TIGARD, Ore. -- A sports bra designed by a Tigard woman is putting breast cancer survivors back in the gym.
Jennifer Ferguson founded the company Handful five years ago after teaching fitness classes for more than 15 years. Her mission – to build a better sports bra.
“When I would teach classes I would be concerned. Am I concealed? Am I appropriate? Am I protected?” explained Ferguson.
It took a year to come up with a prototype trying to better what was already on the market.
“Handful has center gathers to prevent gaping. It also prevents the dreaded uniboob!” said Ferguson.
Jennifer also included a hidden pocket allowing women to change their look with padding.
She never imagined that feature would change the lives of breast cancer survivors like Cary Goldberg.
“It’s a real boost psychologically,” said Goldberg, describing what it’s like to wear the Handful sports bra. Goldberg had a double mastectomy at the age of 33. She was not able to have reconstructive surgery.
“I would wear prosthetics and they would get uncomfortable. A friend told me about Handful in October and I’ve been wearing one ever since. Sometimes friends will say 'something’s different, did you have surgery?'” said Goldberg.
The bra's unexpected benefit has Ferguson reaching out to survivors like Goldberg for advice.
"I meet with these women and as much as I’m stressed with my life, they’ve just been to radiation or had to have a tough conversation with their family. So to be part of something that can help, we’re now passionate about that,” she said.