A gymnast and ballet dancer for many years, Nicholette Pang is familiar with the use of nipple pasties since she was often clad in a leotard. But she did not find most of them to be very user-friendly.
"Many of them were not seamless, and if they were not under a skin-tight top, did not adhere well. Also, their coverage was not great when paired with a fitted white top," explains the 26-year-old.
It did not help that they hardly matched her skin tone: "The nude shade of what was available in the market was nowhere close to what nude was to me, an individual with tanner skin."
The "insecurity" that ill-fitting nipple stickies gave her made her want to create a "more reliable" version, and she spent 10 months on research and sourcing before launching Barebodies in October 2020, which only sells nipple pasties and broken even in just four months.
She tells us about the unique selling points of her Nipstick stickers, the financial lessons she has learnt over the past year and a half, and the challenges she has faced in her entrepreneurial journey so far.
The Nipstick can be used up to 98 times
According to Nicholette, Nipstick nipple pasties are seamless and sweat-resistant, which means they contour to breasts nicely and adhere well even during the most vigorous routines.
They can also be used at least 98 times, which is significantly more than the "one to three" uses she used to get from her previous pairs.
"As such, I had to purchase them in bulk, which also meant additional costs. This made me prioritise durability of the product during the research process," she explains.
The best part? Her range is available in four shades: Sand, Clay, Sienna, and Cocoa.
"Many of my customers appreciate the variety and have said something along the lines of, 'Finally, nipple pasties that are close to my skin tone'.
"To me, that is an indication that it is something they've been looking for, and I'm glad to make that little difference in their lives."
Her second product, the details of which she is tight-lipped about, is currently in the works, but she lets on that they can be worn on their own or with the Nipstick.
She invested a four-figure sum into this venture
A self-professed "careful spender", Nicholette says that it took "a lot of consideration" before she invested in a four-figure sum into the venture.
"I had to be sure and confident about my product. That is probably why the research and development took so long," she says.
It was a rewarding move-Barebodies broken even in just four months.
And as an entrepreneur who has found success in such a short time, she says that when it comes to finances in business, it is most important that one knows what they are paying for.
"Get samples of the product to know what exactly you are getting. Small business owners should also try asking if the sample fees can be offset if they make a bulk purchase."
To her, her biggest challenge is herself
Nicholette attributes her biggest challenge to self-doubt, but it is something she is actively working through.
"I have the tendency to second-guess myself in spite of my achievements because I have been called 'bimbo' and 'stupid'.
"Going through those experiences for years really affects a person as it conditions them into believing that is who they are.
"But while I cannot say that I am 100 per cent a new me, I am always making a conscious effort to reprogramme myself," she says.
Aspiring to start your own business? She has some advice.
"Don't rush the process and be sure to surround yourself with people who are supportive.
"Also, just because not everyone likes your product doesn't make it a bad product-there will always be like-minded people and if you can sell it to yourself, you can sell it to them."
This article was first published in Her World Online.