Goshen News, Goshen, IN

October 2, 2013

Window bra at business helps promote breast cancer awareness


— GOSHEN — A big, black and white polka-dot bra now covers two of the bubble windows at LOL Health and Fitness Studio, 302 S. Main Street.

“The building has a certain asymmetrical look to it anyway,” said co-owner Maija Stutsman. “It’s always lent itself to it and I just took it to another level. I was walking around downtown and got the idea last year to make a big bra.”

She said the idea came after looking at other bras on display that had been designed for the annual Decorated Bra Event sponsored by The Retreat Women’s Health Center of IU Health Goshen.

“It’s a ‘wow’ factor,” Stutsman said, laughing. “It’s a good time to coincide with the new business.”

She designed the bra along with the other business co-owner, Jami Hawkins, since October has been designated breast cancer awareness month.

“I did go to Victoria’s Secret for inspiration,” she said. “I decided to go for the polka-dots and girly-girl look. I had to go strapless because of the height of the building.”

In order to make the bra, Stutsman used approximately 6 to 7 yards of fabric. Her husband, City Councilman Jeremy Stutsman, constructed the chest band on the bottom of the bra, she said.

It took the three individuals about four to five hours total from start to finish to cover the two bubble windows.

“We were surprised how easily it went. The hardest part was getting the fabric wrapped tightly around the windows without scratching them,” she said. “We are very protective of our bubbles (windows). It’s a perfect use of the building and everybody loves the idea,”

Stutsman said increasing the awareness of breast cancer means more because it’s touched her family.

“I have a family member affected by breast cancer,” she said, “and we have a lot of classes at the center focusing on women’s fitness.”

The co-owners are slightly disappointed that the public has limited viewing of their windows due to the construction on Jefferson Street, Stutsman said.

“You can still see it from Main Street,” she said. “The city construction workers think it’s hilarious and we have had lots of comments so far. People can see it better next year; we’ll be doing it year after year. I love to design and can come up with a new theme. It will be fun.”

Stutsman said she was thrilled to find out their “bra” has been entered in the sixth annual Decorated Bra Event underway in Goshen with voting to begin this week at The Retreat, 1135 Professional Drive, Goshen.

The event is sponsored by The Retreat Women’s Health Center of IU Health Goshen.

The contestants decorate a bra to promote breast cancer awareness. The bras will remain on display at The Retreat until Oct. 31, during which time the public can vote for their favorite design, either in person or at www.GoshenBraContest.org.

The Retreat requests a minimum of $1 contribution per vote, which will go toward HeartString Sisters, a program providing free mammograms for eligible local women.

The Retreat Women’s Health Center, part of IU Health Goshen, will host its annual women’s health event, “Know You: Your Body, Your Health, Your Life,” Saturday from noon to 4 p.m. The event takes place at The Retreat, 1135 Professional Drive, Goshen.

In addition to free health screenings and risk assessments, the Women’s Expo will showcase the products and services of local vendors, and will offer fitness demonstration, food samples, massages and more.

For more information on the Women’s Expo, visit the website at www.retreatwomensexpo.com or call 574-364-4000.