Young Ambition is a feature series in which wildchild invites young adults to share their passions, grand plans, and pipe dreams with us.
Presenting Nicholette Pang, the founder of an alternative innerwear line, Barebodies. As a ballet dancer, she started wearing nipple pasties from a young age. Since the options available have always been lacking in durability, coverage, and color, the 26-year-old Singaporean was recently inspired to create Nipstick to address these issues. Read on to find out about her journey thus far and keep your eyes peeled for an exciting announcement.
Tell us more about the nipple pasties that you had to use in the past and why those experiences impacted you so much that you decided to create your own.
Nicholette: Back then, pink silicone nipple stickers were the closest “skin-like” material. Color-wise, they were not a good match for my tanned skin tone and they would fall off if the tops that I wore were not tight-fitting. In fact, the product wasn’t exactly seamless but I still bought it because that was my best option!
I’m so dependent on nipple stickers and wore them pretty much on a daily basis — not just for ballet — since they were way more comfortable than a bra. One time, I was checking out myself in the mirror when it hit me that I couldn’t be the only one experiencing these frustrations. That’s the thought that kickstarted everything.
What makes Nipstick stand out from the crowd?
Nicholette: Nipstick is available in four shades and two sizes. It is seamless, sweat-resistant, waterproof, and reusable up to 98 times on average (approximately three months), if well cared for. Customers who’ve taken extraordinary care of their pair shared that their Nipstick lasted five months and the most recent all-time high record was a whopping 16 months!
I used to buy pink silicone ones in bulk since they would last only one to three uses. And so, the durability of Nipstick is great for the environment and the wallets of those who wear nipple stickers regularly.
How did you navigate the tedious process of sourcing the right manufacturers and materials?
Nicholette: I started diving into it during the pandemic, so I had to do everything online. And thanks to the lockdown, there was little distraction! I zoomed into the materials that I was looking out for. Then I proceeded to find the potential suppliers and communicated my needs to them. While there was a lot of back-and-forth involved (such as with the sampling of the products), I would still choose to do everything online in the absence of the pandemic.
Why did you choose to start with Etsy? What was the reception like when you launched Barebodies and when did you realize that Nipstick struck a chord with consumers?
Nicholette: I chose Etsy because there was no upfront cost. It was a hit from the beginning — ladies were particularly excited when they knew Nipstick is available in four shades, seamless and that it was not going to fall off when they are on the move or if they wear it every single day.
Some clients said that they had finally found the perfect nipple stickers for themselves, in terms of durability and a match with their skin tones. That was when I knew I had made a small difference in their daily living with my product.
What has been the most challenging aspect for you in starting and running your own business?
Nicholette: The most challenging aspect for me is being a one-woman show. Having recently decided to further my studies, doing so whilst running a business can be overwhelming at times. But I’m not complaining and I make sure to take breaks. Of course, my husband helps me out with the housework and with taking care of our fur kiddos — we’ve got four of them!
On the other hand, what are the most rewarding parts of running Barebodies so far?
Nicholette: Everything about Barebodies is rewarding! It’s an achievement I’ll always hold dear to my heart. The most rewarding part is being able to make a difference — helping my customers feel comfortable in their own skin with a lasting, trustworthy product that can accompany them in their day-to-day life.
The second might seem like a small thing but I’m grateful and really appreciate it when customers take note to spell my name correctly — it’s commonly overlooked and spelled as “Nicolette” instead of “Nicholette”.
Do you have any plans in store that you are particularly excited about?
Nicholette: I am extremely elated to share that Nipstick will soon be available at Design Orchard! This will be an awesome chance for interested customers to really have a look at the different shades to find the perfect fit for them.
I’ve also got more ideas in the works that I can’t wait to share with everyone and I’ll be launching a new product soon. My lips are sealed for now but it’s all very very exciting, so do keep a lookout for updates on our Instagram page if you would like first access and sneak peeks!
All photography by Barebodies; cover collage by Sherryl Cheong