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Interview Series: Anna Sjӧberg of AnnaPS Scandinavia

One of our favorite brands of diabetes friendly clothing, is AnnaPS. They design clothing from t-shirts, tank tops, and sports bras, to underwear for men, women, and children that have integrated pockets to carry diabetes devices, thus making life a little bit easier for those living with diabetes! Founder and CEO, Anna Sjӧberg, is a T1D and is a part of the Lyfebulb Entrepreneur Circle. I got a chance to chat with her about how she started AnnaPS Scandinavia. Read our interview below!

Bruna Petrillo: Hi Anna! Tell us a little about yourself.

Anna Sjӧberg: Hi Bruna. I am from Sweden, Scandinavia and I have been living with T1D since 1998. I started my insulin pump therapy in 2009 and immediately realized that my insulin pump really disturbed me. I got hooked in the tubing, I dropped it, I needed to use one hand to hold it during a lot of situations, so on. To solve this problem I began designing underwear with integrated pockets for my diabetes devices. Then I began to design tank tops and swimwear for women.

I have two wonderful kids who do a lot of skiing, scouting and soccer, so my husband Per and I are very involved in lot of activities as parents. We live at the coastline in a small town and I really love the nature. I also love to do a lot of sports, and for me it is important to not feel held back by my diabetes.

BP: What drove you to start AnnaPS?

AS: When I designed this underwear with integrated pockets, it really helped me with my pump. The pump became a part of me, and I never had to think about it or get disturbed by it. It was freedom. The pump and the tubing were secured into the pockets and it was easy to put the pump out or back in the pocket when I need it. It was so nice to make it easy to carry, and I started making all kind of clothes, and even bikinis, that were good looking and had pockets in a discrete way. I love to not have to carry any extra diabetes cases or clips.

I think my driving force has always been to make a difference and find solutions. It is me as Engineer.

This feeling became even stronger when I realized I can help others, and make their lives easier. I think those living with diabetes have so many things to think about every day, so it feels great to help others with diabetes. If I can do anything to support life with diabetes and make it a little bit easier, I will do it. When someone says to me, “this was the first night in years I slept all the night thanks to your clothing,” then everything I am working on is worth it. Messages like that make my heart warm.

BP: That’s wonderful Anna! Where did you get the inspiration for your designs?

AS: Of course we are inspired by our nature here in Scandinavia! I love sustainability and to make clothes with a great design and color that always makes the customer feel comfortable. Long-lasting products also means high quality. I also think clothes should give you energy, and this means the fit is adapted to how our bodies are constructed.  To combine this with functionality is our mission.

The pockets are placed to minimize disturbance by the pump. It also has openings from inside and outside of the garments, and makes you feel safe (the pump has to stay in the pocket even when you take the garment off.) Today we have mainly our basic assortment or product offering, but I hope to have opportunities to design more loose fit clothing in the future.

BP: Why should diabetics buy AnnaPS products?

AS: Because the products really solve a big problem for diabetics: how to carry all of the diabetes supplies you always have to bring! And it really minimizes the risk to leave things behind.

When I started to use my own designs with integrated pockets, I really felt how much it helped me to bring all of my diabetes stuff I needed everywhere I went. I put my phone, my blood sugar meter, and my sugar in the pockets (along with the pump). It was really freedom to always have my things close to me.

My mission is to let all diabetics know how much easier their life with diabetes can be when they have the clothing with integrated pockets for their diabetes devices.

We as diabetics need to bring so many things with us wherever we go, that we sometimes risk forgetting something, or have to bring along an extra diabetes bag.

 

BP: What has been the biggest challenge you have faced with AnnaPS?

AS: The biggest challenge is reaching all of the diabetics around the world, and growing the business so that we can exist as a brand and develop more products. We are still a small company run by my husband and I. It has also been a challenge to develop clothing with so much inbuilt functionalities that is environmental friendly and high quality.

BP: What has been your most proud moment or achievement with Anna PS?

AS: I am sure it was when I was nominated to the LyfeBulb-Novo Nordisk Innovation Award! I didn’t win the first prize, but to be a part of this team for three days at the Summit in Copenhagen, and to participate in such inspiring workshops within the field of diabetes made us all feel like winners. It was fantastic! I am really impressed with Lyfebulb for setting up this Innovation Summit and Award together with Novo Nordisk.


