Sisters, Abbie Miranda and Mazie Gardner, launched the straight-talking lingerie brand, Beija Flor at the start of 2016. Having grown up in the lingerie trade (their family business, supplies many major high street brands) Abbie and Mazie wanted to put their own stamp on the industry. The result: Beija Flor, modern lingerie for real women. This summer, they’ve taken over a store on Calvert Avenue, we sat down with the girls to talk inspiring women, Sanskrit vaginas, and the struggle to find the right bra…
What do you think the lingerie industry lacking at the moment? How are you solving this?
Mazie: There was no lingerie brand where women of a vast size range could all shop together. We didn't like that the larger cup had to go to specialist retailers. We wanted to make a brand that we, and our friends could relate to and we couldn't find that in the market.
You both worked in the fashion industry before starting Beija Flor, what was the most important learning you got from this?
Mazie: Collaboration is key.
Abbie: People value lovely fabric.
Where does the logo and name come from?
Abbie: Our brand stamp is a vagina. The symbol is an ancient Sanskrit symbol for yoni. Beija Flor means hummingbird in Portuguese. Eye catching, attractive and stream lined, just like us. Ha!
What type of women inspire you?
Mazie: Women who have their own businesses. We had an incredible women founders event at the store with Pip from Move Your Frame, Rebecca from Bonbon Balloons, Zoe from Wunder Workshop/Boobs Essential and Karen from Happy Tummy Co. They all totally inspire me. Oh and our host for the evening my good friend Laura Woods. Who works for Sky Sports in a quite male dominated arena and as we like to put it is absolutely bossin’ it!
Why is it important for you to have a physical store as well an online store?
Mazie: Our vision for our brand was always to be an online store but the most amazing thing about our product is the way it feels. You can't touch it online sadly. We also wanted to get as much feedback from our customers as possible. We're only 6 months old so we literally love hearing what people think about our products, we’re all ears.
Talk us through the design of the space? What's the most important thing for a lingerie brand when it comes to store design?
Mazie: Big changing rooms and it needs to smell amazing. Our colleague Fae did the design and our friend Jess made the furniture. It all started on Pinterest.
Abbie: Lighting, smell and harmony.
You’ve been on Calvert Avenue for several weeks now, what are your favourite discoveries in the area?
Mazie: Our neighbours next door at Samson Soboye. We wish we were staying longer so we could get really involved with the community. It's a beautiful street and everyone is so friendly. We’re going to miss them a lot.
Abbie: Yes, Soboye – a discovery that has ruined my bank balance since we opened next door. So many good things in there! And Franze and Evans, again no good for the purse.
Any favourite moments?
Mazie: All the parties, I mean events that we've been having. Sofar sounds was pretty special we had 50 people sitting on the floor listening to music and poetry.
Abbie: Fitting bras on our customers and them leaving with beautiful new lingerie that they love. I’m absolutely loving it.
What’s next for Beija Flor?
Abbie: We’re open to everything. This is a key time for Beija Flor. We’ve just got to make sure we make the right decisions based on what we’ve learnt, and gut feelings. It’s very exciting.
Mazie: A permanent store… Maybe?