By ED SOUTHORN
A BANORA Point grandmother may be well on the way to making a lot of money, and creating local jobs, with a new style of women's briefs designed to eliminate the "T-Bar Effect".
Jan Digney and her husband Chuck have invested $300,000 in developing their Pert Backless Briefs. Most of the money has been spent on a worldwide patent for the unique design.
The Digneys have so far sold about 10,000 of the unusual, skimpy underpants since they began work on the idea last November.
Mrs Digney's underwear invention has been featured in foreign newspapers as far afield as Taiwan and Pakistan, calling her the "granny from downunder".
The Digneys have almost recouped their investment, after extending the mortgage on their family home.
Their financial advisor has now told them that "within a couple of years, you'll be buying me a Porsche", Mrs Digney said.
The Digneys initially approached lingerie firm Bendon to produce the backless briefs, but after an offer from Bendon the Digneys decided to go into the underwear business themselves.
Mrs Digney is soon heading off to the Australian Fashion Week trade expo in Melbourne with her selling agent, Julie Lonorgan of Coomera.
The Digneys have licensed an internet retailer to handle sales and have customers across the globe ? thanks to the fashion trend for hipster pants.
Low-slung hipsters which often expose the tops of women's G-string underpants ? creating the eye-catching "T-Bar Effect" ? gave Ms Digney the idea for a new kind of brief.
"I always thought it looks so awful to have your undies poking out like that," Ms Digney said.
"So we designed briefs with the comfort of a boy-leg and the sheerness of a G-string. They give your bottom a real lift as well. People wonder how they can stay up without a waistband."
They have two adjustable bra-like straps extending around each thigh, sitting under the buttocks.
So far, about 30 people are employed in making and packaging the briefs, manufactured by Nifty Stitches swimwear in Currumbin.
The Endeavour Foundation on the Gold Coast makes the straps and the House of No Steps, also on the Gold Coast, packages and mails off the purchased orders.
The briefs are currently available at Maggie's Lingerie, Tweed Mall; Bra World, Pacific Fair and Treasure Lane, Murwillumbah or through the web site at www.perkbacklessbrief.com