You can shop AnnaPS Scandinavia products in the Lyfebulb Market Place!

Follow Anna on Instagram: @annaps_scandinavia

Sweat out in style: Work off that Christmas food with New Year fitness fashion

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Get your gymwear wardrobe in shape

Unless you’re an honorary gym vet, the prospect of parting ways with that box of Quality Street to spend an hour slogging your guts in a sweaty sports hall is unquestionably dismal.

Nonetheless, many of us will have made a resolution to get in shape. And, while instigating new habits can feel like an uphill battle, having the right kit can help.

Read more

Not since the leotard-laden Eighties has athletic wear consumed so much of our fashion conscience. But, somehow, Lycra has snapped back in to style.

This fashion-fitness merge can only serve to be a good thing. After all, if you’re going to work off all those mince…

Karin’s Holiday Gift Guide: For Him!

Yesterday I shared with you my favorite gifts for all of the women in your life, but let us not forget the men! I have teamed up with french restaurateur, Jean – who also had three fashion stores called DeNoyer, introducing European pret-a-porter in the United States –  to bring you our top picks for the guys. From menswear to accessories, we’ve got you covered. Check it out below, and hurry, as we’ve only got a week left to get all of this holiday shopping in!

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  1. Napapijri Jacket. Baby it’s cold outside! As the temperatures continue to drop, treat him to a nice jacket. While it is lightweight, it has Thermore EVOdown® insulation which will keep him super warm! ($163)
  2. Hermes Sac a Depeches. Work in style! This classic black calfskin briefcase will become a staple in his everyday life.  ($8,450)
  3. Bleu de Chanel. Hands down my favorite cologne, and Jeans go-to. Every man will love this fresh and woody scent. ($150)
  4. Incotex Navy Blue Pant. We are loving these Incotex pants. They are easy to pair with many outfits and provide the best fit and comfort. A true favorite, plus it’s on sale for 64% off! ($189)
  5. Lionel Messi Barcelona Home Jersey. My father loves Messi, and my sister has lived in Barcelona for nearly 15 years, so we’ve kind of become big Barcelona fans. A jersey is the perfect gift for that sports fan in your life. If you don’t care for Messi, the site has many other players as well! ? ($100)
  6. The Three Crowns Cufflinks. These cufflinks are inspired by the ancient national emblem of the Kingdom of Sweden. The perfect gift to introduce any man to the Swedish culture. We love it because of my family background! ($74)
  7. Happy Socks. Happy socks have always been a Lyfebulb favorite. We even featured it on our diabetic friendly gift guide here. This is a great gift to add a pop of fun to a man’s wardrobe! Plus, we hear in Silicon Valley, the socks make the tech entrepreneur.  ($12)
  8. Rolex Daytona Stainless Steel Watch. There is no watch more classic than a Rolex. He will love this luxurious gift, and it will quickly become his go-to statement piece. ($11,850)
  9. Orrefors Sweden Tumbler. For the man who loves his drink. This timeless and simple glass designed by Ingegerd Raman will bring that drink to life. ($43)
  10. Charvet Knit Silk Tie. Every man needs a good knit silk tie, and this is our favorite! The dark red makes it perfect for the holiday and winter season. ($195)
  11. ECCO Hybrid Golf Shoes. Our shoe pick for the golfer in your life! The light moon rock color makes it very versatile, the leather is water resistant, and the shoe is designed for comfort. What more could he ask for! ($160)

Karin’s Holiday Gift Guide: For Her!

The holiday season is here and I love indulging my friends and family with incredible gifts! I’ve curated some of my favorite products, including something for all of the lovely ladies in your life. Enjoy!

