Entrepreneurs

Entrepreneur who launched a start-up and had a baby at the same time now set to make $30 million

Orit Hashay, the founder of of Brayola
Source: Brayola
Orit Hashay, the founder of of Brayola

Four years ago, Orit Hashay was multi-tasking with the best of them, trying to raise funds for a new start-up while visibly pregnant.

The entrepreneur had recently come up with the idea for Brayola, a company that would match customers with their dream bra using information crowd-sourced from thousands of women. She had no plans to stop building her business just because she was also having a baby. But she also didn't yet have all the specifics on how she planned to launch.

She had relevant experience, though, with a background in entrepreneurship, business and software development. And she had a belief in herself that was not about to falter.

Brayola, a company that sells bras based on crowdsourced information, is on track to making $30 million in sales this year
Source: Brayola
Brayola, a company that sells bras based on crowdsourced information, is on track to making $30 million in sales this year

As Hashay delivered decks to dozens of investors, she made an interesting observation: While the investors liked her ideas, they seemed preoccupied with the prospect of her motherhood and how it might change her priorities. They suggested she wait.

That didn't sit too well with Hashay, who was set on launching her company. And she wasn't going to waste any breath trying to convince anyone who didn't believe in her.

"I don't want to take money from people that are trying to convince me that I'm not sure [about starting a business]," she says.

At six months pregnant, she met a seasoned entrepreneur and investor, who, upon hearing her idea, urged her "not to lose the moment."

"His confidence in my concept for Brayola and his trust in me, gave me a wave of motivation, even more than I already had," Hashay recalls. He helped her raise $350,000 in seed funding, with no questions about her pregnancy asked.

Soon, her company was up and running. At eight months pregnant, Hashay spent nights not nesting but coding.

"Two hours after giving birth to Daniel, I was emailing our designer about Brayola's new look," she says.

Four weeks after her baby was born, Brayola had come to life, too. The founder says that for two years, she hardly slept, adding, "You don't think too much, just reach where you need to be."

Brayola has raised six million dollars in funding to date. It's on track to make $30 million in sales this year. In 2016, that number was $10 million, when the company experienced an explosive 800 percent growth in sales.

The business has now partnered with more than 200 brands, including Calvin Klein.

Hashay said she feels very in control of her career, in part because she had a baby.

"You have the power to build a company around your baby. In my opinion, being your own boss makes your job as a mom better," she says.