How did you come up with this idea?
When two of my best friends were pregnant and getting ready to wear their Indian clothes for a mutual friend's wedding, I cringed at the sight of watching them tie their petticoats and attempt to pull their clothes over their growing bellies. I thought "there has to be something out there that is more comfortable and flattering for pregnant women" and set out on my search to find Indian maternity clothes. Much to my disappointment, there were none. A year later, there was still nothing on the market when I was pregnant with my son and trying to figure out what to wear to the baby shower hosted by my mother-in-law, which traditionally requires me to wear a sari. The extent of "maternity" Indian clothing was having a custom made empire-waisted Anarkali gown, with a very loose flowy skirt portion.
So, I set out to create them. In my "free time" while still practicing law, I began taking sewing lessons and working with a master seamstress to develop prototype after prototype. With the first Full Belly Panel Maternity Sari* a working success, I set out to create a Demi-Panel Sari* to allow for a dual pregnancy and post-partum product, and then finally the Two-Step Sari*, for women who just want to quickly put a sari on without having to deal with the time consuming ordeal of pleating. For example, women with toddlers, women attending events without their mothers to drape their saris, etc.
Once the Maternity Saris* and Two-Step Sari* were complete, it was obvious that tops were needed for each type of sari. Maternity Blouses and Nursing Blouses were developed next and tested by real women who were either pregnant or nursing. Based on the extremely positive feedback, a Nursing Anarkali was also developed, with the intent that sometimes you just want a one-piece garment that still makes you feel great, and allows you to nurse your child. And here we are.
What is the difference between the pre-stitched saris that are being offered by some boutiques and even some online retailers and The Two-Step Sari*?
Many tailors are offering to "pre-stitch" your saris, so you can wrap them quickly, but many of them are not being sewn with the petticoat, so you still have to wear a petticoat and then figure out a way to wrap the sari and hook it so it doesn't budge and the petticoat doesn't show. Other pre-stitched options may have the petticoat stitched in, but the petticoat is left unstitched, so your legs will still show when sitting down. Finally, yet another pre-stitched option that we have seen is similar to a sari "petticoat" which can be very heavy and still requires the wearer to tie it very tight to keep the entire sari up during wear. The Two-Step Sari* is significantly better than any of these because it wears like a skirt. You take a step in, pull it up over your hips and then drape the pallu as you wish. It can be stitched in Nivi (traditional) style or Gujarati style, just to name a few options, and the beauty of it is that it has hidden elastic inserts in the waistband that allow the user to sit comfortably and breathe without a petticoat digging into your muffintop...er...waist.
Do the Nursing Products have leak proof cups?
Our Nursing Products have bra cup inserts, which provide some protection against leakage. We recommend wearing a nursing bra with nursing bra pads to ensure that the inner lining of your blouse does not get stained. For the Halter Nursing Blouse, our test models were able to wear a strapless bra and still pump and nurse without removing their safety-pinned Saris. Our test models were able to wear the Choli Nursing Sari Blouse, Snap Up Nursing Sari Blouse without removing their safety-pinned saris. Our Nursing Sari Blouses are designed to be worn as well because they are designed to look like Sari Blouses.
Do you take suggestions for products?
Yes! We love to hear what consumers are looking for. If there are products you don't see yet, but would like to, please let us know. Sometimes, it may be that we tried a product and it just didn't work out the way we had hoped or to our standards, but it never hurts to ask and it always helps to know what the customers are looking for.
Can I iron/steam the products once they have been pre-stitched?
Yes, it is very easy to iron, but steaming is recommended. You can lay out the sari on an ironing board, making sure to extend the fabric to the seams and iron/steam as you usually would a sari (very carefully!). It is recommended that you do not try to iron the pleats in place, but rather, iron out the sari flat and let the pleats fall naturally. If you are a perfectionist and want your pleats to be perfectly aligned after ironing, you can use a pant hanger to pin up the sari at the waistband, so the pleats hang in the front. Hang your hanger on another hanger in your closet, so you can view the pleats and then you can follow each pleat down, press with your hands and roll up from the bottom to secure the pleats. Yes, it sounds odd "why would I bunch up the pleats when I just ironed the sari?". Don't worry, it won't wrinkle the fabric, it will help those pleats stay firm at the bottom, where there is often a thick border that tends to pull apart from the other pleats.
What does "Patent Pending" mean?
Go ask your lawyer. Just kidding! "Patent pending" means that a patent application with the USPTO (United States Patent & Trademark Office) has been filed for a product. If the USPTO grants the patent(s) for the products in the patent applications, then the patent holder can enforce their patent rights against any infringing parties who make, use or sell products that are covered by the patent(s).