Female Founder Series: Miel’s Valeria & Camila Velandia

Valeria & Camila VelandiaNeighborhood and City- Montreal, Quebec - CANADA Co-founder @ mielsistersFullSizeRender (1) (1)

Woman we admire- Our greatest source of pride and inspiration has always been our mother, Beatriz, who is a sociology professor living here in Montreal. It_s because of her that we are

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  • What are the three words that best capture you? Loyal, kindness, aspiration. 
  • What gets you out of bed in the morning?  Coffee. We’re not fans of early mornings.
  • In your words, what is Miel and what is its mission? Miel® is our dream come true to make the most comfortable, freshest and cutest underwear any woman can (and must) own.
  • When was the moment you knew you had to create Miel? I once had to change my bra and panties 4 times in a single day: first, to get groceries, then for work, then for the gym and, finally, for a late-night bite with friends! As sisters, we experienced the same frustration about not finding versatile and stylish underwear. This is when we started dreaming about day-to-day lingerie that could take us from one activity to the next without having to think or worry about our underwear!
  • What was your biggest doubt before starting Miel? The biggest doubt and challenge is building awareness and helping dispel misinformation in the beauty industry that in order to be sexy, a woman needs to be uncomfortable. Once women try our products, the rest is effortless.
  • What parts of yourself are reflected in the soul of the company? The versatility of our products really reminds me of the many different hats I wear during the day, from super mom to working gal, without forgetting best friend and wife!

 

IMG_0230What makes your collection and / or company unique? 

At miel®, our focus is always on innovation and engineering the world’s best underwear. We have spent years perfecting the cuts, fabric blends, look and feel, support, colors, and finishes of our pieces. What makes our underwear so special is that we make sure to use the best fabrics (microfiber, spandex and cotton) in different parts of our pieces to ensure comfort and most flattering fit. Our fabrics are protected with Guardin™, which is a plant-based built-in antimicrobial protection against stains and odors. Miel® also integrates seamless and flat-seam compression in different areas of each garment where stretch and support are needed. Last but not least, every season, our collection includes new bursts of color reflecting what’s happening in fashion and on the street.

Why should women wear your lingerie?

In this day and age, women want to look stylish and feel comfortable no matter what they are doing and where they are doing it. Thanks to new fabrics, finishes and knitting technologies, we have developed a product suitable for all environments, so that a woman doesn’t need to change three times a day. Our brand was developed to support her daily activities at home, in the office, at the gym and out on the town. Our underwear works just as much for a yoga class as it does under a little black dress.

The miel® customer leads a busy active lifestyle, which requires practicality and stress-busting solutions for everyday life.

What do you want women to feel when they wear your lingerie?

We want women to feel that our pieces don’t just fit but also complement their lifestyle. For us, the fit is a celebration of a woman’s body. Our pieces move the way she moves. On top of this, we hope that the comfort and aesthetics of miel® designs provide a sensation of calm and relaxation. Amidst our busy days, we all need to score a bit of serenity!

Describe the woman you have in mind when you design a collection.

Our customer is the quintessential healthy modern woman. She works, plays, travels and embodies the essence of a well-balanced active life. 

What body types best fit with your collections ?

Our lingerie has been designed to fit all types of body shapes; apple, pear, hourglass & rectangle. Our beautiful basics come from our knowledge of form and function, to which we added a bit of sex appeal owing to our Latin heritage. The miel® product line features 4-way stretch technology that makes our pieces to look streamlined against the body whether you are wearing clothes or not.

How does an idea make it to production?

As much as possible, we prefer to meet our suppliers face to face so that we can touch and feel new fabrics or packaging. Our products are made here in Montreal, Canada, allowing us to work closer with our factories and ensure that the quality meets our exacting standards. It’s hard but rewarding work! We obsess over details and are constantly making minor improvements to our products, which is why it’s so important to be close to the manufacturing process.

 

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3 Most Comfortable Pairs of Underwear

3 Most Comfortable Pairs of Underwear

This summer, Refinery29 named Commando the most comfortable thong based on popular opinion across the Web. Commando is one of Underclub’s most popular brands and we would have to agree! They take no underwear lines to a whole new level. From their thongs to boy shorts, Commando’s comfort levels never whither. Seeing as comfort is particularly important when it comes to intimates, we want to highlight 3 of our picks for most comfortable underwear. You’ll want to slip these on for a first date and hit the gym in these undies.

