We had the good fortune of connecting with Robyn Rapaport and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Robyn, every day, we talk about how much execution matters, but we think ideas matter as well. How did you come up with the idea for your business?
The idea for Robynro almost forced itself upon me. I was doing laundry in my apartment, washing my underwear, as one does, and I pulled out a pair for $23 underwear I had purchased the week before only to find that the lace, as usual, had torn. I, along with most of my friends, had been wearing this same brand of underwear for as long as we had been old enough to wear thongs. I began to think, why? I scoured the internet, as a consumer, looking for a better option. Nothing. There were lots of new brands coming out with all cotton thongs with the idea that comfort is the new sexy. There is something there, but not exactly what I was looking for. The current options in the women’s everyday sexy underwear market are mostly one size fits all (lol), with antiquated brands, and are hand wash only! I had the classic lightbulb moment. From then on I set out to build Robynro- everyday sexy panties comfortable enough for everyday, sexy enough to feel part of your outfit, and built to last.
What should our readers know about your business?
The current options in the women’s everyday sexy underwear market are mostly one size fits all (lol), with antiquated brands, and are hand wash only! There are lots of new players in the underwear space coming out with all cotton thongs with the idea that comfort is the new sexy. There is something there, but that product does not exactly suit my, or my customers’ needs.
Robynro is an everyday sexy panty brand with underwear comfortable enough for everyday, sexy enough to feel part of your outfit, and built to last. Unlike most brands in the market, Robynros are designed to withstand the washer and dryer and to flatter differing body types. The brand is also designed around empowering women to feel their own brand of sexy.
The entrepreneurship program at the UCLA Anderson School of Management, as well as their in house Accelerator and the Wolfen Family Fellowship are a huge part of how I got here today. The structure provided by Anderson and its surrounding community provided a safe place for me to grow and try (and fail), and try again, before launching Robynro.
COVID19, of course, was the largest challenge that faced Robynro. As the world shut down, supply chain, production, and shipping were all put in jeopardy. The pandemic truly taught me that you never know what lies ahead. You can prepare, prepare, prepare and still be blindsided. Graduating in 2020 with no communication with my factory, along with the general fear of those day to day early days- flexibility is the biggest lesson I learned from this past year. And gratitude- for your health and the health of your loved ones. Health is wealth is something my mom said to me over and over again- and she’s right.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
I would take them for one of my favorite hikes (Los liones or Westridge), followed by lunch at Reddi Chick in the Brentwood Country Mart. There would definitely be a dinner at Gigis (a new restaurant that just opened in Hollywood- it’s SO good), followed by a night out dancing in Silverlake (hi, the Friend! I miss you!). Can’t do LA without a stroll on Abbot Kinney and lunch at Gjusta followed by a trip to Zuma in malibu. End with picking up an (extremely overpriced) picnic selection from Erewon and watching the sunset from the top of Mulholland. All corny but a weekend of my dreams!
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
I would like to dedicate this shoutout to my Robynro team. Caroline, Sarah, Bardia, and Jake- building this baby would not have been possible without the four of you.