of these words. But it is the most comfortable bra I’ve ever worn. It’s more comfortable than my sports bras or my little bralettes or any of that.

And the great thing about it is; it’s not a question of “modesty”. I just in general I feel most comfortable when I’m not nipped out for everyone to see. I like having a little bit of coverage; a little bit of shape. But I will always, every single day of the week, opt for a bralette or a sports bra over the bras that I had before I got this bra from you guys. Because it’s so freaking comfortable. It’s soft. It’s so supportive. And you know; again, I have smaller breasts, which come with their own set of needs. And it’s just probably the most comfortable bra I’ve ever worn.

And also; the first layer tank. I’m obsessed with that one too. 

Ali Schwebel: The tank; I have it on right now. I actually have both pieces on right now. So this is the difference, for people who are listening. You’re thinking; why is this bra so comfortable. My bralette is so comfortable and my sports bra is so comfortable. So here’s the difference between a bralette or a sports bra and the vibrant bra. 

We are a wire free constructed bra. So, yes of course a bralette and a sports bra are comfortable, because you’re just kind of; there’s nothing, not necessarily restricting you, but you’re just kind of a uniboob in there, basically.

Liz Wolfe: Yeah. 

Ali Schwebel: So you might feel really comfortable; but you’re not going to wear a bralette or a sports bra on a date. You’re not really feeling put together. You’re not getting that lift, separation, and support. You’re just getting comfort. And with Vibrant, you’re getting that same comfort, but you’re getting that lift, separation, and support. So you still have two breasts. You look good in a shirt. You don’t feel like you have a uniboob. 

And when you talk about the quality of the materials. Our materials are incredible. Everything has been thought about. The straps are wider so they don’t dig in, and they’re padded. For me, another part that was always hard on a bra with a hook and eye in the back was how that hook and eye would flip under and you could always feel it digging in. We have a super padded back strap. So you can’t feel anything. That was the other part that I hated.

So everything has been thought of. All the pain points that you would complain about have been thought about and have been morphed into this amazing bra. And yes, I would agree. Currently right now, our sizing is from B until D. But I will say, because of the checkmark shaped cup, a lot of women can actually size down. And based on how you’ve been sized in the past, you might actually be able to fit in our range. We are currently working on size expansion, into the A cups and then beyond D. 

But if for some reason, if you are an A cup, a great option for you can be our tank. And I am obsessed with the shelf tank. I don’t have big breasts either. I am only a B. But I love our shelf tank. It’s so super soft. There’s no; it doesn’t grow. That was my biggest complaint about all my other tank tops. It fits great when you put it on, and then over the course of the day it just stretched out. 

Liz Wolfe: Yeah.

Ali Schwebel: It’s the perfect length. I literally wear it every single day and wash it. It does not pill. And then for me, because I do have smaller breasts, I can layer the tank top over the bra if I want, like right now, if I want to be out and about. Or if I’m home, I can just take my bra off and because there’s a built in bralette underneath, I can walk around and still feel like I’m not flailing about. But it’s just like butter. 

Liz Wolfe: Yeah. It is like butter! It is 100% like butter. I think about those Lululemon leggings I wore all during pregnancy; the really, really soft ones. It’s even better than that. It’s better than that. 

Ali Schwebel: It’s better than that because it’s thinner.

Liz Wolfe: Yes. 

Ali Schwebel: And it; it is a silk modal. So it has more breathability too. And it isn’t as restrictive; it doesn’t have that compression that those would have.

Liz Wolfe: Yeah. And I just feel; really I just feel more comfortable when I’ve got kind of; whatever it is. Extra layer right there over my breasts. I don’t know if it’s kind of like a protective thing, or just feeling like they need to be nestled into something. But I feel so; I just love this tank and I love the bra too. And the thong as well. 

I’m team thong. We had this conversation, right? In our Voxer thread. 

Ali Schwebel: I am not team thong. 

Liz Wolfe: You’re not team thong. Which is fine. I still like you, a whole lot.

Ali Schwebel: I’m team granny panties. And we are working on that, too.

Liz Wolfe: Well that’s exciting, too. My issue; I said this in my first podcast I ever recorded. And by the way; folks, I have never done a podcast about first layer; about intimates before ever. This is how much I love this stuff that I was like; we have to get on this podcast and talk about it. And also I’ll have a link and discount code for everybody at the end. Or you can go to www.RealFoodLiz.com/Vibrant for links and for the code. So we’ve got that for you too. 

But I was so excited to do this episode. And I totally forgot where I was even going with that.

Ali Schwebel: You were talking about thongs. Team thong. 

Liz Wolfe: Thongs! Ok, thongs. Oh yeah. This is a very important conversation. It has nothing to do with; I have a problem with panty lines. I don’t. It’s just that; I don’t know, my body shape and structure. The size of my booty. Whatever it is. I find that if I wear even the granniest of granny panties, other than my pregnancy panties, I will end up with a wedgie anyway. So I might as well give it to myself. And fortunately, the thong is the most comfortable thong I’ve ever worn. And also, it’s very lightweight, and there’s no panty line at all. You can still get a panty line with thongs. Especially in the front. But it’s super comfortable, too. 

