Caroline's Story

Caroline's Story


I'm Caroline, the founder of LoveRose lingerie and I have one hell of a story.

I have lived in Scotland for almost 30 years now but I am an Irish girl through and through. I initially studied fashion design and worked in retail, before deciding to return to university to study sculpture; the creative side of me couldn’t sit still you could say! In 2006 I set up and became the director of a contemporary gallery for emerging artists in Edinburgh, an amazing job I experienced for 7 years. Unfortunately, life threw some curveballs my way and the stress caused me to become very ill. First, I got Bell’s Palsy in one side of my face, and then the virus decided to kindly move into my heart causing it to go into failure. It was the very same week I had gotten out of hospital that I came home to a letter saying that they had found something on my recent mammogram. And that was that. It was surreal; heart failure, cancer, what next? It was hard to process considering I was fit and healthy, doing all the things you’re supposed to do to look after your body. And suddenly, my whole world changed in what felt like one blurry minute.

I lost my sister, Rose, to breast cancer in 2004 (hence the name ‘LoveRose’) and another of my lovely sisters, Mary, was in recovery; and then me. I later lost another sister in April 2022 from cancer, not primary breast cancer, but cancer nonetheless. Four sisters in one family… that is just hapless! And we don’t even carry the BRCA gene!

I had lots of operations that year (5 in total) scooping out but preserving as much natural breast as they could. 2012 finished with 20 rounds of radiotherapy and I was given the all-clear. I lived the next year with a renewed vigour for life. I didn’t work, I had never not worked, and I was grateful for absolutely everything. My priorities were different: experiences over things, family and friends over everything, and we got a dog (best decision ever!).

Two years later it was back… a lot back. And so, I had no option but to have a double mastectomy with reconstruction. It was in 2015 I lost my breasts.

Post-surgery, my scars were healed but my head wasn’t. I felt like I couldn’t talk openly about my emotional recovery because I was ashamed of what I was feeling. People, family, and friends would all say, “That’s great Caroline you have it all out of your body now, you can just get on” and “You look great Caroline, you must be so glad to come out the other side”. Well, yes and yes to all of that, but I no longer could feel my breasts; they could be on fire and I’d not feel them. I didn’t feel like I had come out the other side. I should have been grateful that I no longer had cancer but why then did I still feel so devastated? I had lost some of who I was, I looked like the old Caroline, but I sure wasn’t feeling like her… yet.

There is no doubt cancer affects every part of your life. It affects your relationships, your body image… it can break your spirit. It might take your hair; your eyebrows and lashes; it might take the part of you that you’d always felt made you a woman. The emotional and psychological recovery from cancer I felt was and is, the hardest part.

I’ve always loved lingerie. Before cancer, I was that girl who wore matching sets even under a tracksuit! It had the power to help me feel good about myself, it gave me a secret confidence that was my armour throughout my day. But after breast cancer, the simple task of getting dressed became extremely stressful due to the kind of lingerie I was limited to. On the outside, my outfit looked put-together, but I knew that I was wearing a bra made from some poly-nylon-yuck fabric that wasn’t breathable; and with industrial-size straps on my 5ft 3” frame, I felt like I was wearing another top under my top! I wanted colour, I wanted softness, I wanted matching underwear that doesn’t scream “cancer survivor”! Deciding to find out how other women who had gone through breast surgery felt, I discovered that I wasn’t alone in feeling that I had been forgotten by the lingerie market. It’s ironic really, as it’s a market worth billions and yet, our ever-growing sector of now 1 in 7 women is being catered for primarily by medical brands. I was compelled to change this. And so, LoveRose was born.


My personal experiences, along with the experiences of all the amazing women I have met along the way, have massively helped when designing the LoveRose Lingerie collections. We aim to cover as many outcomes of surgery as possible. It’s really important to us at LoveRose, that not only do we create great designs but that they are sustainable, long-lasting and luxury garments. Our lingerie is made with a combination of 100% recycled lace and mesh with 100% silk. They’ve been thoughtfully designed to take into account scarring, swelling and the support needs of our wearers, including pocketed bras for women who wear prostheses. The bras have been engineered and crafted with hidden support hammocks that negate the need for damaging underwires but still allow for full support of the breasts or prosthesis. All of our styles come in beautiful colours from lotus pink to flame orange to give them the extra sexy factor that we deserve; goodbye beige! We’ve created an easy online sizing calculator to get you into your underwear. For now, the sizing ranges from an XS-1X but we strive to carry on increasing both our size and our product range.

The dream is to help other women who have been through cancer feel like they haven't been forgotten. We too can have matching, sexy lingerie to help us feel like the feminine, empowered woman that we are! Let’s stick together and show the lingerie market that we deserve to have a choice. Stand with us to make a change. We matter.


LoveRose, Love yourself xoxo


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