Springrose Makes Intimate Apparel More Accessible

By Mark Ogilbee posted 02-17-2023 12:08 PM


As part of their mission to be the go-to place for women with limited mobility to find products, content and community related to sex and intimacy, Springrose, an AgeTech™ Collaborative startup participant, is developing adaptive intimate apparel that improves women's quality of life by giving them back their time, dignity and independence. 

Nicole Cuervo, founder and CEO, sat down to describe Springrose, its offerings and its mission. 

This interview has been edited for clarity and length. 


Can you tell us what Springrose is all about? 

Springrose is focused on improving quality of life for women with limited mobility. For us, that means developing products, content and community around sex and intimacy. For our products, we’re starting out with adaptive intimate apparel, and we’re about to launch our adaptive bra. It can be put on multiple different ways, including with one hand or with limited dexterity, so that women can get dressed painlessly, independently and with dignity. 


What makes the bra so easy to use? 

We have a patent pending for the bra’s closure system, which is made from Velcro. There are two straps around the band; they go through a slider in the middle, and allow you to put the bra on with one hand. If you have limited dexterity instead of limited mobility, the bra can be opened so you can pull it over your head or step into it without having to grip any strings or pull on something. 


Content and community are also central to Springrose’s vision. Can you tell us more about that? 

When I founded this company, I interviewed dozens of women. I talked with physical therapists and occupational therapists, and I joined a lot of online communities. I learned that there’s a lot of interest around learning about sex and intimacy, particularly after an injury or disability.  

But that kind of content doesn’t exist: There’s no Cosmo for people with disabilities. Often healthcare practitioners don’t feel comfortable talking about these things with their patients, or they don’t have the knowledge or resources. So Springrose has started developing a content library of sex- and intimacy-related topics that can provide some of those answers. 


What was your inspiration behind Springrose? 

I was an undergrad, studying business and entrepreneurship. My grandmother, Rose, was in her mid-80s and was capable, independent and loving her life. But arthritis and chronic pain made it difficult for her to put on her intimates in the morning. That was frustrating to me, because here’s this unstoppable woman, and what is stopping her is something as basic and mundane as her bra. 

Stores didn’t carry adaptive bras, and what I found online were, to be frank, ugly — and they were only adaptive for very minor forms of limited mobility. If you are partially paralyzed, or have cerebral palsy, or have any of a wide range of conditions, there was nothing out there for you. So I decided to pursue my MBA and pursue this idea of Springrose. 


What’s one big obstacle you’ve had to overcome to get Springrose off the ground? 

One of the most difficult obstacles has been finding a good and reliable manufacturer. That’s probably something that any product person would tell you. But for us, it was particularly challenging because of the pandemic. We couldn’t go visit anybody; we couldn’t audit; everything had to be done via email or phone. And let me tell you: It’s not easy to find an ethical underwear manufacturer who knows what they’re doing and aren’t exploiting people. It took us a long time, but we finally found one that is truly fantastic. 


Knowing what you know now, what advice would you give yourself when you were first starting Springrose? 

There’s this myth that founders should be able to do everything: You should be the UX designer, you should be the copywriter, you should be the CFO and the accountant and the everything. It’s true that you need to be scrappy. But there are some things where expertise is needed. You should understand where your scrappiness is not good enough and invest in those people who can help you be successful — it will make a substantial difference in the success of your business. 


Is there anything else you’d like to share? 

We’re launching this spring with preorders, so we’d appreciate people sharing our website with anyone who might be interested. We want to reach as many women as possible — especially at launch so that we can start out strong.  

In particular, we’d love it if senior living facilities reached out to us! Part of our go-to-market strategy is partnering with rehabilitation centers and doing pop-ups at senior living communities, and I would love to make those connections. 


Learn more about Springrose at their website.