Our mission is to see women’s health and self-esteem improve through beautiful, well-fitted, and supportive bras. We offer a variety of sewing classes and workshops, sewing patterns, instructional DVDs and books, bra making supplies, and much more!
BravoBella became an official business in 2009 when owner and founder, Monica O’Rourke Bravo, published her second bra pattern. However, one could say that the origins of BravoBella dates back to when Monica was 14 years old and published her first bra pattern.
While not formally trained in fashion design, Monica grew up in her mom’s fabric store and through trial and error, taught herself pattern making. Prior to BravoBella being formally established, Monica spent her free time teaching sewing classes and designing patterns. After many years of answering requests for sewing classes and custom undergarments, Monica saw the need for well-fitting bras and the rest is as they say, history.
Monica is a self-proclaimed geek, teacher, a mother to two wonderful boys (Ben Michael & Sam). She has a B.A., B.S., and is credentialed to teach physics, chemistry, and math. Monica’s educational background and experience has allowed her to approach the pattern making and design process from a very scientific angle. To her, patterns are nothing more than complex mathematical nets and a bra is an engineered structure to designed to support mass.
BravoBella combines Monica’s love of science, sewing, and teaching. She considers herself a teacher at the core of her being and hopes to empower her customers through her classes and instructional materials.
Outside of BravoBella and teaching, you can find Monica spending quality time with her family, training for her black belt, or hanging with her sewing group over a glass of wine.
5 Non-bra-related Things You May Not Know About Monica
1.) She loves mystery novels. Her favorite series growing up was “The Cat Who…” books by Lilian Jackson Braun. Another favorite series of hers is the “Clan of the Cave Bear” series by Jean Auel.
2.) The one guilty pleasure that she cannot and will not give up is…PIZZA! She has successfully integrated pizza into her everyday menu. A (not so) fun fact: Sausage pizza with hot dogs and ketchup on it is, as you would imagine, terrible. On a trip to Mexico, Monica decided to be adventurous with her pizza consumption only to end up with her worst pizza experience to date!
3.) If travel is good for the soul, Monica’s soul is in top notch shape. She has traveled all over the world to 12 different countries.
4.) Hablas español? Monica does – fluently!
5.) Lions and tigers and…cats, oh my! Pre-BravoBella, Monica was a keeper of big cats of all kinds.