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Have you ever struggled with finding bras that fit and didn’t know where to turn? Welcome to our Best Lingerie Stores series, where we’re chatting with the best local lingerie stores and sharing their bra fitting expertise with you. These lingerie stores have helped hundreds of thousands of women find their favorite bras — and they want to help you look and feel your best too. This week, we chatted with Lee Padgett of Busted In Detroit in Detroit, Michigan. 

Three years ago, Lee Padgett decided to bring a local lingerie store to Detroit, Michigan.

As many of you know, Detroit was hit hard by the collapse in the automotive manufacturing industry. To some of us, it would have seemed like a risky place to start a business. Undeterred, Lee entered the Hatch Detroit contest in 2013 with the goal of making her dream a reality. An organization dedicated to the growth and development of entrepreneurs, businesses, and the Detroit area, Hatch Detroit provided the perfect platform for Lee’s vision.

Though Busted In Detroit didn’t win the contest that year, they ended up winning something bigger. Throughout the contest, women in Lee’s local community were following her journey in the hopes that she would bring a lingerie store to Detroit. These incredible women wanted a lingerie store just as much as she did. When Lee opened her doors in 2013, women from all over Michigan paid her store a visit, including many of those who were with her from the beginning.

Since 2013, Busted In Detroit has been known as a shopping destination in Michigan, one that provides exceptional customer service (her customers love her!) and personalized bra fittings for women from Detroit and all over the world.

Recently, Busted In Detroit celebrated three fabulous years of life-changing fittings, unforgettable parties, and beautiful lingerie. As an inspiration and advocate for her customers (Lee was among the first in Detroit to offer micro-chip card readers), Lee regularly supports non-profit organizations, like Support the Girls Detroit, and the local small businesses in her community.

We recently chatted with Lee about how Busted In Detroit came to be, the importance of offering a wide range of bra styles and sizes, and the benefits of a professional bra fitting.


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Image via Busted In Detroit


All About Busted In Detroit:


Parfait Team: What inspired you to start a business?

Lee Padgett: I have always enjoyed being my own boss, and being the one in charge of my success or failure.


PT: What about the lingerie industry interested you?  

LP: I do love the lingerie industry, but it was really Detroit that made me make the choice to open this type of store. There wasn’t a single place to buy a bra, so I figured I could fill that niche. I am a Detroit Lover.


PT: In 2013, you entered a contest, Hatch Detroit, for the chance to win $50,000 toward opening a brick and mortar business. You placed in the top 10 (congrats!) and quickly built up a fan base before your doors even opened four months later. How did that experience grow your business?

LP: The Hatch Detroit contest helped me realize how much women really needed Busted to open. They called, emailed, and voted for us. They started shopping with me before I even had a brick and mortar opened.  The Hatch Contest was a huge factor in the doors opening. The marketing was amazing.

The Hatch Detroit Contest still helps get the Busted message out. The organization is supported by other groups who are interested in building retail in the City or Detroit. This town is all about locally owned, small business.


PT: You’re originally from North Carolina and your lingerie store, Busted In Detroit, is located in Detroit, Michigan. Detroit was once one of the most prosperous cities in the U.S. as a bustling hub for American automobile manufacturing, but the city suffered a huge loss of jobs with the closure of manufacturers Packard and Hudson years later. Today, Detroit is experiencing a resurgence in new businesses and a renovation of neighborhoods and landmarks. Your store is located in Park Shelton. How did you decide on the location?

LP: My love affair with the Park Shelton is a long one.  Between 2003 and 2006 my husband and I owned a coffee shop called Café de Troit. We were located in Downtown Detroit, and we would cater events all over the city. We were the catering company for a group that started renovating The Historic Park Shelton way back then. I would get to go into the building and see the progress.

Then in 2011, when we moved back to the city of Detroit, we lived in the Park Shelton while we looked for a house.  It was still a huge draw for me. The Peacock Room, a wonderful ladies dress and accessory store, opened on the main floor while we lived there. I approached the management of the building about taking over our current space.  The management company loved the idea! They took a chance on a new concept, and three years later, we are still loving our space.


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Image via Busted In Detroit


PT: Tell us about your store name. What inspired the name Busted In Detroit?

