Meet Jenny Buettner: Real Estate Exec Turned Inventor of Breakthrough Lingerie

When real estate executive Jenny Buettner attended her sister’s wedding just after delivering her own third baby, she found herself up against a common post-birth issue—wardrobe. But instead of sulking, Jenny took matters into her own hands. Intent on looking great for the wedding by avoiding an unseemly visible panty line, she cut the sides of her G-string panties and taped them to her skin—essentially creating the very first prototype for what would, in time, become her first invention, as well as the beginning of her entrepreneurial journey.

With no background in lingerie or manufacturing, Jenny had to start from scratch. She researched patent filing, attended trade shows, continued to develop prototypes, and even traveled to China to explore manufacturing options—trusting the process the whole time. Despite many challenges, Jenny eventually received her patent and left her real estate career to focus solely on her new brand, Shibue, a no-line, strapless lingerie brand, which has since become the official lingerie of New York Fashion Week. And Jenny didn’t stop there. To grow her own business and empower other women to become entrepreneurs, Jenny created Love Shibue, a network of fashion consultants that would essentially become ambassadors and sales women for Jenny’s line.

4 Lessons to Take from Jenny Right Now

In Your Pain is Your Brand

It was Jenny’s own post-baby-body dilemma that catalyzed the idea for Shibue. We should always pay close attention to our problems—because we happen to be experts in those problems!

Embrace Fear & Failure

Jenny faced many obstacles, especially at the start. Some manufacturers told her what she wanted could not be made, so she went to China herself to press on. And even when they were eventually manufactured, she had to contend with marketing a product that is essentially hidden from view. But she never gave up.

Walk a Parallel Track of Mission & Money

Jenny dreamt of creating her product—her mission; but along the way held onto her real estate career—her money—to make ends meet. She understood how crucial it would be to simultaneously nurture both.

The Power of Passing the Torch

Not only is Jenny a working mom, but she prides herself on constantly showing her kids, first-hand—by bringing them to trade shows and fashion events—what it takes to build something from the ground up. Through her experience, they can now grasp what it means to handle every aspect of a business on one’s own.

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