As I inched closer to starting my sixth decade I felt inspired to shape my own future and pivot to a new business. Beginning that thought process I knew I wanted to sell something that would excite me. Calling on my experience as a photographer, I thought about the pain points women had in feeling comfortable in their bodies and I knew a brand that lifted women up was my goal. Dare Heart began percolating around products that provide a nurturing gift of self-expression and comfort. Eventually the idea solidified into a bespoke line of cotton comfort underwear. For the next three years, my spare time went into figuring out how to bring my idea of a product to reality. Going to entrepreneurial workshops, accelerators, and fashion bootcamps gave me enough knowledge and skill to forge ahead. Having a background in sewing helped me learn how to sew knits. I started sewing prototypes and made about 40 pairs until I felt like I had something really special. Judging from the difficulty of finding a factory in the USA capable of the technical stitchwork I desired, I dropped my naïveté that this wouldn’t be that hard. Kim Campbell apparently has some OG sticktoitiveness, a requirement for most good startups; so the factory hunt continued. Leaning hard into Google, I finally found the factory that had originally developed the desired technical stitching and began production development with them. Making decision after decision to take a home-sewn prototype into a production-ready version was a hefty learning curve, and I was ever so grateful to have Maria guide me along the way. Naturally, I couldn’t stop my enthusiasm and asked anyone and everyone who would listen “would you like to see my underwear?” Obviously, the answer was usually yes with a few pink cheeks along the way. Pretty soon I learned that the minimum order quantity required was more than I could take on, so I began the hunt anew. Queasy with disappointment, at least I had a set of production samples to show for it. Rest assured, my budding entrepreneurial networks came to the rescue and I was connected with a factory in sunny California specializing in active and swimwear. Sampling became a way of life for the next 18 months as I fussed, fixed, and figured out exactly what I wanted. Thinking it might never happen when COVID, wildfires, and personal tragedies threw up roadblocks, I knew I had come too far to give up. Under the watchful eye of pattern maker Joy and pattern grader Cela, I got a series of size sample sets back into my eager hands to try on my fit models (AKA my friends of different sizes). Va va boom … after several adjustments, the fit finally came together and a first production run began. While waiting patiently, building the website, photography and networking became critical as I prepared to launch a product. XOXOXO filled my heart as I connected with my Dare Hearts and told them that fabulously upgraded cotton undies were imminent. Yanking open the boxes that had travelled up the West Coast, my beautiful idea lay before me, something that was thousands of hours in the making, filling me with pride and excitement. Zeroing in on courage, self care, and community, so begins the life of a brand — welcome to Dare Heart.