“My mum has always been a little unconventional”, Boost co-founder Sam Jackman recalls, “so I wasn’t surprised that she rebelled against wearing her chicken filet type breast form. What surprised me was her underlying reason for doing so, and the more I thought about it, the more I realised that there might be other women who felt the same way.”
Sam’s mum didn’t find the breast form visually appealing or comfortable to wear. “She asked me why the hospital felt that she needed to replace the breast she had lost with a ‘lump of flesh’, and why people assumed everything needed to skin tone, when nobody’s skin was the beige colour represented in the product,” Sam says. The assumptions that were being made about the design of the product were obvious. “Mum wanted to wear a breast form sometimes, to help provide shape and contour under her clothing. What she didn’t want was a replacement breast, or a product that made her hot and sweaty. “
One day, in their open plan office at a workplace in Plymouth, Devon, Sam flippantly mentioned that the design of the breast form did not meet women’s needs. “Why can’t it be leopard print? I asked my colleagues. They agreed that the design and aesthetics of the current products had room for improvement.” This sparked inspiration for Rosie Brave, a woman who shared Sam’s desire to challenge design assumptions, particularly when they concerned products for women.
Rosie and Sam founded Boost a couple of years later, undertaking a human-centred design approach, listening to the voices of women and acting on their suggestions to create new product ideas. Like Sam’s mum, many were dissatisfied with their breast prosthesis saying that it was hot, heavy and sweaty, which makes it uncomfortable to wear. With the ‘chicken fillet’ style breast prosthesis only available in beige, slightly darker beige or yellowish beige- they just didn’t think that was acceptable as a poor imitation of skin colour. The current breast form design was also packaging heavy, encased in plastic to retain it’s shape and has a short product life due to the delicate film that encases the gel. It is at risk of leaking or rupture, needs cleaning with gentle care and cannot be worn in the swimming pool or sea.
The Boost Feel Good Breast Form addresses these problems. The open structure design makes it lighter and allows air to circulate through it. It is made from robust silicone that can be easily cleaned, it is not at risk of puncture. It can be worn in activities like swimming without any issues. Importantly to Boost, the breast forms will be coloured based on bras and garments, not poor representations of skin tone, so they are inclusive and stylish for ALL WOMEN who want to wear one. The Boost Feel Good Breast Form offers a new, stylish and colourful option to those women who choose to wear a breast prosthesis, with less packaging and longer lasting durability.
Okay, that sounds great, what do I do?
1 in 8 women will get a breast cancer diagnosis in their lifetime. If you, or someone you know, has had breast cancer surgery and wears a breast form, you can order one of the VERY FIRST products and become part of a Boost Community by supporting the Kickstarter campaign.
If you are one of those fabulous people who think, ‘Hooray, that’s a great idea’ but you are not a breast form wearer (or know anyone else who is), then you can still support us. Our boob-themed art works, or Gift-a-Breast Form reward makes it simple for you to help. In return, you can get a warm, fuzzy feeling of supporting our women-centred design business to make something functional and fun for women who’ve had breast cancer. You will also receive thanks from Boost, and their huge gratitude.
If this idea makes you really, really happy you can support us by ordering the Bag of Breast Forms reward, for yourself, a group you know or as a gift for others.
And for those who are really keen, Boost are offering far more than just a standard Kickstarter reward. “Boost’s products are designed with women, for women and we’d like to recognise that by providing the opportunity for supporters to help us name our product lines. If there has been someone special in your life who has been affected by breast cancer, we’d love to name one of our products in their honour. Pledge £2,000 and we’ll work with you to name the product, provide you with a certificate and, if you want us to, we can share the story behind the name, ” Sam explains.
What will they do with your money?
So far, Boost have managed to work with women to create a prototype breast form that is completely different to the current market options available for women who choose to wear a breast form. “We have had women approaching us who are keen to wear one- so now we are seeking funding to move forward and make that happen! “ Sam told us.
Boost will be using Kickstarter funding to invest in the equipment and materials that they need to make the Feel Good Breast Forms available for the women who need them. “Without your help, we will be stuck knowing that we have a great idea and fabulous prototype, but without the means to make it a reality!”
As a micro-business based in Cornwall with large ambitions, supporting Boost to launch their first batch of breast forms is a great opportunity to invest in women-led innovation. “I didn’t consider myself to be an entrepreneur, but listening to the stories of women who have had experiences like my Mum has driven me to action. Without the support from our wider community, we couldn’t make this happen,” Sam continues. “Our community of women and supporters mean the world to us, especially for Mum who finally feels like she is getting close to having the product she always needed, 13 years on from her mastectomy.”