A billion-dollar startup with a bra

A genius woman made a successful business no one needed using anything but her own house and a roll of tape. Tape bikinis have been a thing in Brazil for well over a decade, but she was the first to profit from it. It was a genius idea, and her work is impeccable. Tanning lines are admired in Brazil and are considered a symbol of status. It’s considered beautiful. It’s cultural and it doesn’t harm anyone (sunscreen is used). In modern times having a tan in European countries means you have the free time to NOT work and just lay in the sun tanning. A kind of status symbol that you can take a long enough vacation to travel to a place where you can lay in the sun doing nothing.

Source: Insider youtube

How A billion-dollar startup with a bra started:

Tan lines are a cultural beauty in Brazil, so it’s only natural to think people in Brazil like to get tan lines…In European cultures, Tan lines show that you have free time not to work and just lay under the sun for hours. But in Asian culture tan means you work outside in the sun and did hard labor, like farming. This means that those in high-class society want to be as pale as possible to prove they don’t have to work and that they are “better” for having so much money that they can pay others to do the hard work rather than themselves, or having a job where you work inside. So weirdly enough nowadays being “white” in Asian countries means you don’t have to work in the sun, and in European countries, it means you have free time from work and do nothing so you can get a tan.

This idea motivated Erika Martins also known as Erika Bronze to start an unconventional tanning business in Brazil. People looking for a smooth tan without burning hours at beaches appear at her place to get tan through electrical tape.

How A billion-dollar startup with a bra works:

Erika jones used to play with tape bikinis since her childhood. At that time, she thought of converting it into a business. Brazilians’ admiration for bikini tan also motivated her to start this business. Fabric bra produces irregular tan lines that look weird. She started using a tape bra to produce tan lines that look smooth, straight, sexy, and well-marked.

Erika shapes the bikini by directly applying tape onto the skin in different styles like high-cut, thong, or retro. She can make every style. A few minutes later, clients spend 80 minutes in sun 40 for the front 40 for the back. During this period, she uses special creams to enhance tan lines. She also applies sunscreen and water to keep clients cool and hydrated during the process that gives her an edge over getting tan on a beach. On average she uses 30 rolls of different widths in one day and made $40000 last year. She recommends at least three sessions for beautiful, sexy, and attractive results.

She created an entire business around a simple idea. She’s creative with her designs and careful with the sun exposure time and products her clients use. And having tan lines is considered quite pretty in Brazil.


Why prefer tape tan over beach tan:

Erika’s tan is a safe and healthy option as a beach tan. She uses sunscreen, water, and tan-enhancing creams that are not possible over a beach. Moreover, she strictly follows covid 19 sops for all her clients that cannot be done at the crowded beaches of Brazil. Her tan is usually done in three sessions (80 min under son in each session), making it preferable over a beach tan.

This is a cultural preference and she has made a good business out of it. That is admirable. There’s a market for everything you just have to know how to sell it. How someone takes a smart idea and makes a successful business from it.

Most Brazilians like to have these tan lines, they look great afterward with clothes. And for people talking about skin cancer, the woman clearly says that she put sunscreen on clients for protection, and the climate in Brazil is 90% of the year like that, so Brazilians are used to it, and the water is used to speed the tanning process.

The dark side of A billion-dollar startup with a bra:

As cool as the concept is, we can’t help thinking of the huge amount of waste this business creates every day- 30 rolls of tape per day for the whole summer season adds up quickly and huge a total waste- just to get a straight tan line? Seriously? Not to mention the long-term health risks associated with intense tanning over time- regardless of sunscreen. Everyone looks sexy until melanoma (skin cancer) enters the picture.

The business idea needs some improvements. Some recyclable tape should be introduced to control the amount of waste produced by this business every summer just to mark straight lines. Moreover, more intense UV blockers are required to keep the client’s health safe and slow down the anti-aging process.

Erika now has a chain of saloons throughout Brazil. She also gives lectures on entrepreneurship and motivates a woman to believe in their self. When she started the business, the family was against her but they couldn’t see what Erika can see. Her hard work is paying off. Her work is also admired by Brazilian pop star Anitta who wore her creation in a music video. Her clients keep returning to her every summer because of her matchless services and professionalism. You can also do this experiment at home by using a tape bra. Learn more about what is a tape bra and how to use it. Make a tape bra at home if you don’t want to buy one.

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