Ali Schwebel: So the tank and the underwear are the same fabrication, so there is still that silk modal. And when Heidi sounds this, it sounds a lot better than when I say it, but she calls them crotch coolers. 

Liz Wolfe: {laughs} Oh, gosh! 

Ali Schwebel: Because the fabrication, it just allows for air flow, too, so they’re much cooler. I mean, TMI, but here we are two ladies talking about bras and underwear. 

Liz Wolfe: But you’re right. It’s actually something I’ve noticed. And I’ve noticed that about the tank top, now that you say it. That it really is like a cooling feeling. You just feel… so nice. 

Ali Schwebel: Yeah, you’re not hot. I mean, I live in Milwaukee, so it’s cold here all the time. So all winter long, I have always worn a tank top under my clothes because you just need to be warm. So I’ve worn this tank every single day. It’s like kind of that first layer to keep me a little warmer. But then in the summer I’ll just wear it on it’s own out and about. And I love it because it’s also not too tight on my belly. I am not; I don’t want tightness there. But it’s also not too loose. I don’t know how she did it, but she did an amazing job. 

  • The fitting process [26:33]

Liz Wolfe: I don’t know, either. It’s phenomenal. Ok, so let’s back up a little bit and maybe talk a little bit about what the fitting looks like. I can share my experience; or do you have kind of an elevator pitch for what a fitting actually looks like with Heidi? 

Ali Schwebel: You’re probably the better one to talk about because you actually went through one recently. But why don’t you do it first? 

Liz Wolfe: Ok.

Ali Schwebel: And I’ll chime in. 

Liz Wolfe: Ok. So it’s pretty simple. Much simpler than I thought it was. But first of all, the number one benefit of doing a fitting is you get to meet Heidi. She was so much fun to talk to. So sweet. So helpful. And she really did explain in terms; I mean, she’s clearly an expert of experts. But she explained things to me in a way that I could understand so I felt empowered to not only be able to understand why maybe the bras that I had before were not serving my needs the way I thought they were.

I actually thought there was something wrong with me, or my body. The fact that I’ve never found a bra that’s really comfortable or that never looks quite right. That type of thing. 

Ali Schwebel: You know; it’s so interesting when you just say that. Because I don’t think; it’s very rare that I talk to someone about a bra and they say; oh no, I have a bra I love. 

Liz Wolfe: Yeah! 

Ali Schwebel: It is so rare for a woman to say that. I mean, I would say one out of 20 people I talk to has a bra that they love. So what’s really interesting to me about this industry is that this is a huge industry that is basically predicated on women being uncomfortable all the time. What other industry could you provide a solution that people don’t even like, but yet it’s still there? You can’t think of another industry. 

Liz Wolfe: Wow, I totally agree with that. And I also; just, I know there are probably a couple of people that are like; just free-boob it! I just don’t feel comfortable that way. It’s not comfortable for me with the A-B cup breasts that I have, so I can’t imagine that it’s necessarily comfortable for many people. So many people, they want this solution. You know? It’s funny to me that those were kind of the only options I felt like I had before this. Just wearing nothing at all and feeling slightly uncomfortable or wearing something else that makes me feel either super compressed, like a sports bra. Just compressed and flattened. Or something that is just too uncomfortable to wear for more than a couple of hours. 

Ali Schwebel: I will say; I think this is, and men just can’t get it. And that’s why I give the founder so much credit. He founded the company because he actually had a best friend who was a woman who ended up dying of breast cancer. And she was amazing. And then he had a girlfriend he dated who had breast cancer who then survived breast cancer. He’s a very spiritual guy, and he just felt like the universe was kind of pushing him in this direction. His sister and he worked together on the energy of the body. And he was just like; how is no one talking about this? So he was kind of on this journey for many years to create this opportunity.

But what’s really interesting to me is that he still, because he’s a man, can’t fully understand how amazing this product is. And I like to say; men just don’t understand. If there was something that they had to put on their bodies every single day for every week, every month, every year, every decade of their life that was a constant annoyance. A constant source of frustration, or uncomfortableness; nothing exists like that for them. 

So if you can, as a woman, find something that you can actually put on your body and not have that underlying irritation happening all day long. If you can get through the day and not want to fling it off when you walk through the door; how amazing would that day be? How different would your life be if you didn’t have something that you were, on a basic level, struggling with every day? 

So for me, and for you, that has been Vibrant. And what is really cool about our company, as well, is that we do have a free 30 day return policy. So you can buy the bra, try it, wash it, wear it, and send it back if it doesn’t work for you. So we try to make it as easy as possible for people to get into the product. Because that’s when; specifically when they get to meet with Heidi and have that fitting. We find that they end up getting the right size the first time. I mean, it’s very common for people not to get the right size the first time, because you’re kind of guessing, basically. 

