As soon as I released the first batch of Bee’s Knees Knee Pads in Black Heart way back in October of 2018, the first question I got was, “When are you going to make them in nude?”

I had no plans for a nude knee pad, but people kept asking, so I kept listening. Every time they said “nude” it became clearer and clearer that they meant “naked.” But not everyone looks naked when wearing nude, so I told people, “I’ll release nudes when I have colors for everyone.” 

It was difficult to find matching fabrics and notions in what would pass for skin colors, but I did it in April of 2019. Then, I revised the colorways to offer richer and more nuanced tones and added a fifth shade to the Nudes Collection in 2021.

I felt like I’d really done something, and I’m still proud of the Nudes Collection to this day. So why did I retire it? Because I kept listening, and what I heard was a problem.

The Problem with Nudes

The Nudes Collection boasted “Nudes for Everyone!” New customers contacted me saying they were so happy to finally find a pole dance knee pad that actually offered five different skin tone options. Although I got a lot of great feedback on Blush, Chai, Jazz, Fawn, and Melt, when people asked, “Which one do you think will match my skin tone?” I had to tell the truth: none of them will.

First Case in Point: Jazz the Poler. Jazz wears a color that was literally made for her. Watch this video where she’s wearing Bee’s Knees Knee Pads in Jazz and notice how as she sits backstage, her knee pads appear to be one color; when she’s onstage, her knee pads change color with the stage lighting.  

No one can boast a fabric that will match skin exactly. People seemed to think their knees would look invisible if they got the exact right color. It was hard to explain to people that knee pads don’t work the same way that make up does.

The Solution: Neutrals

I started asking people about their skin’s undertones. I listened as they described themselves using words I’d never have known to say. They talked about eye color, hair color, palettes they gravitated toward and felt confident in, colors they avoided at all costs. I learned that it’s about skin, sure, but people consider so many other contributing factors, whether they are aware of it or not.

In a lot of cases, customers chose colors from the Nudes Collection that matched something other than their skin. 

Second Case in Point: my friend Meredith. Meredith has fair skin, but rather than going for Blush, she much preferred Chai to go with her Cream colored Pleasers or Jazz to complement her dark red hair.

The Nudes Collection stood on business. Its impact was meaningful and it catalyzed a change in the industry. At the time, no one was offering pole dance knee pads in multiple skin tones; now a lot of brands do. Bee’s Knees will always be the first, and I like to think my little brand paved the way for change.

The Neutrals Collection represents something more meaningful, more useful because it speaks to the whole person. Skin, yes, but also hair, eyes, aesthetic, attitude, confidence, and more.

The Neutrals Collection has three colorways: Light, Medium, and Dark Neutral. The elastic, thread, hook, and loop form a beige base, while the signature compression mesh on each colorway varies. The idea is to complement whatever makes you feel the most like yourself. Coordinate your Bee’s Knees Knee Pads with your bralette, bottoms, or heels. Complement your skin, hair, or eyes. Showcase your aesthetic or your attitude. The Neutrals Collection serves to support the real focus: you.

Check them out and see for yourself. I think you'll like what you see.