Nicole Trunfio: ‘Bumpsuit is designed to amplify and empower women and mothers’
A few days after the opening of the first Bumpsuit pop-up at Beverly Grove in Los Angeles, Australia-Italian model and now entrepreneur Nicole Trunfio tells FashionNetwork.com about her ambitions to develop her Bumpsuit maternity brand.
FashionNetwork.com: How was Bumpsuit born ?
Nicole Trunfio: We launched Bumpsuit in 2020, a week before Covid hit the world. As a mother of two at that time, and going to my third baby, there was nothing for me to wear. Maternity brands on the market were really expensive and nothing was attractive or flattering. During my two first pregnancies, I was squeezing myself into my clothes, it was bad but I had no choice. At that time, I was working, living on a ranch, with two kids whereas my husband was on tour, waking up three times a night to take care of my kids, dropping them off at school, going to my office. So, came the idea of making an all-customised fabric bodysuit that could be very comfortable for me, like a second skin: soft, looks chic and stretchy.
FNW: Which products worked immediately?
N.T: We started with Kate, Cindy and Lucy bodysuits, that can be worn, pre-, during and post-pregnancy. They are great for office jobs, they shape well, really support weight, and they are the best-sellers from day one and make 30% of our business. Our baby carrier is also part of our best-sellers. We kinda solve every problem: being chic, being functional for phones, keys, dog leashes, and, above all, supporting back lumbar. All our products are necessities. And some of our ‘Bumpsuits’ might get you pregnant because men love them! They are hot, chic, and practical.
Was going from model to entrepreneur a risky adventure?
N.T: Actually no. I have been an entrepreneur since I was a kid. For sure! When I was fourteen, I was telling my parents how I was going to buy a piece of land. It was like problem solving. I was in a problem solving class at school. And my brain just doesn’t stop. If you mix that type of personality with a purpose as amplifying women and mothers and finding solutions, you can get great results. The maternity market was neglected before Bumpsuit came along.
What type of production do you use?
N.T: We make the majority of the products in LA and also in Asia. I was trying to make it in China at the beginning but it was taking too long and I was about to give birth. Then I decided to go to LA, to this high-end production factory which was able to deliver products very fast. But when Covid hit, the owner closed the factory down and I took the head sewer and the head of production and we kept the family business afloat. They are our Bumpsuit manufacturer to this day. I love them. That’s how this business started. It’s been organic growth and we have the best team, like a big family. We had to expand into Asia as we grew very fast, with our growth today in the double digits.
Which markets are in high demand?
N.T: Our biggest market is the U.S. with New York, then Los Angeles, San Diego, Chicago, Atlanta. Canada is after that, then the UK and Australia. Our brand is global now. We ship all around the world.
How will you develop the brand in the coming months?
N.T: We just launched our new shapewear swim line with a specific shape, chic style and Italian made fabrics. Nobody is doing this. Brands are all doing the same thing. We want do something different with fair prices.
How is your company structured today?
N.T: We have a team from 30 to 40 employees who work in New York, LA, Houston, also in Australia and Washington State. Nobody wants to be in an office anymore. We have a lot of moms in our team. I read different books such as Freakonomics by Stephen J.Dubner and Steven Levitt and The World is Flat by Thomas L. Friedman, which really inspired me and define the way I operate my business now as they write about what should work statistically. Do Less by Kate Northrup is also interesting about how women should work today. Some moms don’t have time to get a full-time job but they do want to connect and have goals. They are our best employees because they are really dedicated and love being part of a team. It gives another business mentality.
Which retail strategy do you opt for?
N.T: We just launched our first pop-up at Beverly Grove. A real billboard for our brand, and a very chic installation, all padded allowing kids to play on it. Will Fox from Fox Fox Studio designed it with me. He was already known for Outdoor Voices projects and defined our Bumpsuit retail experience. When we open up stores, we will have those elements inside. We are keeping our direct-to-consumer strategy and are not open to wholesale but distribute our products to select stores that we love such as HarrodsSelfridges
Where and when will you open your first stores?
N.T: New York is gonna be first. It’s all about finding the right store now. We are also testing the market in Los Angeles with this pop-up, and plan to activate different events such as a community walk, and a mini carnaval. Our goal is to engage more and more of our community.
Is celebrity clout in Los Angeles an important factor in opening a store in Los Angeles?
N.T: Celebrities are important. My idols have been requesting our baby carrier and bodysuits since the beginning of our story. We are lucky but that’s not the reason why we will open a store in LA. We are talking to moms in general, and celebrity moms too. We want to unite women.
How will you develop the brand in the coming months?
N.T: In addition to developing beauty products and activewear, we have a bigger purpose where we want to amplify mothers and women. Being a mother is the harder job in the world. We are creating a new space for them, supporting them. We will launch a podcast soon, Bumps on the Road, as lot of women look to us now for advice and we will gift some mothers and try to help them. Our intention is to build a community, empower and lift up women and mothers. We also want to be inclusive and talk to non-pregnant women as well.