But we try to make it as easy as possible for people to get into the product. Because that’s when the ah-ha moment is. I’ve been with women in the fitting room with Heidi, and I’ve heard them be like; oh my god. I thought I only had to wear wire. I never thought a wire free bra would be for me. So the transformation in that moment when someone tries the product on and they’re kind of like; holy crap! 

Liz Wolfe: Yeah.

Ali Schwebel: It’s life changing. And it’s weird to say that it’s life changing, but it can be very life changing. 

Liz Wolfe: Well, and just having the confidence that you have a place that you can get the right size from. I mean, I wouldn’t take the information that I got from Heidi and take it to Victoria’s Secret and try and find the same fit there, because that’s just not how it works. {laughs} 

Ali Schwebel: Right. 

Liz Wolfe: But she did; we did just the standard; took a piece of string, wrapped it around at a certain point on a couple of different spots. 

Ali Schwebel: An under bust measurement. Over bust. 

Liz Wolfe: Under bust. We did up above here, over bust. But I didn’t know until I talked to Heidi what was actually being measured with the over bust. And that was very interesting to me where we were figuring out what “cup size” was right for me and all of that. And she also gave me a lot of confidence in; ok, this size I believe is what’s best for you. Because I’m sure there are many people that maybe a couple of different sizes could work. But she was like; if this doesn’t work, then this is what you do. 

I have this bra that I keep trying to make it work, and I feel like even in the last couple of weeks I was like; my breasts just must be wonky. They just must be funky now that I’m done breastfeeding. No! That’s not what it is. It’s that I haven’t found the right size or the right fit. And that’s 100% what my Vibrant bra is. 

And for Heidi to give me that kind of confidence…

Ali Schwebel: That makes me so happy to hear you say that. 

Liz Wolfe: Yes! 

Ali Schwebel: To think you thought there was something wrong with your body, and to know there’s nothing wrong with your body. There’s something wrong with the industry is what is the problem. 

Liz Wolfe: Yes. 100%. And she helped me figure out kind of where the straps should sit. She talked to me about the clasp in the back. All of that. So to have that kind of confidence and to feel like I’m actually going to wear this bra. Whereas I have a drawer full of bras that I never wear. And sometimes, if I’m going out and I want to kind of rock a certain look, I’ll force myself into some of these bras. But I always end up putting something in the cup part so that my breasts will fit in the top. I’m just constantly finagling; putting something in the back to hold the straps together so they don’t fall off my shoulders. It’s just uncomfortable and not fun. {laughs} And this is like; so fun! {laughs} 

Ali Schwebel: Right. So we’re just basically a T-shirt bra. It’s just kind of your everyday bra that you’re going to wear. We’re very simple. We come in three colors.

One of the things I love about Vibrant too is; in the past, say you did find a bra you loved. You’re only supposed to keep your bras about a year.

Liz Wolfe: Oh, I didn’t know that. 

Ali Schwebel: So you should start off your bra on the; I always struggle on how to say this. But the loosest hook and eye, and then you tighten it and you tighten it. So usually there are three rows. By the time you get to the tightest one, that’s telling you now that your bra is now stretched. It has worn. 

Liz Wolfe: Oh! 

Ali Schwebel: So once you get to that third clasp, that means it’s time to start looking for another bra. And for me, the hard thing was; say I did find a bra. Maybe it was Victoria’s Secret. And I would go back in; well they don’t make that one anymore, because it’s fast fashion.

Liz Wolfe: Yeah.

Ali Schwebel: It’s like; oh no, we’re onto the next iteration of that. And what I love about the everywhere bra is that is always going to be here. We’re not fast fashion. We’re not looking to make constant updates. We have created a bra that works and it’s always going to be here. So that a year from now when you’ve either gained weight, lost weight, or just have worn out your bras, you can come back and you can order the exact same bra and feel confident that it’s going to fit the same way it did before.

Liz Wolfe: I had no idea that you’re not; I mean, I imagine that would be a year of fairly consistent wear where you would need to…

Ali Schwebel: Yes, yes, yes. Of course. 

Liz Wolfe: Ok. 

Ali Schwebel: Ok.

Liz Wolfe: Because I’ve had a couple of mine for like a year. 

Ali Schwebel: Well I think COVID probably gave us a little bit more breathing room. But it’s interesting; I have been reading articles about women going back into the office, specifically articles about women buying bras again. Because they’ve been wearing sports bras or bralettes, and now when they’re going back to the office, it just doesn’t make you feel super put together. So women now looking for more of a Vibrant constructed bra to take them back into the office.

  • Future product plans [35:02]

Liz Wolfe: Mm-hmm. Are there any plans to do any kind of sports-like bra? 

Ali Schwebel: Yes. So, we have so many plans.

Liz Wolfe: I’m sure.

Ali Schwebel: Right now what’s super exciting for me is that we’re working on a maternity tank.

Liz Wolfe: Oh, yay! 

Ali Schwebel: So like a nursing tank. 

Liz Wolfe: Yeah! 