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  1. For the prep: Isabel Marant Cable-Knit Sweater.  Cute, cozy, and warm! Sure to be the new staple piece of any woman’s closet. Plus Net-a Porter currently has this sweater 60% off! GO! ($314)
  2. For the bold: Ippolita Mini Lollipop earrings. I love adding a pop of color to my outfits. Especially in the winter, when I resort to black and darker colors. The bold and fun woman in your life will love these earrings! ($650)
  3. For EVERYONE! Valentino Little Black Dress. You can truly never go wrong with a little black dress. Every woman needs one. Right now I’m crushing on this Valentino number, with just the right amount of embellishment around the neck. Wear it with or without a pair of tights! ($1,794)
  4. For the perfume lover: Bond Nuits de Noho Perfume. This perfume is the perfect blend of fruity and musky. The Nuits de Noho girl is bold, fearless, and sexy.  If you are looking for a great perfume, you’ve found it. ($300)
  5. For the fashionista: Hermes Kelly Bag. This is a classic, timeless bag, made famous in 1956 by the Princes of Monaco, Grace Kelly. It is rare and precious. Any fashionista will marvel over this gift. ($8,750)
  6. For the best host: Georg Jensen Champagne Sabre. Every host needs one of these, and this gift is perfect just in time for the New Year! Your friend will just love popping her champagne bottle with this sabre! ($200)
  7. For the jewelry collector: Cartier Juste Un Clou Bracelet. This is anything but ‘just a nail.’ This fine statement piece is a must have in every jewelry lover’s collection. ($6,800)
  8. For the rockstar: Zadig & Voltaire leggings. These leggings are 100% stretch lambskin, and add a bit of edge to every outfit. ($845)
  9. For the beauty buff: NARS Copacabana. It’s all about the highlight! The versatility of this product allows for a little extra shimmer for your eyes, lips, and of course, those cheekbones! Your friend won’t leave the house without it again! ($39)
  10. For the thinker: Smythson ‘Make It Happen’ Notebook. At Lyfebulb, we take notes in our Smythson notebooks all day. We couldn’t live without it! This notebook is the perfect gift for the writer, thinker, scholar, or entrepreneur in your life! ($75)
  11. For the homebody: Three J NYC Pajama Set. This is the softest cotton-flannel pajama set on the market. So cozy she won’t want to get out of these on those lazy Sunday mornings. ($120)
  12. For the shoe-obsessed: Gianvito Rossi Suede Pumps. I’m loving these red suede pumps! They are the perfect shoe to accent any outfit, and the thick heels makes them comfortable for long-wear! They would also go great with the Valentino LDB above! ($675)
  13. For the decor lover: Diptyque Set of Three Candles. Diptyque has long been a Lyfebulb Favorite. This set of three candles has nailed all of the holiday scents: vary from pine to spices, to sweet baking. Any festive home-lovers will appreciate these! ($100)

Fit Life: Montiel Activewear Brings Relaxed Fashion To Women On The Go

Montiel Activewear Hanley Long Sleeve & Teardrop Bra
Montiel Activewear Tear Drop Bra (Back)
Montiel Activewear Thalia Bra (Front)
Montiel Activewear Cowl Back & Thalia Bra (Back)

As 2016 comes to an end, many of us our thinking about what we want to accomplish in 2017. Some of those goals may be to save money, go on a once-in-a-lifetime trip or pick up that hobby that’s been always been an interest. For a lot of people, 2017 will be the year of reaching those body goals. Whether your eyes are set on burning a certain amount of body fat or losing a couple pounds to fit an upcoming wedding dress, fitness is one of those goals that many women can relate to.

With work and other responsibilities that often get in the way of workout time, many women have leaned towards wearing more athletic and leisure (aka athleisure) items of clothing to help make that transition from the sedentary cubicle to the sweat-induced cycling class seat. One West Coast-based clothing line, montiel activewear, strives to bring the “fun, flirty and functional” to athletic attire. With social media networks like Instagram and Pinterest making online shopping and wardrobe makeovers all the more convenient, montiel, known for its staple teardrop bra, only sells from the web and does not have a pop-up shop anywhere in the United States.

After coming across some rather cute items on Instagram, Vibe Vixen had a chance to sit down with the founder, Maggie Montiel, to briefly chat about her activewear line, how it came became popular in the “fit Hollywood” scene and more.

VIBE Vixen: How did you get started in fashion?

Maggie Montiel: My dad’s been in the fashion merchandising industry for forever. I have always wanted to be in it, and it fell in my lap. I started with a few pieces out of my two-bedroom apartment, and it took off organically through social media. I had to keep up with it. I sell exclusively online to offer a better price point to the customer – I’m not doing any wholesale – and it’s working.

