Janet Kraus, CEO of peach

Simply put, peach exists to help women feel strong and beautiful in their own skin.

Did you know that 48% of girls say they wish they were skinnier after just three minutes of leafing through fashion magazines?

The truth is that I was one of those girls, who from a very early age wanted to be smaller, thinner, and cuter – benchmarking myself against unrealistic images in Elle and Cosmo and focusing more on what I didn’t have versus what I did. It wasn’t enough that I was a strong student, a capable figure skater and hockey player, a leader of the student body and had a social life chock full of friends. In my mind, for all that I was, I wasn’t enough.

As the mother of 10-year old twin girls, I know it is not okay that half the girls out there in this world still feel the same “less than” as I did back in the dark ages.

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Aly & Ceci, my 10-year old twin girls

So, why am I sharing this with you today? I believe that peach can affect this necessary change for all of our children and us. If you’re wondering how a bra, panty and basics company can move the needle here – well, it’s because our mission is so much bigger than bras!

Simply put, peach exists to help women feel strong and beautiful in their own skin. Pretty big, right?

The central part of our brand message, which we lovingly adopted from the field of positive psychology, is that all of us (girls, boys, women and men) innately have what it takes to realize our dreams by tapping into our natural strengths – those awesome gifts that we were born with. The idea is that rather than focus so much of our energy on our deficits, we should spend it identifying and celebrating our strengths and leveraging them in our personal and work life. How’s that for a breath of fresh air? Additionally, research tells us that this can lead us to a more satisfying and fulfilling life.

peach stylists celebrate their strengths

This is what celebrating strengths looks like at peach! Photo taken at our annual Leader Summit with peach stylists.

At peach, I’m proud to say that we’ve built a company and a culture based on this incredibly important message. A big part of delivering on our mission is to bring you on our path – to share this message in unique ways, through our blog, our social media, our events, and frankly, in every single interaction with our brand. We want to be the engine of positive reinforcement supporting your personal journey to feeling strong and beautiful in your own skin.

The second part of delivering on our mission speaks more directly to, for and about women. Because, while women and men might go through a similar process to access their strengths, women face real headwinds along their path, whether cultural, societal, governmental, or institutional, that most men don’t face.

For example, the media and advertising that used to undo me when I was a teen. To this day, it still bombards us with leading messages about women in all life sectors. Messages spouting the “standards” for beauty, body type, fashion, motherhood, and careers, to name just a few. For those who take notice (me) and even for those who don’t, these messages are headwinds, plain and simple. As we try to muster up positive psychology and access our own strengths, “society” is telling us what strength should look like, should behave like, should dress like, and what we should accept as the standard or societal norm. While sometimes what is communicated is helpful, much of it is just not okay.

Janet Kraus, peach CEO and Derek Ohly, peach COO, at the annual Successfest conference

Blessed to be on this journey with peach Co-Founder & COO, Derek Ohly. Tackling the headwinds women face together!

I believe that if more people, women and men included, took notice of the unfairness and/or bias regularly served up through advertising and media, if more people made a fuss, not only when behaviors and actions are completely sexist or worse misogynistic, but when they are more subtle and harder to “put a finger on”, if more people would name it and start saying, “this is not ok”, then little by little the messages, the images, and the behaviors would lessen. By the same token, when people do speak out on the unfairness and take actions that change the world for the better, I believe it’s equally as important to recognize and celebrate those moments for their impact.

So, you might wonder why I believe peach can play a role in affecting change. Like advertising and media, which have ingrained deflating messages in our heads, and corporate America, which still values us at ¾ the rate of men, the lingerie industry is among the worst offenders. If you’re surprised that 95% of women claim that they despise shopping for intimate apparel, you shouldn’t be. Even before we walk into a store, we’ve already been told that we don’t measure up to the “standard” so blatantly shoved at us by Victoria’s Secret and the like. Then, we take off our tops and get poked, prodded and shoved into bras. All the while we look at our image glaring back at us in a room that is too small, too hot and filled with bad mirrors under unrelenting fluorescent lighting. It’s hard to conceive of an industry that provokes more frustration, vulnerability or self-criticism.

As a business, peach is working to change all of this. We’re transforming the lingerie shopping experience into one that embraces women with kindness, care, and not to mention better products and fit techniques. As a brand, we are offering the world this important vision: to reinvent the $43 billion intimate apparel industry into a force for good that helps women (and girls) thrive and become agents of change in their world.

peach stylists are transforming the lingerie industry into a force for good

One of my favorite photos taken with peach stylists at our HQ.

I hope you will join me on our journey and welcome our sharing of ideas and tactics that relate to the peach mission. Because, I believe that for change to happen in the intimate apparel industry, change has to start at the grassroots level – through awareness and actions of women and men, including everyone that’s a part of the peach community.

So what can you do right now? Follow us on social media (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram), sign up to our email list, and bookmark our blog. Through these channels, we will share with you all sorts of fun and inspiring opportunities, stories, events, and actions that you can then access to make positive changes in your life and in our world . . . to make this world a place where women, and frankly all people, thrive.

Thank you for allowing me to share this with you today and for joining us on this important mission for change. I’m excited to continue the dialogue!

Gratefully yours,

Janet

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p.s. I would love to hear from you!

In the comments section below, please share any insights that you have after hearing my thoughts today. Also, feel free to add your friends and family to this important conversation by sharing through the links below!

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