Philadelphia resident Molly Borman wasn’t thinking about breast cancer survivors when she founded her company, Just Nips Fake Nipples. She was actually going for the fashion aspect.
The 28-year-old had recently graduated from the University of Michigan with a degree in English and education and was writing for Ralph Lauren’s website when she hatched the risky plan to start a business making pasties that provide customers with perky nipples rather than trying to cover up the nipples.
“I’ve just always loved the look,” says Borman. “It always makes a statement — everyone notices! I always say Just Nips are like mascara for your tits!”
The fake nipples consist of an adhesive pasty with a “pearl” placed in the center to achieve that “boner for her” look. You can order them in “Cold” and “Freezing” nipple sizes (1.1 cm wide by 0.8 cm tall and 1.5 cm wide by 1 cm tall respectively) and either “Cocoa” or “Cream” for the color of the pasties. Nipple pearls come in black, white, and pink. Some Just Nips are even designed to be reusable (10 uses) or waterproof!
Borman’s “Nips” don’t look much like real nipples, but they’re the perfect thing to wear under your clothes if you want your ensemble to have a little Marilyn Monroe-style flair. It’s the accessory that will make you “look cold, feel hot!”
But Just Nips haven’t just made a statement in the fashion industry. The faux nipples have also been widely sought after by mastectomy patients who’ve lost nipples to breast cancer and want an inexpensive approach to nipple prostheses that can help make them feel more feminine and comfortable in their skin again.
Shortly after the company launched, Borman began receiving questions from potential customers regarding whether or not they could wear Just Nips over their mastectomy incisions.
“I first got inundated with this question after the New York Post covered us,” Borman says. “I really had no idea whether or not the pasties were safe.”
But she dove into the project of making her product accessible to this unexpected market. She began consulting doctors to learn about the needs of post-mastectomy women and brought the production of the Just Nips to the United States so there would be more careful control over the quality. She has taken great pains to ensure that all the adhesives used are high-quality and non-sensitizing.
Borman has even gone so far as to launch a donation program so that people can request free samples for doctors’ offices, chemo centers, and breast cancer support groups. She also now includes an information pamphlet on self-check breast exams in every package she ships.
What Borman wanted when she started Just Nips was for women to feel strong, confident, and sexy (after all, she advertises “liberty and Just Nips for all”). So of course, she’s over the moon that her interesting and somewhat risky product has filled a gap in the breast prosthesis industry, even though that was never their intended purpose. It’s a happy ending for all involved!
Elizabeth Nelson is a wordsmith, an alumna of Aquinas College in Grand Rapids, a four-leaf-clover finder, and a grammar connoisseur. She has lived in west Michigan since age four but loves to travel to new (and old) places. In her free time, she. . . wait, what’s free time?