Bryley Conley’s third pregnancy didn’t go as planned — and the heartbreaking experience of almost losing her baby changed the course of her life forever.
Spending 148 long days and nights with the “sickest baby” in the NICU changed his perspective on almost everything. So when she, then 39, and her baby boy emerged to join the family, she was determined not to miss any precious moments.
Then she got her period.
Speaking to FEMAIL, Bryley, now 41, revealed the devastating impact “that time of the month” had on her mental health during those weeks.
She had just arrived home and wanted to spend time with her daughters who were only five and seven, as well as her husband and baby in the pool – but she could only keep her feet in it .
Bryley Conley, mother of three, with her children Summer, 9, Chloe, 7, Mason, 2. Bryley never wants to “miss” family time again
The mother of three spent 148 days in the NICU when Mason was born. Doctors gave him a 20% chance of survival and the experience changed Bryley’s outlook on life.
Not a fan of tampons, Bryley became determined to find a better option for women and girls who wanted to swim during their cycle.
This is how Azure Belle was born.
“Period underwear is so popular that I thought there had to be a way to make good period swimsuits,” she said.
While some brands had crept into the market, most of them were “ugly” swimmers that Bryley didn’t feel comfortable in.
Bryley, pictured, launched Azure Belle swimwear – after deciding she didn’t want to miss out on swimming with her kids just because she was on her period
The mother spent the next six months training top swimmers, enlisting help from German engineers, and performing dozens of lab tests and real-world trials to make it happen.
Now he laughs at the thought of a time that will never again ruin vacations or good family time in the pool.
“I also noticed that all the period swimsuits were for adults – what about teenagers.” I thought it would be great if girls could be sure of going to the pool during their period: they would never have to miss a swimming carnival again.
The range aimed at teenagers and tweens is very popular, as they can swim with confidence at all times.
The vintage swimsuits launched in July 2022 and Bryley made over $10,000 in sales in the first week.
Six months after launching the swimwear line, Bryley started paying herself – she now has three additional employees working for her.
“I was surprised by the growth. Within a month, we had completely sold out of our first batch of stock,” she said.
The teen range is very popular and parents of children as young as ten were buying swimsuits for their daughters.
The mother of three worked in government communications before starting her business, but now spends even more time at home with her family.
Bryley was the only one allowed to see Mason most of the time – as was the case during the difficult Covid lockdown – here’s a rare moment with her daughter Chloe.
Bryley’s family is happy and healthy: the children are thriving and they get to see her more often as a bonus.
She can plan her work hours around these schedules, meaning she no longer feels like she’s missing out on precious moments.
“It was so scary to invest $80,000 to $100,000 in a business; take a break from work and go,” she said.
But she would do it again without hesitation.
“My husband is less risk-averse than I am and has pushed me to go beyond the limits,” she said. “We looked death in the eye and changed our perspective.”
Bryley’s son is now two years old and doing well. His sisters are seven and nine years old.