Rana Good is the founder of Naïra NYC. A writer for publications such as Forbes, Travel + Leisure, Coveteur, Mens Journal and others, she created her own platform celebrating women of color.
Since launching in 2020, Pinsy Shapewear, has become a sensation, in particular on social media where legions of fans show off their outfits wearing the brand. While shapewear used to be a “secret” garment, Pinsy is meant to be shown off not hidden. Founder Ratchel Pinlac is the mastermind behind the brand which sculpts the body in a uniquely flatter way through careful construction.
We spoke to Pinlac about how she took her brand from zero to 100 in a short amount of time and the personality traits that help her succeed as an entrepreneur.
What is Pinsy’s unique take on shapewear?
Ratchel Pinlac: Pinsy is made to be seen. In 2016 when I was looking for stylish-looking shapewear, everything in the department store I was in was flesh-colored or black. It was all just plain-looking garments. I didn’t feel excited to be in that section of the store, there just needed to be more color and different styles. It also felt like shapewear was marketed to women as if they had something to hide or change about themselves. Why would I spend a decent amount of money to hide? We blend style and function and spent a ton of time with research and development to create pieces to be seen.
Why did you want to solve this problem?
We didn’t have options that we felt good about, it was always “what’s the least ugly option at the store?” We had to sacrifice style for function. The main problem being solved is that we’re not settling for garments that are uncomfortable. When I was trying on garments in the department store everything was rolling down, digging into the skin, or not actually shaping the body. It just puts the body in a casing with no sculpting panel or accentuating the waist. The dream garment for me was a bra attached to shapewear shorts, so I wanted to combine that into one piece. I was looking to create something multifunctional.
What’s unique about your clothing construction?
The power is all in the liner which is made of power mesh. We use two to three different types doubled up in certain places and stitched together in a specific way to help accentuate and hug the figure. Our most popular garment also has an exterior sculpting fabric which adds an additional layer of shaping from the outside. We’re using powerful fabrics that are stretchable and yet still breathable. We have that happy medium of strength and comfort; it took a while to select the right fabrics and many iterations to get to this point.
People wear Pinsy beneath their clothes or just as clothing, what are some ways people style your brand?
I’ve seen women wear a long sleeve button down and then they were the bodysuit over the garment. In general, it’s such a stylable piece but I love seeing it on top of something else.
What have been some of Pinsy’s greatest successes so far?
We really went from 0 to a multimillion-dollar business in a very short timeframe. We had a really challenging start in 2020 and the virality of our bodysuits on social media has been a huge success, especially on TikTok. We lean into UGC and testimonial content which shows our pieces on fuller figures and smaller women — we don’t exclude any size. Even becoming a verified brand on Tiktok at such an early stage and all of the views we’ve gotten has been really great. From day one we’ve had waitlists on our products time and time again. Currently, we’re only selling on our site, DTC and the early success has been really great.
@pinsyshapewear pinsy is for everyone 😏 #transformation #shapewear #glam #sizeinclusive #hotgirl ♬ original sound – Pinsy Shapewear
What advice do you have for women of color founders?
As an immigrant woman, it’s easy to think you need to follow a certain path, so we question if entrepreneurship is something we even want to do. We ask ourselves if we’re even worthy of achieving that type of success. Fully bootstrapping is a good way to expand your horizon. For women of color, we sometimes compare ourselves to people who had better upbringings and better resources to start businesses, but there are just so many resources out there now. You can be successful if you search for it.
What’s next for Pinsy Shapewear?
The way I see Pinsy growing is by merging the shaping and fashion element, taking it to other product categories. We also want to expand our sales channels into physical retail or other sites. We want to be very mindful of how we expand, and we’re also interested in expanding internationally. I would love to be in Nordstrom and Bloomingdales in the US. Nordstrom is so good at curating cool brands.
What personality trait do you have that guides you as a founder?
There are a few [laughs]. I never take no for an answer, there’s always a way. In the beginning, when we were developing the product there was nothing really out there we could use as an example, we had to create our own thing. The key is continuing to push through is key.