We talk to Sue Pringle who has made it her mission to create gorgeous lingerie for women to wear after breast cancer treatment. The first prototype is in development and will be available shortly.
An interview with Sue Pringle of Millie Lingerie.
What made you decide to do what you do?
I couldn’t get dressed, literally. Six weeks after my breast cancer surgery I couldn’t find a bra to wear underneath a dress to go out for the first time, and I thought, “Is this it for me now?” No more beautiful lingerie after breast cancer?
Why did you wait until you did to make the change?
I had a recurrence of breast cancer four years ago. First time around, I managed to wear mainstream bras, but because I lost more breast tissue, I was uneven and nothing worked. It made me really grumpy, so I decided to turn my grump into a solution, for me, and the 1000s of women like me who are treated every year.
What are you hoping to accomplish?
I’m creating a gorgeous range of lingerie for women to wear after their breast cancer treatment which helps restore their confidence, as well as their shape, comfortably.
How did you make the change? What or who helped you?
I resigned from my job and put myself on a business accelerator programme in Nottingham to test out my ideas, to see if it really had legs. It did! My coaches, friends, and my two daughters help me each and every day. I’ve met many women along the way who’ve shared a very similar experience, and they are more than just supporters now.
How did your family and friends react?
They constantly cheer me on, cook dinner for me, edit my blog posts, and make me lots of tea!
How has your life changed having gone down this path?
For the better, without a doubt. I am doing the most important work I’ve ever done now, and my way, without the constraints of corporate life. I set my own agenda, and I love being the ‘Leading Lady in my own life’ (The Holiday).
What advice do you have for women considering a similar life change?
Do it, make the leap. There’s so much more to learn, it’s worth the risk of losing security for a while because the benefits are so much more rewarding.
What are you proud of and what keeps you inspired?
I’m inspired by the look on other women’s faces, and the aching in their voices, when we talk about our experiences of going through breast cancer treatment. We all want and deserve so much more from our ‘new’ lives, including the freedom to get dressed and feel gorgeous each day.
What do you love most about being the age you are?
I worry a lot less about what other people think and I trust my own judgement much, much more.
What do you hate most about being the age you are?
Hmmm, my body not working as well as it used to, and having less energy.
What do you know now that you wish you’d known in your twenties?
That things never turn out quite as you imagine, and to roll with it.
What are the most important business and/or personal lessons you’ve learnt along the way?
Trusting my instincts is a big one for me, listening to the doubters, and making my own mind up about things.
Do you have a mantra that has guided you more than any other?
Let it go.
Which woman do you most admire and why?
My grandmother, Millie. She was a mother of nine and I never heard her complain once!
Is there anything people consistently misunderstand about you?
Perhaps they think I’m more self confident than I am? Sometimes I waver on it.