Ali Schwebel: I just, similar to Beautycounter, because we know each other from that life. Women start looking for clean at different points in their life. One is when they become pregnant or they have a child. And the other one is if there is a health concern in their family. So I really think it’s important for us to have that nursing tank. And you think about women at that point are just becoming aware of their bodies. They’re thinking now; oh, I have this body growing inside of mine so now I need to think about what I’m eating. Or I can’t use that lotion anymore, I have to use this. And then you think about nursing and how if you’re nursing, and those babies are right on that nipple, and that nipple then, if you’re wearing something that has toxic dyes or chemicals, and the porous nature. Like; you need something clean.

So I’m super excited that we are working on a nursing tank. But sports bras, because of our patented cup. You could do light workouts; yoga, Pilates, and things like that in the vibrant bra. Because it doesn’t have that wire. Nothing like running or anything like that. But yes, absolutely. Sports bras.

And then for me, because my daughter is actually 9 years old, the other part of something that we’re looking to going into is training bras. Because it’s very challenging to find a clean training bra. 

Liz Wolfe: Yes. 

Ali Schwebel: You can buy organic ones, but again the dyes. Or potentially that company hasn’t taken a lot of thought into the quality of the elastic so the elastic is rough or the seaming. So there are so many avenues we can go into with first layer. And it’s super exciting. 

Liz Wolfe: Well I also noticed; my daughter is 7 and she’s just begging me to wear a bra. And finally I was like; ok. I’m going to Target. And everything that I found; we talked about lymph earlier. Was so thick and inflexible. I mean, even the little sports bras. And it made me look differently at my sports bras as well. But everything I found was really just going to be tight around this really important area, just around the torso. And finally I found something that was really light and not particularly tight around that area. It was just kind of the same loose all the way around, and I got her those. And she was super excited. But I was like; man I’m going to have my work cut out for me when she’s actually really wanting to wear bras every day. Because they are so tight and restrictive around that really key area where we need to maintain and not restrict lymphatic flow.

Ali Schwebel: Yeah. On top of the fact that most of those bras are fast fashion. So they’re either super pink dyed. Or you don’t know the quality of the foams. Or even the actual fabrication themselves. So I think there’s a huge market there. Because I know for my daughter I actually ordered brands from Europe. Because Europe does have higher standards. So those are what she uses until Vibrant is able to produce those for her.

Liz Wolfe: Yeah. Well I love that you all are doing that. Can we talk a little bit about the foam? I remember Heidi talking a little bit about the process of finding a foam that was appropriate for these bras. And also I think safe? 

Ali Schwebel: Yeah. So all of our products are certified clean through third party independent lab testing. So that is a whole other challenge in itself. And as you know, with Beautycounter, how challenging it is to create not only just equal products with safer materials, but then obviously we want to outperform non-safe products. 

So the whole sourcing aspect is more complicated, and that’s why I think it did take so long for this bra to be produced. I don’t know specifics about the foams, but they are completely certified. A lot of foams out there are petroleum based, so that’s obviously not going to be good. The off-gassing that happens there. I do know that ours are certified clean. But I don’t have the specifics on what that foam actually is.

Liz Wolfe: Well I actually recorded. I asked Heidi if it would be ok for me to record my fitting with her, because I wanted to do some kind of reel or some kind of Instagram post about it. And she mentioned it in there. Maybe I’ll go back and see what she said. It’s not all that important, the specifics of it. But I was just really struck by how detailed and; I don’t know. I feel like you guys left no stone unturned. So it’s like; you’ve got the fitting stuff down. The structure down. The materials down. I don’t know; it’s kind of a mission-based thing. Which is simple to what appealed to me about Beautycounter in the beginning. Is there is a larger thing that you’re keeping in mind throughout everything; from fabrication to fit. 

Ali Schwebel: Yes. And the founder of Vibrant is a huge fan of Beautycounter. He loves everything that we’ve done over there. He loves what Gregg has done. He loves the education first mission. And this is about education, too. It’s about educating women about, first of all, thinking about what they’re putting on their two most porous areas. And educating them on alternatives and giving them a solution that’s not a compromise. It’s actually a better solution than what they’re currently wearing. 

So, he is a huge fan of Beautycounter. And I do think a portion of the way he modeled the company was after the pillars of that business. 

Liz Wolfe: Mm-hmm. So I’ll make sure to put all the details. It’s going to take me maybe a little bit to get this post together. But go to www.RealFoodLiz.com/Vibrant, hopefully by the time this podcast airs. I’ll actually be able to put some details for people if they want to kind of absorb it again. I know some people like to listen, some people like to read. I’m actually more of a visual type. I’m more of a reader. 

Ali Schwebel: I like both at the same time. I need both. 

  • A little TV talk [40:37]

Liz Wolfe: That’s; so do you watch TV with the captions on.

Ali Schwebel: Yes. 

Liz Wolfe: Yes! I do too. And actually…

Ali Schwebel: My husband cannot stand it. But I love it.

Liz Wolfe: {laughs} It does kind of block some of the… I notice that I end up not watching the show at all. I’m just reading the captions and listening.

