When Lauren DeMarco was in the U.S. Army, she learned quickly that hand-washing her delicates wasn’t an option. “I lived with a bunch of women, and we didn’t have the time or the facilities to hand wash,” DeMarco says. “We had to throw our bras in with our regular laundry, and we always complained how messed up our bras would get.” DeMarco never forgot those scary bras days. Several years later, she worked with a designer to invent Delicate Drops, a tear-shaped ball that holds bras so that they can be washed in regular loads of laundry. She and her husband sold a car, lots of furniture and went on a tight budget to launch the product. “There were so many times that we didn’t think we would have money for the next step,” Demarco says. “We thought it was over about 10 times.” The drops retail for $24.95 and are carried in boutiques nationwide, including the Maddox Shop in Casa Linda Plaza. “I thought I could invent something in six months and be on Oprah,” DeMarco says. “I learned that’s not the case. I’m pretty happy with the progress we’ve made so far.”

For information, visit delicatedrops.com.