LP: Can you believe that I dreamed about it?  My husband says it was his idea, but I beg to differ.  We may never really know where the name came from, but we both love it.


PT: You’re known for being incredibly supportive of your local community. You regularly feature Detroit and Michigan made products as well as artwork from local artists. How has supporting your local community helped your business?

LP: Being part of the community is second nature to us.  Our customers help us get the Busted Gospel to their friends and neighbors, and we do what we can to support them. We do Bra Parties in the store, where we supply the refreshments, give a gift with Purchase, and a hostess discount.  This concept has been taken to Silent Auctions by way of a printed certificate. People can bid on the parties, and usually a non-profit, or a school, can benefit from the sale. We end up meeting new customers and making new relationships at the parties. We have recently paired up with a non-profit called Support the Girls Detroit. They are helping women in shelters receive intimate items, and toiletries that they need. We are a drop off station for gently used bras.

If a customer brings a gently used, clean bra for Support the Girls, we will give them a $5 discount on a bra. This helps our customers give back too!


PT: What is the most rewarding part of supporting small and local businesses?

LP: Hopefully people realize that shopping small will help their local economy. More small business sales equals more need for local employees in a flexible setting.


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Image via Busted In Detroit


PT: What do you enjoy most about your local community?

LP: My local community is creative and gregarious.  We are always promoting each other.


PT: Congrats on your three year anniversary! Do you have any upcoming big plans you can share with us?

LP: Thank you!  We are doing our best to expand!  Watch for more Busted Stores opening! Busted has open a small lingerie and loungewear store in The West Village of Detroit. With this expansion, we have more room for bras in Busted Bra Shop in the Park Shelton.


PT: Busted In Detroit has 23 5-star reviews on Yelp- your customers love you! What’s the secret to creating a memorable experience for customers? 

LP: Teaching Customer Service skills to everyone who works at Busted.  Being nice is so much easier than not.  We want to make every customer comfortable!  Also providing products that we are proud to introduce to our customers.  The products are our super stars!


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Image via Busted In Detroit


Bra Fitting At Busted In Detroit:


PT: Why is it important for women to get a professional bra fitting?  

LP: Bra shopping can be hard. Let someone else find the bras that will fit you.  It takes the frustration out of the process, and you don’t have to keep putting your clothes on.  I think women get frustrated and then they buy what will just work for that moment.  A professional fitter can see an ill-fitting bra very quickly, and can make adjustments in the style, or size to help you get what you need to make you comfortable and to provide the support that you need. Plus we know where all the cute bras in your size are hiding in the store.


PT: What do you wish all women knew about lingerie and professional bra fitting?

LP: It doesn’t cost anything, doesn’t make the bras more expensive, and it is quicker than shopping for yourself.


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Image via Busted In Detroit


PT: You’re committed to offering a diverse range of styles and sizes for your customers. You carry brands such as The Little Bra Company, Freya, Parfait, Cosabella, and Nubian Skin with a wide range of colors, styles, and sizes (26-56 AAA-N!) What do you look for when selecting new styles?

LP: I carry different companies, and different sizes, because my customers are all so different.  I look for quality, variety, and fit. I am also a sucker for color! We actually go to an O cup right now, and we will add a P cup soon.


PT: What can you tell our readers about the bra fitting experience at Busted In Detroit?

LP: We try to make people comfortable.  We offer bra fittings to everyone. If you want to have a fitting just come in.  The fitters at Busted really try to make our customer’s experience one that they will share with their friends and family.


PT: Let’s talk about the private parties at Busted In Detroit. Are they by appointment?

LP: Yes they are. We have to schedule the parties outside of our normal business hours, and we need to staff them so that the guests will have a stellar experience.  We offer light refreshments too, so I need to do the shopping before hand. I love a good party.


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Image Credit: James Brown / Metro Times


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Shop at Busted In Detroit

Store Address: 15 East Kirby Street Suite A, Detroit, MI 48202

Phone Number: 313-288-0449


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Feature image via Busted In Detroit

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Published by

Katie Donnelly

Katie Donnelly is a full-time freelance writer, content manager, and founder of Katie Rose Creative. An experienced bra fitter, Katie has helped hundreds of people shop for lingerie. Her favorite bra is the Sandrine Plunge Longline Bra.

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