Ali Schwebel: That’s what he says. He’s like; for him it distracts. But for me, I need it. And I don’t know if it’s because of my sister, who lives in Sweden, they always have them on. But I just love having the captions. I just can’t hear; not that I have poor hearing, but I can’t keep up. I can’t keep up with the words, or something.

Liz Wolfe: Yeah. Well that’s one of the things I started to wonder. I turned them off at one point, and I was like; I need to just have the full experience of watching this, I think it was Ozark. I was like; this is art. People are working really hard on this. They take acting classes for God’s sake. I’m just going to watch the people and their mouths move. And I was not keeping up with the words that they were saying. Which, I don’t know. Ruth, the character Ruth on Ozark, it should be so easy because she’s {country twang} just saying like this. 

Ali Schwebel: {laughing} 

Liz Wolfe: It’s just not that difficult. 

Ali Schwebel: We just watched the finale like two nights ago and I’m still; I did not sleep well.

Liz Wolfe: Ooh. 

Ali Schwebel: I won’t talk about it.

Liz Wolfe: we haven’t watched it yet. One thing that has bothered me about that show. And I’m sorry to say; I’m in Kansas City. So Ozarks is like the destination from here. I’ve spent time in the Ozarks, all of that. Why is it that Ruth was the only member of her family with that hick accent? 

Ali Schwebel: Oh I never noticed that, actually. 

Liz Wolfe: Am I right? I think I’m right.

Ali Schwebel: Yeah. 

Liz Wolfe: Or maybe it was just…

Ali Schwebel: Hers was extremely pronounced.

Liz Wolfe: Yes. 

Ali Schwebel: What I found was fascinating about Ozark is that none of it was actually shot there. It was all shot in Georgia. 

Liz Wolfe: That’s so disappointing. 

Ali Schwebel: I know. I know.

Liz Wolfe: But I guess it would have made it too easy for people to stalk the whole operation. It would have been really good for tourism in the Ozarks. 

Ali Schwebel: I know. And I think it probably is still good.

Liz Wolfe: It probably is. 

Ali Schwebel: The other thing, too; they filmed supposedly Chicago. But it’s got to be Atlanta, because it is not Chicago.

Liz Wolfe: It’s not Chicago? 

Ali Schwebel: Nu-huh.

Liz Wolfe: That’s so interesting. 

Ali Schwebel: I think they film it all in Georgia. 

Liz Wolfe: That’s interesting. I think Georgia has done a lot to make maybe the tax credits. 

Ali Schwebel: Incentives. Yeah. 

Liz Wolfe: Well another show that I used to watch that was filmed in Georgia was the Vampire Diaries. 

Ali Schwebel: Never watched it.

Liz Wolfe: Which; well you didn’t miss anything. 

Ali Schwebel: {laughing} 

Liz Wolfe: {laughs} You’re good. But I’ve heard that a lot of things film in Georgia for that reason. But it’s a little bit; I’m a little offended. People would have been offended if Sex and the City wasn’t actually filmed in New York. was it actually filmed in New York? it was, right? 

Ali Schwebel: Yes. Of course it was. 

Liz Wolfe: Ok. Good. So I’m just taking a little offense for all of us in the west. 

Ali Schwebel: I loved Sex and the City too.

Liz Wolfe: I used to fall asleep to one of the DVDs in college. I had one of those big TVs in my room. 

Ali Schwebel: I had all of those DVDs, too. 

Liz Wolfe: Oh my gosh. And I still remember which one it was {laughs}. All of the words they were saying. Every once in a while, a life situation happens where a Sex and the City quote just pops into my head. There was one semi-recently where a friend of mine was sending me a text where I literally just needed to be like; you need to stop. Just stop. And it was that scene between Carrie and Miranda in a bar where Miranda pretends to smoke a cigarette and Carrie tells her about the affair with Big. And she goes; “I don’t watch Lifetime television for women. Carrie; you need to just stop. Just stop.” And that was going through my head and I was like; why doesn’t anybody understand me? {laughs} 

Ali Schwebel: Oh my god. My sister and I are so on it. She sends them to me all the time. I won’t tell you about the incident that just brought up another quote because it’s way too TMI. Maybe I’ll share it with you off the podcast. But she was referencing a Samantha Sex and the City. I mean; I just. I have watched every single one. And that was my; that was college for me. 

Liz Wolfe: Yes! 

Ali Schwebel: That was such a formative time in my life. And then I moved to New York and found out it’s really not like that. {laughs} 

Liz Wolfe: Ugh. Womp-womp. One of my least favorite story lines was the one with Berger. With Ron Livingstone from Office Space. Hated that story line, but so quotable. Because they go out, and they’ve broken up, and they go smoke pot. And he leaves the post it; “I’m sorry. I can’t. Don’t hate me.”

Ali Schwebel: Yes! 

Liz Wolfe: Yeah. I haven’t watched any new Sex and the City. 

Ali Schwebel: He can’t stand her success. I’m like; give me a freaking break. Come on buddy.

