NEW YORK – Athena Kasvikis, the founder of Behave Bras, will be appearing on ABC’s Shark Tank on Friday, March 11, pitching her innovative line of wire-free lingerie made for the biggest busts.
Kasvikis, of Greek and Italian heritage and a native of Greece, NY, struggled for years “trying to ensure that her chest wasn’t the most noticeable thing about her,” according to the Behave website. “Constant quad-boob, painful shoulder divots, and constant discomfort finally took their toll and she screamed, ‘Enough is enough!’”
Finding a bra that fits is challenging for most women of all sizes and Kasvikis, 39, started Behave because, she found that “for too many years, big bra brands ignored big breasts in the U.S.”
“Sick and tired of not being comfortable in her own skin,” Kasvikis “wanted something wire-free and supportive… something to prevent chest-wrinkles from forming while she slept, something pretty enough to feel proud of.”
The company’s mission is “to help women love their bodies, and their bras, again.”
Kasvikis says on the Behave website, “I grew up in a big Greek/Italian family and always felt supported. But I developed a problem. Well, two big problems to be precise. I developed large breasts at a young age and they wrecked my back, neck and shoulders. I used to have to wear not 1, but 2-3 sports bras just to exercise without major pain!”
“It wasn’t clear at the time why I couldn’t go into a store and find a size that fit or felt comfortable, so I just assumed it was my body that was weird,” Kasvikis noted. “I’ve since grown more comfortably into my G cups and learned, it was never me that was the problem – it was the bras. There are over 50 million women in the U.S. today above a DD cup and being ignored by major brands.”
“I finally got tired of waiting for the big bra brands to pay attention to big breasts,” she said. “That’s why I created the Wireless Lounge bra, so I would have something supportive to wear that was wire-free and comfortable enough to sleep in.”
Kasvikis continued: “The Stayz I developed are stretchy pieces of fabric that live inside of each cup- and I LOVE them! They can be pulled into place to give extra support while laying down and come in cute prints. Or they can be tucked inside of the cups for a sweetheart neckline and true bralette look. Whatever way you choose to wear the Wireless Lounge bra, you’re comfy and supported.”
“And did I say it’s wildly pretty? Well it’s gorgeous and luxe. Because big boobs deserve fabulous things,” Kasvikis noted.
After graduating from Greece Arcadia High School in 2000, Kasvikis earned “a bachelor’s degree in business from St. John Fisher College in 2005 and an MBA from the University of Rochester’s Simon School in 2007 — she worked for more than four years at Proctor & Gamble in Cincinnati as a brand manager for Vicks and Gillette products,” the Rochester Democrat and Chronicle (RDC) reported on March 7.
“It’s great because you’re overseeing anything that has to do with a product,” Kasvikis told RDC. “Operations, coupon strategy, media buying, marketing, working with major retailers to drive sales, working with customers. You’re basically running a business. It was amazing. I knew I wanted to be an entrepreneur at some point, but what I first wanted to do was get the fundamentals, and this was the best way to do it.”
“She went on to become a brand director for candy maker UnReal Brands in Boston, and then was vice president of marketing for ice cream company Ciao Bella Gelato and for Kill Cliff Inc., which makes a line of clean energy drinks,” RDC reported, adding that Kasvikis incorporated Behave Bras in 2019 and “in 2020, she launched it as an e-commerce business.”
She is “not sure how Shark Tank got wind her of work — which was bolstered by a stint with MassChallenge, a Boston-based startup accelerator — and was surprised when the show’s casting director reached out,” RDC reported.
“At first, I didn’t believe her, but I ended up giving her a virtual bra fitting, and in the end, she said, ‘I think Shark Tank would love you,’” Kasvikis told RDC which noted that she “ultimately took on as her chief operating officer Jonathan Weisberg, a manufacturer’s representative and consultant in apparel, textiles and consumer goods.”
Though Kasvikis could not reveal any details about her appearance on Shark Tank before the show airs, she told RDC: “The show has this natural conflict built into it and walking in with the stakes as high as they were was different for me. I was terrified. I run all aspects of my business. I do my own accounting. I know my numbers. What I wanted to do was tell the most compelling story in front of the Sharks to make the case for why we’re more than just a product. We’re literally getting women comfortable with the most fundamental thing they wear every day and with their bodies.”
Kasvikis appears on ABC’s Shark Tank on Friday, March 11, 8 PM EST.