Growing up, Addie Miller knew she wanted to study fashion. As a high schooler in Friday Harbor, she took sewing courses and dreamed of one day owning her own business.
After graduating, she traveled for a while, and eventually landed back in Friday Harbor. Around this time, she noticed how rare it was to find comfortable underwear, so she decided to make her own.
“I just started sewing, messing around with underwear,” Miller says. I couldn’t stand the underwear I had. They were always going up my butt, driving me crazy, and I have really sensitive skin.”
With a product in hand, Miller was ready to combine her love for fashion with her dream of becoming a business owner. With a friend, she rented a studio space and had a soft opening for her designs. The name Tush & Bush came later, while brainstorming names with a friend. Miller remembered her Jewish family calling a butt a “tush,” which prompted her friend to rhyme with “bush.” The name, of course, stuck.
Tush & Bush grew slowly, and once Miller found an investor, the company expanded by doing production at a family-owned factory in Seattle. The soft fabric, which feels like a T-shirt, is Oeko-Tex certified and made from bamboo. Miller categorizes her underwear in the slow fashion department because a pair of Tush & Bush undies will last five years or more.
“My underwear aren’t sexy and the intention is not to be sexy. The intention is to be comfortable,” Miller says.
The underwear, which Miller calls “granny panties with a twist,” come in various styles: high-rise and low-rise, stripes and solids, flowers and polka dots. They are available for purchase online and in Friday Harbor at Deer Hazel, a boutique located near the ferry dock. Miller also attends various farmers markets in Friday Harbor and Seattle as well as cities in California.
Sizes at Tush & Bush range from small to XXL, aiming for inclusivity, which Miller deems a “no brainer.”
“Women are all different sizes and shapes,” Miller says. “Everyone deserves to have access to what they want to wear, and I like to provide that service.”
In addition to underwear, Tush & Bush offers tops, bodysuits, headbands, and scrunchies, all in matching colors and patterns.
At the beginning of the pandemic, when the factory first shut down, Miller was scared of whether or not she could stay in business. However, once the factory reopened, Tush & Bush began making masks. The patterns became popular among Friday Harbor tourists and led to an increase in online sales.
“I felt like maybe people became a little bit more conscious about how they spent their money [during the pandemic]. They wanted to invest more in American-made products, small business, and women,” Miller says. “So, in some ways — it feels funny saying it — but Covid has been helpful to my business.”
The online store continues to draw in customers with various sales and promotions. Online shoppers receive a discount when buying three pairs of underwear, and shipping is free for orders over $100.
The future looks bright for Miller, who plans to design more products such as sleepwear, search for more environmentally friendly ways to operate, and create more prints for her products. 360.298.5539, tushandbush.com