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Jeannine Brady: Founder At Ailana J. Nursing + Pumping Apparel

PenFed Military Women Startup Accelerator finalist

When Jeannine Brady delivered her first baby in 2019, she quickly realized the challenges postpartum and nursing women faced when dressing for an occasion outside of their homes. And that only heightened when Brady returned to work and had to develop maneuvers to pump three times a day while wearing professional clothing. After more than a decade in the fashion retail industry, she approached colleagues for help.

“No one had any suggestion for me,” she said. “There were a ton of things for comfy nursing or comfy postpartum, but there wasn’t anything to actually go somewhere and look presentable and still be able to nurse and pump in a chic, fashionable, but functional way.” 

Recognizing a gap in the market, Brady developed her San Diego, California-based clothing company, Ailana J. Nursing + Pumping Apparel, in March 2020. As a military spouse, jumping into unchartered territory didn’t intimidate her. And her intuitiveness for fashion was vital when she quickly came up with designs and had samples manufactured by that May. Products were available on her website by the end of 2020.

Ailana J’s trendy prints are stylish for any mother in the office or out on the town. However, the company’s mission goes deeper than its posh aesthetic, aiming to encourage mothers by relieving some of the daily challenges they might face.

“Everything I’ve done with my business has been to try to make moms’ lives easier,” Brady said. “A lot of women stop breastfeeding prior to when they want to, and I was one of those women. I’m not saying your wardrobe is the only problem, but it’s a factor in your ability to multitask and do the things you need to in your life. If I can make one aspect of that easier, that’s what I’m going to do.”

For Brady, modules in the PenFed accelerator helped her articulate Ailana J.’s story to form a pitch to attract future investors.

Shop Ailana J. Nursing +Pumping Apparel at AilanaJ.com or on Instagram @Ailana.J.

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