There are few companies that I can say have actually changed my life. ENELL is one of them.
Over the weekend, I shared something on Instagram about ENELL, and I wanted to share it here as well based on the responses. I've not talked about them here recently, which is crazy because I work with them everyday!
First, the disclosure: this is not a sponsored post. I've not been asked to write it, although they are a client of my company, Authentically Social. There are affiliate links in this post, which means if you click through and purchase an item, I will earn a small percentage of the sale. Whether or not you click, I still want to tell you the story!
Here's what I wrote on Instagram Saturday night:
The filming took place last year, partially while I was in Havre, MT for an annual ENELL meeting and photoshoot. They were the first client of my company, Authentically Social, over 7 years ago. I found them via @oprah, when she declared they were the best sports bra multiple times over. To be honest, I bought one because as a size 52G at the time. I had no other options. They have been practicing this #sizeinclusive business since the beginning, when a volleyball player/hairdresser from Montana decided she needed a sports bra that would perform as a piece of athletic equipment should.
I reached out to them as a baby blogger. and this small company from Montana who literally made it possible for me to work out without breast discomfort helped me get to my first #Fitbloggin conference and I've worked with them ever since.
This isn't an ad and they don't know I'm writing this. But on the daily, when I look for inspiration of companies that serve their customers, employees, and community with compassion – and still maintain success – I have to look no further than ENELL.
Yes, I work with them everyday. But I'm also a crazy fan of this company who made it possible for me to exercise at a time when my life needed a change. If you ever have questions about the company, sizing, etc let me know and I am more than happy to help.
To explain a little further:
There is a show called Under the Big Sky that features great things going on in Montana. It's beautifully filmed and the storytelling is lovely. This past weekend, an episode premiered featuring the story of ENELL bras. It was filmed last year, when I was in Montana for our annual meeting, and for a photoshoot. If you would have told little girl Emily that she would be wearing her sports bra without a shirt on TV and on the internet, she would have called you a liar! But nevertheless, that's how far we've come.
As I mentioned, ENELL was created by a well endowed barber and volleyball player who was tired of bouncing around in unsupportive sports bras. Unable to find anything that worked, she made and patented her own.
Fast forward to receiving many celebrity endorsements, including being featured multiple times by Oprah. How does a tiny company based in a little town in northern Montana get in front of Oprah? It involves Drew Barrymore…
So from Oprah's lips to my boobs, the ENELL gave me the support I needed to workout. As a size 52G at the time, there were literally no other sports bras on the market that would work for my bust size. Not only did ENELL fit, it performed like I never thought one ever could. I was able to train, and then do my first of many 5Ks, and then the half marathon in it.
Even beyond the bra itself, the company is full of amazing people. Founder Renelle Braaten invented this bra out of necessity, and has turned it into an international Oprah-favorite based in Montana. The team believes passionately in this product. I approached them in 2011 when my blog was fitness focused, and proposed a partnership to help get me to my first Fitbloggin conference. That conference changed my life, and I'm still friends with the people I met to this day. After the conference, I proposed some ongoing social media work. They were the first client I had with my company, Authentically Social, and with their work, I left my corporate marketing gig behind. I'm proud to still work with them 7 years later.
Here's the video of ENELL that aired this weekend on Under the Big Sky. If you're looking for business inspiration or just a really good story, this is one. You can also view more behind the scenes snippets here.
After the Instagram post, I've had a lot of questions about what bra and what size to order. I wanted to do a quick rundown here because this is a lot to respond to in a DM:
First, ENELL is NOT just for plus size women – they have a crazy wide range of sizes starting at a 27″ band. They're for all well-endowed women, C cup and above.
Which ENELL sports bra is right for you?
ENELL SPORT: This is the maximum impact, heavy-duty bra that put ENELL on the map. When I wear this bra, my boobs are the only part of my body that don't jiggle! Some people complain that it's ugly (even though Christina Hendricks said herself that she feels sexy in it), but there are performance reasons behind every design element of this bra, and I frankly don't care what it looks like. If you want to bounce around pain and discomfort free, this is the sports bra for you.
ENELL RACER: This also has great support, but has a racerback cut for those who like to wear racerback tanks or don't want as much coverage across their backs. This has more support than any other non-ENELL sports bra I've tried, but some people who are accustomed to the SPORT have mentioned that they don't feel as supported in it. Removing the fabric in the back does impact the performance, as does lowering the neckline a little so it shows less under tanks. I still wear this regularly though for my normal workouts.
ENELL LITE: This is a bra for lower impact activities like walking, cycling, yoga, or even everyday use. I have worn this under dresses and regular clothes before. It's very comfortable, and provides support in a wide range of sizes. My friend Colene loves them for hot yoga and hot pilates.
What ENELL size do I wear?
Like all bras, if you're not wearing the right size, it won't do what it's designed for! I can't stress the fit of the ENELL bra enough. Following these instructions are CRUCIAL for finding the correct ENELL size. There is very little stretch to the RACER and SPORT bras in particular, that if you're not in the right size, you either can't breathe or you still flop around everywhere. It's also really important to follow the instructions on how to put on the bra. I know it sounds silly – you've been putting on bras since puberty – but if the bra isn't positioned and secured correctly. it's not going to perform to the best of its abilities for you.
I realize BLAH BLAH BLAH, too many words. But a tiny bit of pre-planning can be the make or break with this being the answer to your bounce problems!
Here's a video of these steps. Surprise! It's me, from 5 years ago. With a really bad spray tan and not enough powder in the world to remove the shine.
Take 2 measurements while wearing an everyday bra. Try to avoid wearing a padded or push up bra when taking these measurements.
- Measure around the widest part of the bust.
- Measure underneath the bust (band area), at the top of the ribcage.
- Take those 2 measurements and compare them to the ENELL size chart
If you don't fit in one of these exactly, you have some options:
- Send ENELL a message on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram, or email them at orderinfo (at) enell (dot) com. Or ask me! We can all advise you on size.
- If there isn't an off the rack size for you, they have a custom option where they'll create a bra specifically to your measurements.
When you receive your bras, make sure to put them on with the following instructions:
- Put the bra on like a vest.
- Before fastening, pull down the back of the bra to make sure it's covering your back
- Secure the first couple of hooks, then scoop and position your breasts into each cup. Secure the next couple of hooks and repeat.
- The band should feel secure, and may even feel a little tight at first if you're not used to it. Make sure you can fit a finger or two under the band. Also make sure it's not too big – twist your torso and make sure the band doesn't slide around. If it does, you'll need a different size.
Thanks to ENELL for changing my life – believe me, I don't use those words lightly.
If you have any questions about the bras, please feel free to reach out to me. Happy to help!
PS – Use code EMILYSHIP for free shipping on your order.