The Business of Bras


It’s been 23 years since Crystal Bliese took ownership of Front Room Underfashions. A boutique that specializes in providing women with the necessary products needed before and after surgery. Previously owned by Lenore Shebuski, a breast cancer patient who opened this boutique after her post-mastectomy struggles following a breast cancer diagnosis in 1980. Bliese worked under Shebuski for 10 years before taking ownership from her in 1995. Bliese now runs the boutique alongside her daughter and office manager, Heather Tynes.

“We offered a lot to the women who came to the store, and I felt that it was important to continue to have a place for women in our area to receive the services that we are able to provide,” Bliese explained.

One thing that sets Front Room Underfashions apart from others is their ability to offer such a wide variety of products and services right in their

stores. The boutique, located at 727 Lincoln Court, Lansing, recently expanded with a new location in the Herbert-Herman Cancer Center at Sparrow Hospital. The new store offers a little more convenience to post-surgery patients. It is a little smaller but provides the same products and professional services as the other location.

“We’re here and we are going to walk you through the process.  We will help you to move on to your next chapter, whatever that may be,” Bliese said.

Whether looking for a post-surgical camisole, mastectomy bra, prosthetic, bathing suit, wig or a custom fitting, Front Room Underfashions offers it all when it comes to pre- and post-surgery women’s necessities. With sewing machines on site, the staff can modify bras for customers to produce the perfect fit. The boutique offers bras ranging in band sizes from 32-56 and cup sizes from AA-O. These sizes and personalized, onsite fittings are what make Front Room Underfashions so unique.

Although narrowly known for breast cancer, the boutique carries post-surgical camisoles, custom and silicone breast prostheses, mastectomy bras, compression garments, hard-to-fit bras, nursing bras and baby items, wigs and caps, swimwear and clothing, jewelry and gift items.

“Bras are absolutely a fit. They are not a size.  In fact even within the same manufacturer bands and cups run different on the same sized bra,” Tynes explained. “The benefit of coming to us is that we are aware of the size differences in our stock. I can take a measurement in the fitting room and be able to pull items based on the fit rather than the size. This not only helps in the number of bras that you have to try on, but we also do the running for you.”

They provide personal service in getting to know customers, working with them in the fitting rooms, taking measurements, and custom fittings and alterations to fit in-store products to the customer correctly. These experts hold themselves to the highest standards in the industry with accreditation through The Board of Certification/Accreditation and American Board for Certification in Prosthetics and Orthotics (ABC). All fitters are certified and accredited through the ABC and the Board of Certification and Accreditation.

“We do not take appointments for fittings and feel that it’s important for ladies to come in when they feel ready. While going through a cancer diagnosis and treatment, so many appointments are made, and we don’t want to add to that burden,” Bliese said. “Our fitters are always here and ready to assist when you are ready to come in.”

The Lansing-based business is proud to be a woman-owned, dedicated to helping women.  They offer their services to both national and international customers. They currently have customers all around the U.S., Africa, China and more. To learn more about their products and services, visit

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