Who would you say would benefit from an item from our clothing line?
I would say women ages 20 to 45, who are comfortable shopping online, appreciate great prices without any risk. You don’t necessarily have to go to the gym. You can just be comfortable.

What’s the most popular item that you have out now?
The popular signature piece is the Teardrop bra. It’s kind of like the claim to fame for us, but that’s the one with the two straps.

How are your pieces different from that of your competitors?
I’m using top fabrics comparable to Lulu Lemon, and with a controlled quality. We…

Entrepreneurs find a niche in the growing “athleisure” apparel space

After giving birth to her third child, Devon Mish wanted to shed some extra pounds. She relished the chance to replace some of her old workout clothes, dating to her college days.

“I went out ready to spend and just did not find anything I liked,” Mish said. “Everything was plain black or solid colors — not my style. I like prints. I like bright colors. I wanted fun, energetic clothing to get me excited to get up in the morning and go to the gym.”

The Odenton resident tapped into an emerging trend four years ago when she set out to fill a void for “preppy chic activewear,” launching clothing line Devon Maryn. Plenty of others, she found, wanted activewear that doubled as fashion and were embracing “athleisure” style as well.

Mish’s business joined a cottage industry that has cropped up in the Baltimore area in the shadow of much bigger global competitor Under Armour. They’re hoping to meet growing demand for apparel designed to be worn while exercising — or not.

Athleisure, a category put on the map by yoga pants maker Lululemon, is on the rise at a time when more casual dress codes, greater health awareness and fabric innovations have made it more acceptable and popular to wear athletic wear outside the gym or off the field. The term moved into the mainstream this year with it’s own dictionary definition.

“This is one of those trends that’s driven by lifestyle, as opposed to fashion dictating how people should dress and live,” said Zoey Washington-Sheff, senior style editor for Brit + Co. “The way people live is changing the fashion offerings. That’s how you know something is going to be around quite a long time. The reality is the athletic market is big business, and fashion is doing its best to figure out how to stay relevant.”

More brands and designers are moving into the space, Washington-Sheff said, making athletic apparel more fashion-driven. That evolution is attracting entrepreneurs like Mish, who say they are succeeding by catering to well-defined niches.

For Devon Maryn, that means women who don’t consider themselves hard-core athletes or fitness buffs and who might not relate to the intensity of athletes in Under Armour or Nike ads, Mish said.

“I wanted this to be a nonintimidating brand,” Mish said. “My goal was to appeal to that East Coast and Southern woman who wants to wear makeup and a little jewelry to the gym. I’m here to make you feel like it’s OK if you want to wear a pretty outfit to the gym, and there’s no shame in that. If you’re more motivated to work out, all the better.”

Other area entrepreneurs are spotting similar niches.

While watching her sons play lacrosse, Sheilah Ruppert noticed that girls playing the sport “were living in these compression shorts” on and off the field.

With the help of her sister-in-law, who designs custom swimwear, she began creating shorts, sports bras and headbands. While…

How wearing workout clothes outside the gym became a huge fashion trend

If your leggings became a wardrobe staple this year, replacing your jeans on rest days and not solely seen on trips to the gym, then consider yourself part of one of 2016’s most fashionable trends: athleisure.

So big was the trend that the Merriam-Webster dictionary included ‘athleisure’ as a new word for its 2016 edition, defining it as “casual clothing meant to be worn both for exercising and for general use.”

Despite reports that athleisure may now be peaking, activewear remains a huge market, as research firm NPD noted in October; here we take a look back on the year to see what helped elevate the humble gym kit to one of the biggest trends of 2016.

Celebrity designers

Although adidas and British designer Stella McCartney had a long-term collaboration long before the athleisure trend really took off, this year saw an influx of other brands tapping celebrity names in order to inject some style into their sportswear collections.

Nike tapped both Givenchy designer Riccardo Tisci and Balmain designer Olivier Rousteing, Rihanna showed her Fenty…

Here’s how athleisure became the most stylish fashion trend of 2016

Highlight Story
When not walking the catwalk or the red carpet, several celebrities such as Gigi Hadid were happy to be seen showing off their lycra — and not only on their way to a workout — in 2016. (Instagram/Gigi Hadid)

If your leggings became a wardrobe staple this year, replacing your jeans during the rest of the days and not solely seen on trips to the gym, then consider yourself part of one of 2016’s most fashionable trends: Athleisure.

