It’s one thing to be frustrated with ill-fitting undergarments that look bad. But when you learn that it’s potentially affecting your physical health, it becomes a personal problem you want and need to solve.
In this interview, we learn about Amanda Henson’s struggle to find undergarments that work for her, which became the start of her own online business dedicated to creating bras for the full bust community. Read on to find out about her challenges in becoming an entrepreneur and growing a business while a full-time mom of three and the people, tools, and insights that have helped her along the way.
Table of Contents
- Henson’s Background
- Henson’s Leap Into Entrepreneurship
- Early Business Days
- How Henson Grew Her Business
- Henson’s Advice to Entrepreneurs & Handling Burnout
- How Henson Overcame Her Biggest Challenge
- Henson’s Reading List
- Wrap Up
- More About Amanda Henson
What does your business do & who are your customers?
At La Plantureuse, we are dedicated to empowering the full bust community with thoughtfully designed intimates that perfectly complement their unique curves. Through our creations, we aim not only to offer impeccable comfort and style but also to educate individuals about the significance of accurate measuring and finding the perfect fit.
We stand as advocates for the full bust community, tirelessly working to amplify their voices and promote inclusivity within the industry. Our commitment extends beyond design and advocacy, as we actively contribute to bettering the lives of those facing less fortunate circumstances.
Through donations and outreach, we endeavor to ensure that every individual has access to essential undergarments, fostering a sense of confidence and well-being.
In all that we do, we remain resolute in our mission to celebrate, uplift, and support the diverse full-bust community while fostering positive change within the intimates industry.
What first got you started working on your business, and what motivates you each day to do what you do?
La Plantureuse was born from a need. I spent my life struggling to find a bra that fits. After years of embarrassment, shame, and frustration, I received news no one wanted to hear. Doctors found a lump in my breast. After testing, I was in the clear, but the problem remained. An improper bra caused the false alarm.
I understand the empowerment that knowledge can bring, a lesson I learned firsthand in the realm of undergarments – an experience that resonates with a vast majority of women. My mission is to pay this knowledge forward, equipping others with insights that grant them the same sense of liberation, allowing them to cast aside one needless worry from their lives.
How long have you been in business?
The business turned three years old on August 8, 2024.
Henson’s Leap Into Entrepreneurship
How did you decide to start your business & take the leap into entrepreneurship?
After my health scare, I decided enough was enough. While expressing my frustrations to my husband, he asked the simple question that started it all. “Why don’t you make your own?”
So, I embarked on a journey to create a new and impressive full-bust bra. My mission was driven by a strong commitment to help the full bust community, which really needed a better option.
People: Solopreneur with the support of my husband
Tools: Google Drive for all backup
How did you manage your time during the transition to entrepreneurship?
I worked during the kids’ nap times and bedtimes.
Early Business Days
What were some of the challenges you faced in the first year or early on in your business & how did you overcome them?
Finding a skilled seamstress to bring my design to life was a big challenge from the start. It became even harder as obstacles kept arising along the journey. The pandemic redirected clothing makers to produce gowns and masks, throwing a wrench into my plans.
But I didn’t let these tough challenges stop me. I held onto my determination and kept pushing forward. Despite the difficulties, my unwavering commitment and creative thinking kept my idea alive. I worked hard to find solutions and overcome the problems in my way.
Even in the middle of all these tough situations, my strong spirit and smart problem-solving skills stood out. I never gave up on my goal of making a much-needed full-bust bra. My story shows that even when things are hard, staying determined can lead to big successes.
People: Amanda, founder; one team member; outsourcing through contractors
How did you manage your time early on?
Time was divided between work and family by time blocking.
How Henson Grew Her Business
Between your early days and today, what have been some of the challenges you faced, and how have you overcome them?
Juggling the roles of both an entrepreneur and a mother, I found myself facing a considerable challenge. The weight of my responsibilities began to take its toll as burnout started to loom, stemming from the demands of dividing my time so thinly. Recognizing the need for change, I understood that delegation held the key to restoring my balance.
With a clear understanding of the path forward, I embarked on a quest to find a social media manager and virtual assistant. This decision wasn’t merely about lightening my load; it was a strategic move aimed at amplifying the online presence of my endeavor. The arduous task of crafting captivating content for the digital landscape had consumed a significant portion of my time and energy, an area where I didn’t necessarily excel.
