There were times when my decision to leave the corporate world was a concern for those closest to me, especially since I would be taking the plunge into a full-time social enterprise. In those days, it was difficult to explain how important the work was. How do you convince people that your life’s calling is to empower women and girls by way of their bra and their breasts? And that I was going to build a sustainable global brand in the process? My nearest and dearest had their doubts, but I was determined.
My vision was to design a service and solutions oriented model of women’s health, but I could only do so by engaging my full capacity. The bra, a catalyst for social-impact, became my driving force. I was determined to design an innovative education model that could be transportable and relevant to diverse cultures and languages.
This was important to me, because I had struggled with my personal comfort in a bra for most of my adolescence and during my corporate life. And I knew I wasn’t alone. Thousands of women and young girls around the world struggle with these same issues, and if not addressed, these struggles can have lifelong implications on their body perception and self-esteem. So it became equally important to design a business model that strengthened the resolve of these women and girls by being a catalyst for affirming conversation. Thus, in 2002, I founded Ms. Brafit – a Caribbean-based Social Enterprise.
We take a proactive approach to addressing education and prevention particularly in opening up the dialogues of other matters that are related to breast health such as reproductive health and maternal care.
Ms. Brafit developed a comprehensive model of combined solutions to address all these possibilities. Then, in 2011, our enterprise was nominated for the US State Department IVLP program in Washington, DC and it was during that visit that our cohort was introduced to Vital Voices.
Vital Voices remained at the forefront of my plans for the future of Ms. Brafit as a global leader in women’s health innovation and in 2015 VVLead became the lifeblood of our social engagement. We felt at home within a global community of like-minded leaders making change happen through innovative yet simple means.
Today, as a VVLead Fellow and VV100 leader, Vital Voices has invested in my personal brand and its development and global recognition. This investment has allowed us to further work with Ms. Brafit to create innovate advocacy and awareness that is able to be transported into diverse cultures and communities around the world for an effective global outcome.
Ms. Brafit continues to practice thought-leadership and is regarded as a leader in breast care and breast health globally. As the go-to practitioners for designing and delivering education that can speak to diverse communities of women and girls about their bodies, we are equally capable of building the capacity necessary to provide support and solutions for medical practitioners and specialists, as a compliment to their clinical work in service to their patients.