Liz Wolfe: Come on dude.

Ali Schwebel: I’m not going to say I love all the storylines in that show.

Liz Wolfe: No.

Ali Schwebel: But the fashion and the girlfriends. So did you watch And Just Like That? 

Liz Wolfe: No! I’m so behind. We actually haven’t even started this last part of Ozark. We started watching 1883. Still need to finish that. 

Ali Schwebel: Oh, I haven’t watched that yet. 

Liz Wolfe: It’s good. 

Ali Schwebel: So I haven’t watched that, but I’ve watched the other. OK, so And Just Like That, you’re going to need a couple of episodes to settle in. You’re going to watch it and think; I don’t need this in my life.

Liz Wolfe: {laughs} 

Ali Schwebel: And then a couple of episodes in you’re like; no. This is just where I should be right now. 

Liz Wolfe: Oh my gosh. Well I read a lot about the Peloton thing with Big and all of that. 

Ali Schwebel: Yeah. The first couple of episodes are kind of intense. But after that, it’s just really good.

Liz Wolfe: We did watch; there’s just something. You’re right. It’s the formative time in life. At the time, it was revolutionary. All of it. And I could just relate to so much of it. And looking back now, it absolutely has it problems. But still, I will always look back at that original Sex and the City show with so much love and fondness. Yeah, I haven’t watched the And Just Like That. But I’ll have to look into it.

What was the other one that we were going to try and watch? Oh, we watched Divorce with Sarah Jessica Parker and…

Ali Schwebel: {gasp}

Liz Wolfe: It was so funny.

Ali Schwebel: I started watching it, but I ended up not watching. I was putting myself through torture watching that one with Jessica Chastain and what’s his face called; not the movie Marriage Story. 

Liz Wolfe: Oh. With that Oscar guy. 

Ali Schwebel: Yes. Yes.

Liz Wolfe: Who is so cute, from Dune.

Ali Schwebel: It was so intense. Like, too real. Too much like an actual relationship.

Liz Wolfe: I get that.

Ali Schwebel: I finally was like; I can’t do this anymore. I am just torturing myself. 

Liz Wolfe: Yeah, actually disturbing and unsettling.

Ali Schwebel: It’s not escapism. 

Liz Wolfe: Yes! Yes! It’s not like Tiger King quality stuff. That’s; wait, Tiger King? I didn’t watch that either, by the way.

Ali Schwebel: I did watch that. 

Liz Wolfe: Well that’s ok. You’re forgiven.

Ali Schwebel: {laughs} 

Liz Wolfe: It’s so sad that I know this much about pop culture.

Ali Schwebel: It was my husband. 

Liz Wolfe: Well that’s ok.

Ali Schwebel: That’s the world we’re in right now though. We were so closed for so long. You just had… I saw someone post something yesterday that I thought was such an interesting question. It was like; if you only could choose one, would you choose Netflix or Amazon? 

Liz Wolfe: Ugh.

Ali Schwebel: You only could have your streaming or you could only have your Amazon delivery. I would choose Amazon. My husband chose Netflix. 

Liz Wolfe: I would choose Amazon. I just looked at my PayPal auto bill for Netflix and saw that my lifetime spend for Netflix is like $1500. I was like; oh lord. We’ve got to cancel Netflix.

Ali Schwebel: I don’t even know that there is; I am so unaware of stuff like that. I didn’t even know there was a way to look at that.

Liz Wolfe: Well I didn’t either. It was a whole other thing where I’m such an idiot and so dumb with technology that somehow, I set my Netflix to bill through a credit card that is from a company that I have with two other people, and they were like; why is there Netflix billing through our QuickBooks? 

Ali Schwebel: {laughing} 

Liz Wolfe: I was like I don’t know! I didn’t do it! 

Ali Schwebel: Oops, caught me guys. 

  • Body privilege and clothing sizes [47:52]

Liz Wolfe: Whoopsies. All of that said, I’ll bring it back to bras. I promise. Sorry guys. But it really is what you said earlier; we’re all kind of emerging from this cocoon of just being pandemiced. And to be able to come out and actually have a bra that I want to wear is actually very exciting to me. We’ve started to go out to dinner again. We’ve started to actually go do things. I just bought a denim jumpsuit. I don’t know if that’s ok.

Ali Schwebel: Oh. Well first of all.

Liz Wolfe: Do you think that’s ok? 

Ali Schwebel: If you could see what I’m wearing right now; I’m a huge denim on denim fan.

Liz Wolfe: Denim on denim. Oh yeah. God you’re so cool.

Ali Schwebel: I need details about this denim jumpsuit because I don’t have one yet. 

Liz Wolfe: I’ll have to send it to you. It’s like very retro; it’s not like a cool slouchy like rugged Yellowstone denim type of jumpsuit. It’s like a 70s disco jumpsuit. And it’s kind of stretchy. And I just was trying; when you texted me earlier that you could be ready a little bit before go time, I was actually trying on the denim jumpsuit with my Vibrant bra.

