Reyz, a luxury bra line founded in Detroit, has made its official debut at Detroit’s Eastern Market. Made for comfort and support, the Reyz line has a history rooted in family and survival. The brand’s debut brings knowledge around breast cancer, breast health and community engagement.
Tamika Mayes launched Reyz in late November. Named as a nod to raising awareness and radiation, Reyz was initially crafted to provide breast cancer survivors with a bra that would not only support but would provide coverage to chemotherapy burns and surgical scars acquired in the fight. On its developmental journey, the brand’s target audience grew to include all women as a result of trying on the bra.
“I was doing some work just making sure it fit on different body types and there were two people who tried it on. They were women that didn’t have surgery and they both were saying, ‘Okay, this is so comfortable, when can I buy it,’” said Mayes. “I told them I didn’t create it for everybody, just this particular group and they were like ‘I’m buying it.’”
Discovered by an Eastern Market shop owner, Karen Brown, after a chance meeting, Reyz was presented to the masses as a pop-up in the owner’s boutique Savvy Chic. With much success, the brand is now going into the New Year with a plan to reach even more through breast health knowledge.
The bra is manufactured with a knitted design and features a near-seamless finish. Customized with additional features for durability and support, the bra also takes into consideration additional concerns in bra technology.
“Two things that were really important — a higher neckline [is one]. A lot of bras are low. Even the ones that think they’re high cut [are] pretty low. If there’s burning on the top of the boob, most bras aren’t coming up high enough to cover it. Also, the underarm is significantly higher,” said Mayes.
Crafted for comfort, coverage and support, Reyz was an act of love for the mother-in-law of the brand’s owner during her bout with breast cancer. Wanting to develop a bra that would help hold ice packs to her chest to help soothe the pain of burns from chemotherapy, Mayes began on a personal mission to bring an added level of healing to the process. With no background in fashion, Mayes began the journey of creation. A self-taught seamstress, she bought a sewing machine and began to practice.
“I would go to Joann Fabrics and take their small workshops to teach myself to sew. Bought all the sewing-for-bras books and videos and literally created a sewing room that was just exploratory in how can I solve this problem,” said Mayes.
After developing several prototypes, Mayes discovered the product did not have the initial finish she desired. Discovering knit bras would be the way to go, the entrepreneur began to develop the bra. Finding a trusted manufacturer who not only helped to hone the product, Mayes learned the ropes of product creation.
“He was literally helping coach me on this journey trying to figure it out with zero fashion, design, sewing or knitting background before this journey,” said Mayes.
Since the bra has been unveiled, interest in the product is growing. The owner plans to participate in another pop-up shop in the near future. Until that time, Reyz bras can be found exclusively online.
What may have started as a labor of love has now grown into a community initiative. In the future, the brand will expand to include social impact initiatives. Supporters will have the opportunity to gift curated bra boxes to breast cancer fighters complete with additional wellness items.
“One of the things that’s coming is there’s going to be a gifting element to this so that when people are talking about patients around cancer, they can use the gift as a way to support them in a way that is valuable,” said Mayes.
From one woman’s health and wellness to the inclusion of all breasts, Reyz’s owner believes she is on the path to her destiny.
“It does feel like I am in my purpose for all the things I’ve done. For that, there’s a slight confidence. It’s very humble, but it’s like, I know this is the right thing,” said Mayes.
To shop Reyz, visit givereyz.com.