So big was the trend that the Merriam-Webster dictionary included ‘athleisure’ as a new word for its 2016 edition, defining it as “casual clothing meant to be worn both for exercising and for general use.”

Despite reports that athleisure may now be peaking, activewear remains a huge market, as research firm NPD noted in October; here we take a look back on the year to see what helped elevate the humble gym kit to one of the biggest trends of 2016.

Celebrity designers

Although adidas and British designer Stella McCartney had a long-term collaboration long before the athleisure trend really took off, this year saw an influx of other brands tapping celebrity names in order to inject…

Elements Fitness Fashion & Beauty PopUp to Open at the 1 Hotel South Beach

This press release was provided by Elements Fitness. The Club Industry editorial staff was not involved in the creation of this content.

Powered by PopUpSummer! the shop will feature the best of Fitness, Fashion & Beauty Brands

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE (MIAMI, FLORIDA) — Elements Fitness and PopUpSummer! are excited to announce their partnership to create an oasis at the 1 Hotel South Beach during Art Basel. The street level shop will be open on November 29 through December 3rd from 8am to 6pm. The PopUp will feature renowned barre and dance fusion signature classes, private training, styles from the hottest fitness and athleisure wear brands, jewelry, bags, sun visors, hats, hair styling, make up and beauty products from the new Salótto salon, give-aways and much more.

Elements Fitness Founder Andrea Fornarola Hunsberger teamed up with Susan Sandler for her knack to create unique shopping experiences in event locations. Sandler’s ability to identify and present brands that are not necessarily found everywhere, but are in demand, has lead her to create successful PopUp shops in New York City and the Hamptons.

Andrea Fornarola Hunsberger, explains “Art Basel attracts a lot of our existing clientele from New York, and we wanted to create a home away from home for them. A place of familiarity, where they can recharge, relax and really enjoy this unique experience that combines the the best of fitness, fashion and beauty.” Susan Sandler adds “We have seen a trend in adrenaline shopping, what I like to call an extension of the endorphin rush of good exercise, and we wanted to bring this to life during the amazing week of Art Basel Miami, with brands that are artistically designed.”

ABOUT THE BRANDS

ELEMENTS FITNESS was founded in 2010 as a fitness and wellness consulting company, successfully implementing programming and activations in schools,…

Athleisure’s Winners and Losers

Cara Delevingne in Puma's 'Do You' women's campaign | Source: Puma
Cara Delevingne in Puma’s ‘Do You’ women’s campaign |
Source: Puma

LONDON, United Kingdom — A decade or so ago, the average retailer’s athletic wear offering was limited to basic t-shirts and trainers — clothing that was practical for exercise, but nothing else.
Today however, fuelled by increasingly casual dress codes and a growing consumer focus on health and wellness, looking like you have an active lifestyle has become cool and athletic wear has become part of the everyday wardrobe.
“This idea of being healthy and sporty and fit has become the new sexy … There’s a desire to look sporty even if you aren’t practising any sport,” says Bernadette Kissane, apparel and footwear analyst at Euromonitor.
This shift has led to the rise of the so-called ‘athleisure’ category — clothing that marries the functionality and aesthetic of activewear with the desirability of catwalk trends. Demand for fashion-inflected yoga leggings and crop tops helped drive the global activewear market to a staggering $265 billion in 2015, up from $196 billion in 2010, according to Euromonitor. And the market shows no signs of slowing down, with global sales predicted to grow at 4.4 percent CAGR through 2020.
For existing sports brands and retailers, this trend presents an obvious opportunity. But, while some, like Nike, Adidas, Foot Locker and JD Sports, have been riding the athleisure wave with great success, many have struggled. This past year has seen Sports Authority, City Sports and Vestis Retail Group, parent company of Eastern Mountain Stores, Bob’s Stores and Sport Chalet, file for bankruptcy in the US, while in the UK Sports Direct reported that pre-tax profits for the year to April 2016 were down 15 percent. So what are the necessary requirements for a successful athleisure strategy?
Established players in the activewear market were well placed to tap the athleisure trend when it first emerged, as they were already familiar to consumers. “The reason why sports brands such as Nike and Adidas have done so well is they already had that brand image, the prestige you’d want to be associated with,” explains Kissane. “The fact that [this trend] is more status driven, and wanting to look cool and sexy, than it is actually being healthy and fit, [means] you then want to be associated with the brands in that area.”
“They have built up brand affinity over the years and consumers are accustomed to buying brands they are familiar with,” agrees Diana Smith, senior research analyst, retail and apparel at Mintel. They also have a proven track record of performance-quality product, which is still a core attribute of activewear, even if a garment is not actually going to be worn for exercise, Smith adds.
Multi-brand activewear retailers were less appealing in the eyes of the athleisure consumer. “What they had sold in the past was really performance wear. You went in, you bought your tennis shoes, your running shoes, your wick-away, and it was generally not very attractive but it functioned,” explains Burke.