Ali Schwebel: {laughing} 

Liz Wolfe: And it looks so good! And I was like; man. Can I wear this? Can we do denim jumpsuits? I guess I can do whatever I want. 

Ali Schwebel: Of course you can. I mean, just be ready for people; like my dad, constantly, I have a Levi one that’s green. Not green, but like a camo color. And he’s always like; going to fix the car? 

Liz Wolfe: {laughing} 

Ali Schwebel: You know. You may get some jokes about that. But I love a freaking jumpsuit. I think they’re amazing. 

Liz Wolfe: I think they’re amazing too. The only solution that I do need is I need a solution for mild camel toe. Do you have anything like that in the works? {laughs} 

Ali Schwebel: Oh. No, I don’t even know actually, speaking of that. 

Liz Wolfe: I’m too tall.

Ali Schwebel: I just returned some leggings because of a similar issue.

Liz Wolfe: Mmm. You just can’t. That’s one that I’m not interested in lifting and separating. 

Ali Schwebel: {laughing} No. 

Liz Wolfe: {laughs} 

Ali Schwebel: That is culturally inappropriate to lift and separate. 

Liz Wolfe: Yeah, no thank you. 

Ali Schwebel: {laughs} You’re going to have to slouch. 

Liz Wolfe: Well, if you guys need ideas for future product lines. I know. I really am. And here’s another thing; there is nothing wrong with me or my body. There’s nothing wrong with any of our bodies. Our bodies are all different. And this; you know, I’m tall. So often times I think; gosh. I’m too tall. So this jumpsuit is a little too short and it gives me camel toe. I still love it. A little too short, gives me camel toe. I’ll probably still wear it and just hope that it stretches. But there’s nothing wrong with any of us. It’s the clothing companies. It’s the textile companies that need to keep up and figure out a way to offer options that work better for real bodies.

Ali Schwebel: Real bodies. That’s for; I mean, my sister. I’m about 5’8”. My sister is 5’11”. So she has always had a problem finding; I’ll order something. And I’m not a huge person. If I’m wearing an XL in a company, there’s something wrong with it. You know? 

Liz Wolfe: Right. 

Ali Schwebel: There are companies out there who are definitely, I would say, sizeist. 

Liz Wolfe: Sizeist. 

Ali Schwebel: You know? Yes. There’s nothing wrong with our bodies. There are just not enough companies making products for different body types. And they’re all making it in this narrow range. Again, I should not be wearing the top end sizing of any company. There are just no options out there for a lot of women. 

Liz Wolfe: Right. Right.

Ali Schwebel: Because companies are not mainstreaming that. So that’s a whole other thing. And that’s why for us launching Vibrant; there are so many skews when it comes to bras, from the band size and cup size. So it’s a very skew heavy investment. So coming out, we only could invest in this broad of a size range, from B to the D. But our goal and our focus is to expand past that. Because I would say the one thing we do hear the most is that you don’t have my size. And we don’t want to have to hear that. We want to be able to provide options for all women. Because all women are struggling.

So that’s something that we are very committed to, is expanding that size range. But it just takes time. Because it’s time and it’s money and it’s a big investment. So it is coming. For those of you who go to the site and say; oh, they don’t make my size. It will be happening. It just hasn’t happened yet. It is currently in works right now that we’re expanding our size range. 

Liz Wolfe: I’m interested in what you just said. So I have quite a few shirts that are XL. And to me, it feels; and I’ve talked on a couple of podcasts previously about body privilege and things like that. But one of the other things that has been on my mind that I haven’t talked about on the podcast is that the sizing of these shirts stopped at XL. So, they’re great shirts. They’re really cute. But it’s very unfair that it should stop at XL. That that should be the end range of the size for these shirts, when I know there are people with body types very different from mine, for example, with larger breasts. Or just a different shape altogether that won’t be able to find what they need just because of that. And it just seems a little bit odd that they should make a size like that available that fits somebody like me, and not somebody like my sister, for example, who has much larger breasts than I do. So I really, really hear what you’re saying about this; what did you say? Sizeist? Sizeism? 

Ali Schwebel: Sizeist. Yeah. It’s too narrow of a size range.

Liz Wolfe: Too narrow of a range. And that really kind of hit on the thing that I’ve been thinking about lately. Which is just body privilege. And there are many people out there having very intelligent discussions about this that I haven’t even looked into. I’m very ill informed. But obviously very interested in the conversation. So if there is anybody listening that has a really good resource for me or some place they want to point me to to learn more about this, I really am interested in the cultural impact and the reality of all of it.

Ali Schwebel: You should check out; are you familiar with the brand MegaBabe? 

Liz Wolfe: Yes! Oh my gosh. Literally last week I ordered their thigh chafe stuff.