Since welcoming the Social Media Manager and Virtual Assistant on board, a transformation has taken place. I’ve been liberated to focus on what truly matters. Freed from the constraints of content creation, I have redirected my efforts towards two pivotal endeavors: honing the brand’s identity and fostering connections within the community of full-bust women and businesses.
This shift has not only rejuvenated my drive but has also laid the foundation for a more sustainable and effective approach. Through wise delegation, my journey has evolved from one of exhaustive multitasking to a focused and dynamic pursuit of my vision, allowing me to make meaningful strides in the world of entrepreneurship while nurturing my role as a dedicated mother.
People: Amanda, Founder; one team member; outsourcing through contractors
How do you manage your time today or since ‘early business’?
I time block every activity each day and write a to-do list to help me stay on schedule.
Henson’s Advice to Entrepreneurs & Handling Burnout
What are the top 3 tips you’d give someone who’s interested in starting a business?
1. Being an entrepreneur means you are a problem solver, so don’t let problems be an issue.
2. Don’t be scared to delegate tasks that you are not confident with.
3. Failure is something that happens when you give up without trying. Remember to just keep pushing forward.
What is your relationship with burnout?
Burnout sneaks up easily when we insist on carrying all responsibilities ourselves and neglect our mental well-being. In my experience, burnout crept in as I tried to handle both being a mom and launching a business. The weight of these dual roles drained my energy and resilience.
But amidst this challenge, I found a valuable solution: journaling. Writing down my thoughts became a release, a safe space for my mind to let go. Journaling became a refuge, helping me untangle the stress and worry that had built up.
I realized seeking relief wasn’t only about journaling; it was also about embracing delegation. Recognizing my limits, I got help for tasks I didn’t enjoy or excel at. This choice freed me from overwhelming multitasking. Entrusting responsibilities to capable hands gave me back time and energy, allowing me to focus on what truly sparked my passions.
Through this journey, I’ve discovered that burnout is tough but not unbeatable. It’s a chance to accept vulnerability, acknowledge limits, and prioritize self-care. By adding journaling to my routine and embracing delegation, I’ve paved the way to not just manage burnout but to thrive amidst life’s challenges.
What is your gross annual revenue in US dollars?
On average, how many hours per week do you work? [in and on your business]:
How Henson Overcame Her Biggest Challenge
What is one of the most difficult things you have overcome in your business?
Learning about the fashion and design industry when I had a background in business management.
What are you most proud of when it comes to your business or journey?
I am most proud of getting out of my comfort zone and accepting the world of opportunities. Because of this, La Plantureuse has the opportunity to showcase full-bust women in our brand-new collection on a Runway. This is something that is rare in the fashion world.
Henson’s Reading List
What are some books, podcasts, and social media accounts that you would recommend?
- UNSCRIPTED: Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Entrepreneurship
- The Millionaire Fastlane: Crack the Code to Wealth and Live Rich for a Lifetime
- Unscripted: The Great Rat-Race Escape: From Wage Slavery to Wealth: How to Start a Purpose Driven Business and Win Financial Freedom for a Lifetime all by M J Demarco
- This is Marketing by Seth Godin
Are there any other tools, software, apps, etc. you use today that you haven’t mentioned?
A solopreneur’s journey can be lonely and taxing, especially venturing into an industry in which you have no background. Henson’s story shows us how, for some businesses, outsourcing and delegating early on is the right thing to do. La Plantureuse, after all, is all about creating the perfect product, so the right skilled seamstresses needed to be on her team.
In Henson’s case, delegating social media and administrative tasks was also crucial to building a sustainable business and lifestyle for her. Hiring for that role has freed her up for the more strategic functions of honing the brand and networking, which she is uniquely qualified for and is critical for her business growth, as well.
More About Amanda Henson
Amanda is a hard-working mother of three, a loving and devoted wife, and an ambitious entrepreneur. Accomplished in her professional life, she proudly holds a Bachelor’s Degree in business from a prestigious university. Despite the challenges of balancing family life with her entrepreneurial goals, she has remained resilient and committed to achieving her dreams. With her tenacity and positive attitude, Amanda has been able to build lasting relationships and create success in any endeavor she puts her mind to.