Nike and Adidas already had that brand image, the prestige you’d
want to be associated with.


“It’s not the sort of environment and soul of what athleisure is — that balance between fitness and fashion and the trend of wellness,” agrees Wendy Liebmann, chief executive of consultancy WSL Strategic Retail.
Investing in the in-store experience to attract the largely female and fashion-conscious athleisure consumer is...

When You Want To Get Something Done, Give It To A Woman

I have always liked the phrase, when you want to get something done, give it to a busy person. While I still believe that to be true, my life has taught me that it is even better if that person is a woman!

This is not going to be about men bashing at all. In fact, I have been fortunate to be surrounded by many smart, powerful and compassionate men in my life. What I believe it comes down to is consciously choosing to surround yourself with inspiring, competent folks.

In October of 2013, I was diagnosed with stage 3 ovarian cancer. As far as cancers goes, it’s not a great one. I mean, none are great, but ovarian does not have a real cure yet. Roughly 21,000 new cases will be diagnosed this year and about 14,000 of these cases result in death. What has changed is the shift from seeing it as a terminal illness to a chronic disease. Doctors do not yet know how to cure it but they are learning how to keep us alive longer.

I went through a CT scan and an ultrasound on a Monday and by Tuesday, my diagnosis was confirmed. Within 24 hours, my girlfriends went to work (along with many men too!). They researched top docs in Chicago, pulled strings and made phone calls. They found friends and family near and far that have lived with ovarian cancer. They tracked the best nutritional regimen for cancer, clothes for chemotherapy comfort, wig shops and dealers. One friend sent me headcovers and made me hats with hair by knitting caps herself. Another friend, kept my house looking beautiful with weekly fresh flowers. They found a woman who lived in my community that could talk me through my initial panic and guide me throughout this terrifying process. They located alternative therapies, massage therapists and support groups. That was all within the first week post diagnosis.

It gets better… Once I received my chemo schedule, a friend of mine put a chemo companion driving schedule together. On and off for 1 year, my friends endured the nearly 3 hour trip to and from the hospital, watched me cry as my port was accessed and managed to make me laugh hard through the worst possible days.

It was very important to me to eat a rather specific diet throughout my treatment. The talented and uber knowledgeable, Susan Taves, of Sweet Casava (www.sweetcassava.com) was hired to cook a few meals a week for me. One of my friends put out an email and in lieu of gifts, the entire community (seriously) donated money to pay for my delicious food.

There is more. Another friend created an email sign up to prepare meals 3 times a week for my sons. Several times a week another busy, talented woman would ring the doorbell around 6 with a seriously delicious meal. I mean like there were no casseroles or frozen dinners for 1 year! My house was filled with a constant flow of amazing, pretty healthy, high quality food. I still feel badly if not all serving dishes and Tupperware have been returned to their rightful owners. If this is you, please feel free to look through my supply.

As a Psychotherapist, professionally, I support and empower women as they navigate very challenging life cycle issues. In some small way, I am honored to give back in any way I can to women experiencing any challenges. To all of you out there in my personal front row, in 1 week you performed with the efficiency and strength of the Israeli army and for that, there will never be enough thank you’s.

It is because of this massive collective of girl power that my dear friend and I were inspired to create our company, Bwell 11 and the Coverage YOU Can Control Philosophy. To all the women out there, we say, who doesn’t want to cover a little something in a bathing suit? We’ve got a great solution, so be sure to check out our products like the Bandtastik™ or Bandiva™ and let us know what you think. They were created by women, who were supported by women, who want to pay it forward and support other women.

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