Meet Esther, our first German ambassador
Esther, the entrepreneur behind the German brand La MESMA, is thrilled that our Qups lifestyle breast prosthesis has now made it to Germany: “I wear the Qups every day and I just love them, the material is so soft and comfortable on my skin. I never want to use another prosthesis again”.
Both ProudBreast and LA MESMA arose from the founders’ own experience and personal situation. Esther explains: “The loss of a breast made me realise that beauty lies within. Our products should be a gift for women who need them. To make them feel strong in their hearts.” Let’s hear the whole story of this special woman… and discover LA MESMA’s swimwear and sportswear collection!
So Esther, tell me, what’s important to you?
Sport has always been very important to me. I played basketball for 20 years until I was 32. Then I ruptured both Achilles tendons within two years. I decided to start swimming more again. Being athletic has always helped me feel strong in my career, recovering from multiple surgeries and just feeling confident and living healthier.
But losing my breast was different, I felt insecure and down for a long time. What didn’t help was the confusing diagnosis. Did I have breast cancer or did I not have breast cancer? One doctor found a lump, the other did not. I then decided to have my breasts made a little bigger, thinking that the lump would definitely be found during the operation. But unfortunately, that wasn’t the case. It wasn’t until two years after the operation that everything went wrong. My left side became very inflamed, and I ended up losing a large part of my left breast due to blood poisoning. I knew straight away that I didn’t want a reconstruction. I already had enough major operations and I did not want just one more.
My husband agreed, because the most important thing for him was that I was well. Because he loves me the way I am.
Can you share about your battle?
It took 10 years before I was able to talk about it. I really withdrew from social life. For example, I stopped showering with my team after sports and I stopped going to the sauna. Only my children, parents and best friends knew about it. For me, my breasts were my most beautiful part of my body, and with their loss I lost much more than just a breast. I lost my feeling of being beautiful. I was afraid of other people’s opinions because I thought they would no longer like me. I was no longer the ‘perfect’ woman.
But Esther, you look very confident today, what happened?
One day at work, I met a woman who was clearly missing a breast and who was very open about it. She didn’t know me, but behaved normally and comfortably without the breast. She wasn’t wearing a breast prosthesis. She had even found a new man who was 10 years younger than her after losing her breast. She was so strong and inspiring! That opened my eyes: if she could do it, I could do it too.
I started to tell my story and was particularly impressed by my male- and closest friends who told me that I still looked beautiful. That helped me a lot to love myself and my body again. Just the way I am. I know that you have to get to the point where you feel that the beauty is within you and that you are worthy of being loved. But that was a real struggle for me.
What made you start your own brand?
What helped me a lot, was talking to other women who were affected and that’s how I came up with the idea of creating my own brand to inspire others.
Starting LA MESMA helped me to accept my body and tell my story. I knew immediately that it had to be about sportswear and swimwear because I found it almost impossible to find good or beautiful bikinis that fit my 400-gram silicone prosthesis. Most brands in this field offer old-fashioned fabrics and cuts, without a deep cleavage and low leg cut-outs.
What would you like to achieve with La Mesma?
With LA MESMA, I ask the women concerned what they want and listen to them. I offer them what they want. With my Fayola bikini top, you can remove one strap to avoid pain if you still have a port due to chemotherapy, for example. The opening of my prosthesis pocket is on the top so that you can remove the prosthesis while wearing your swimsuit or sportswear. The pockets have an overlap on the inside so that the prosthesis cannot fall out. LA MESMA swimsuits emphasise the length of your legs by having higher leg cut-outs.
“With LA MESMA, I want to help women regain their beauty.“
When I recently showed my swimsuits to a medical professor at a breast cancer centre, she replied: “This is fashion not to cover the body or hide anything, but to show beauty. I wouldn’t expect women to wear prostheses in them.” That was a great compliment.
Tell me all about your collections!
I have a modern selection of swimsuits and bikinis that combine comfort with luxury and beauty. The sports collection is also excellent for various sports. I give my collections strong female names from countries that inspire me. I started with Japanese names that mean queen, faithful and immortal. Now I have South African names and my latest sport collection will consist of Dutch names. Did you know that I have included a Suzanne?
One of the series is made of high-quality Boselli material. It’s like the Ferrari of textiles. Our Sakura swimsuit was shown this month at the Mare di Moda fashion fair in Cannes at Boselli. We are particularly proud of it.Swim shorts are also part of my collection, because women who have opted for breast reconstruction using their own fat have scars all over their bodies. Shorts cover these scars on the legs.
But I am particularly proud of my first sports line “ReDefine”, which was launched this year during the Breast Cancer Awareness Month in October:- a top with inner pockets for the prosthesis for yoga and many other sports. It is a top and bra in one and has a 2.5 cm long elasticated band under the breast so that it provides support for women with both breasts.- Compression leggings and shorts for women with lipoedema. They help to massage the body and can also be worn in water.
You can find all the different collections online and order them in my webshop. I can also deliver to the Netherlands and offer free returns within 14 days.
So Esther, what are your plans for the future?
Soon I will also add the Qups to my webshop, they are a great addition to my collection. As you can imagine, as an athlete, I am particularly fond of the Active Qups. As I wear them myself, I know exactly how happy the Qups will make my customers.
In the future, I want to sell my products internationally, because my mission is to help not only German women to regain their beauty, but all women worldwide. I want to make women happy and help them feel beautiful and complete again. “Complete & Unique”
I used to work at a bank, which was my dream job, but I decided to do this now. LA MESMA is a project from the bottom of my heart.