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'Mastectomy-friendly' swimwear line is helping cancer survivors feel beautiful

The core value of Lime Ricki is inclusivity, which is also very important to the family, given that co-founders Bruderer and Anderson have personally battled cancer. 

'Mastectomy-friendly' swimwear line is helping cancer survivors feel beautiful
Cover Image Source: Instagram/@limericki

Sisters Colette Callister, 55, Jennifer Anderson, 53 and Nicole Bruderer, 50, launched Lime Ricki in 2007. This swimwear brand's three sisters want each body to be a swimsuit body—especially those who have had severe surgery as a result of cancer treatment. The core value of Lime Ricki is inclusivity, which is also very important to the family, given that both Bruderer and Anderson have personally battled cancer. 

"These swimsuits are for every woman to help them feel comfortable and confident with who they are, how they are," Jennifer told Good Morning America. "When we finally lived in the same state together again, as adults, we decided we wanted to do something that would be meaningful," said Callister. "It took a little time to convince my sisters to do it, but they came around."


Lime Ricki unveiled the "Flourish & Bloom" swimwear collection, which is "mastectomy-friendly," in recognition of Breast Cancer Awareness Month. The line offers adaptive styles with features like detachable bra cups for prostheses and various chest coverage for people who want to conceal surgical scars or skin cancer scars from radiation. Additionally, the company donates a portion of the proceeds from each suit purchased from this limited-edition line to the Breast Cancer Research Foundation.

"[Cancer] is something that's affected me through my whole life and now that I have three daughters of my own… It's something that we care so deeply about in funding research," said Bruderer.

At the age of 21, Bruderer received a breast cancer diagnosis; this year marks the 29th anniversary of that time. At the ages of 21, 26 and 29, she claimed she battled cancer three times in her twenties. "At the time, we didn't really think we had a family history… So it felt like a really big shock," said Bruderer. "And it's definitely a diagnosis that shakes you up and changes your perspective. I'm really grateful that I'm now 20 years out from my breast cancer and healthy and strong, but I've had a lot of surgeries," she added.


In 2012, Anderson also received an ovarian cancer diagnosis. She said that the news had come as a shock but was thankful for her sister, who had provided her with hope and a powerful example of what a survivor looks like. "It's not a death sentence to be diagnosed with cancer. It's a journey that we get through in different ways," said Anderson, who celebrated her 10th year of remission this month. "[Ovarian cancer] increases the risk of breast cancer significantly and so I did opt for a prophylactic bilateral mastectomy."

Anderson shares that the designs come from personal experience and therefore, empathy. "The suits do relate quite a bit to what my body has gone through and issues that I face," said Anderson. "And then I have a 16-year-old daughter… This journey may continue with her as well."



Lime Ricki chose four women who have been diagnosed with cancer and are at various stages of their recovery journeys in order to emphasize the resilience of survivors' bodies, including a model, Courtney Hilburn, who underwent a mastectomy just a few weeks prior to the shoot. "From the get-go, from the photoshoot that we had with our four breast cancer survivor models, they loved the suits and felt so beautiful and confident in them," said Callister.

The collection has won praise from women all throughout the nation since it debuted in early October. "They've expressed gratitude that they're so happy that there is an option or that they can share this with a friend or a family member who was experiencing this," said Bruderer.

The sisters, who are now raising girls of their own, emphasized how crucial it is for all women to feel at ease in their own skin. They expressed happiness that their swimwear can assist women in doing precisely that. "Lime Ricki has always been a celebration of women and our bodies and empowering women to go and create memories," said Bruderer. "We sometimes feel pressure from ourselves, or from society, that we need to look a certain way. This line is all about celebrating the diversity of women and our bodies and our shapes and our sizes and our colors."


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