Ali Schwebel: Yes. Ok. So she is actually from Wisconsin. I don’t know her personally, but I know some of her friends. And what I loved about her Instagram is she has this hashtag, and I forget exactly what it was. But it was basically she would go; and she’s a larger woman. And she would go into whatever it was. Whether it was the GAP or whether it was a boutique or whatever, a designer shop. And she would go in and hashtag it; #makeitinmysize. And she’d say; oh, I’m wearing a 14, and she would take a picture of how mangled it was on her body that it couldn’t fit. 

And I thought it was so interesting and so; because she has a huge audience, to show how off sizing is right now. 

Liz Wolfe: Mm-hmm. Ooh, maybe I’ll see if she’ll come on the podcast. 

Ali Schwebel: She seems like a hoot, actually.

Liz Wolfe: That would be super cool. Yes. I just ordered there; I posted about my favorite nontoxic; or less toxic. However you want to say it. I don’t want to greenwash it. But less toxic, safer deodorants. And that was one that came up multiple times. The MegaBabe was fabulous. Well I already have 17,000 deodorants that I have. So I was like; alright, let me go see what else they’ve got. And they had this thigh chafe stuff.

Ali Schwebel: That’s her famous product.

Liz Wolfe: Ok.

Ali Schwebel: And if you read that story about the company. I mean, I think the people she went to first were like; this is not a product that needs to be out there. I mean, if I remember the story correctly, it was very degrading. And it was like; you shouldn’t be doing X. Or you should do Y. So it was, again, it was one of those products that there’s a need for it that; and I’m probably scarring this whole story up. But there was a need from it, but from the male point of view, there wasn’t a need for it. But yet, that was her launch product. That was her biggest product, that thigh chafe. 

  • The affiliate program [55:29]

Liz Wolfe: Oh I love that. Ok, well I’ve kept you on for almost an hour now. Is there anything that I missed about the company, the products, about your work? Let me know.

Ali Schwebel: The only thing I would highlight, I guess. And I’m just quickly going through my head to think about what we chatted about. When I started with Vibrant, what was really important to me is that we did have an affiliate network. Because I really feel like; with my work with Beautycounter, obviously that story is best told person to person. I think the story of your favorite bra and underwear is also something that’s going to be extremely important and taken more seriously when you’re sharing with your friends. 

I mean, conversations I’ve been in. I was in New York City, talking to this woman across the table about; who I didn’t know; about bras. And the woman behind us was like; excuse me, are you talking about bras? I need a bra.

Liz Wolfe: {laughs} 

Ali Schwebel: Like, literally you say the word bra at a table full of women or near one, and you’re going to get; someone is going to get whiplash because everyone is looking for a bra that actually fits and that they love.

Liz Wolfe: Everyone is sitting there uncomfortable. {laughs} 

Ali Schwebel: Right. It’s a hot topic. And if you find something that works for you, you’re going to share it with your friends. Particularly, I feel like, in bras. So, it was important for me that we start an affiliate program. So basically it is; you earn 15% commission. You get a link; you get a code. Similar to what you’re doing. It’s nothing intense. Basically, when you share your love for Vibrant, you can send your friend a 15% off discount, and then you get 15% commission on the lifetime value of them. So, for me, that was really important coming from that background and understanding the power of social selling that we had a program to support women sharing that product.

So I think that’s probably the only thing we didn’t quite touch on. And you can go to the website, scroll to the footer, and there’s Advocate Program, and you can click there and apply.

Liz Wolfe: Yes. I love that. And also, it’s not a matter of; it’s not like you have to buy a bra package and spend a certain amount of money.

Ali Schwebel: No.

Liz Wolfe: You’re literally just registering to get paid when you share. When someone else falls in love with the bras. 

Ali Schwebel: Right. Correct. And you actually get 30% off your own personal orders. But yeah. There are no strings attached. So you earn 15% commission. You get 30% off your own personal orders. Then you get that 15% off code to share with your friends and family so they can try for 15% off.

Liz Wolfe: And I will tell you; you will be recommending these products to your friends and family. Why not get paid for it? 

Ali Schwebel: Why not? 

Liz Wolfe: No reason not to. Ok. Thank you so much, Ali. I’m going to send everybody, if you would like to learn a little bit more, head over to www.RealFoodLiz.com/Vibrant. You’ll see a code there; LIZ15 for 15% off your first purchase. Or go straight to the website and become an advocate right off the bat and go for it that way. I highly recommend these products. I’m really, really excited to see what you all do in the future. Don’t be scared to go do a bra fitting with Heidi to see what it’s all about. Check out the website; I promise you will not be disappointed. Thank you so much Ali! 

Ali Schwebel: Thank you Liz. I look forward to being new BFFs. 

Liz Wolfe: Absolutely. 

So, folks, I think that entire episode was probably an overshare. So I will move right on to the closing. That’s it for episode 28. A big thank you to Arrowhead Mills for making this episode possible. And to Ali from the Vibrant Body Company for coming on and talking about these awesome products. Remember, you can ask me anything by sending me a DM @RealFoodLiz on Instagram. But the best way to ask is to go to www.RealFoodLiz.com/askLiz. That way, your questions don’t get lost in my inbox. 

I appreciate you! I’ll see you next week. 

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