— The Underclub Team’s Picks for Most Comfortable Underwear —

cosabella1. Cosabella |  Never Say Never Thong

fleurtwithme2. Fleur’t with Me  Cheeky Panty

montelle3. Montelle  Boy Short

Do you have a most comfortable pair of undies? Let us know in the comments below!

7 Underwear Types You Need to Know

Have you ever gone underwear shopping and seen something labeled “bikini” and thought, “wait, I thought a bikini was a bathing suit”? Or have you ever been stumped by other underwear lingo such as “tanga” or “hipster”? This feeling of confusion will plague you no further — we’re here to help you crack this case of underwear jargon once and for all!

— YOUR ULTIMATE GUIDE TO UNDERWEAR TYPES —

Psst! All the undie brands shown here are stocked by Underclub!

the briefThe Brief full bum coverage

boyshortThe Boy Short | the sexy version of the brief

Screen Shot 2015-09-16 at 9.28.39 PMThe Bikini | like a brief, but can be thin on the sides

hipsterundiesThe Hipster | perfect for smooth lines without the full coverage of a brief

thetangaThe Tanga | the thong with more coverage

thongThe Thong | great for no lines

gstringThe G-String | the barely there version of a thong

Tell us your favorite type of undies in the comments below!

Introducing Underclub’s Newest Brand – jKNIX

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Underclub is pleased to welcome a beautiful new brand to its subscription service – jKNIX! Made with love in California, jKNIX are known for their vibrant and colorful intimates and loungewear. You may have seen their adorable pieces in fancy hotel boutiques during one of your tropical getaways.

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So why do we love jKNIX? In addition to their seamless underwear, the brand’s pieces soften with every wash (say what?). This is made possible with their SewSmooth Technology fabric – finally, underwear that gets better with time! If that wasn’t appealing enough, each jKNIX undie has a moisture-wicking liner, which controls both moisture and odor. Wear your jKNIX for a night out on the town or when sweating it out at the gym!

Want your own pair of jKNIX? Subscribe to Underclub for must-have undies straight to your doorstep every month.

#FemaleFounder Series: Julie Sygiel of Dear Kate

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Ever wanted go-to “period panties”? Julie Sygiel found the solution with her company Dear Kate, which impressively emerged from her college entrepreneur class project. With a unique background in Chemical Engineering and fashion, Julie developed Underlux- a silky-soft wicking and leak-resistant fabric. She caught the entrepreneur bug long before that though, as she was able to sell a shocking 10,000 boxes of Girl Scout cookies when she was younger. We look forward to collaborating with the real-women focused brand in the near future! Scroll for our interview with Julie…

Our Top 3 Questions with Julie Sygiel 

Describe your first feeling of success.

The day we launched our Kickstarter campaign in May 2014, our goal was $15,000. We had no idea how much we would raise and that morning we met our goal one hour after launching the campaign. It was a crazy feeling. Isabella went out to buy mimosa ingredients so we could celebrate and we went on to raise $158K in the entire campaign.

What was the best piece of advice you were ever given?

“You can find evidence to support anything that you believe, so might as well believe that you’re amazing.”

What was the most difficult challenge you faced?

There are too many to name! Naming the company was one of the earliest challenges that I struggled with for several years before finding Dear Kate. We went through several names, including Sexy Period, Underbrella, Eulie, Blink, and Sage & Silk.

Share your thoughts on our interview below!

#FemaleFounder Series: Giorgia Rossi of LookBooker

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Giorgia Rossi is the Co-Founder of LookBooker, a platform where people can book all their hair and beauty appointments online based on neighborhood and availability. Makes total sense to us! Born on a leap year in Sydney, Australia, Giorgia and her Co-Founder, Renee Robbie, dreamed up the idea for LookBooker while doing global management consulting on rural mining sites in the country. It didn’t take long for the pair to realize they’d be happier running their own business rather than stay in the corporate world. Interesting fact about the duo: Rossi works out of New York, whereas Robbie is based in Singapore! Read on for insight and advice from Rossi as a modern female founder…

Our Top 3 Questions with Giorgia Rossi

What was the best piece of advice you were ever given?

It was from my Co-Founder! We both knew we wanted to work together from almost the first time we met in our former jobs and we used to always talk about how we had a vision for an online marketplace for hair and beauty as big as OpenTable or Airbnb. However, we kept on convincing ourselves of experiences or skills we’d need, books we had to read, things we’d need to know or people we’d need in order to start our company. It took us a bit of time to take the jump and Renee’s advice was so simple yet powerful, “you’ll never have everything in place, it will never be the perfect time, you’ll never feel ‘ready’ so let’s just do it”. That combined with my Mum’s advice that, “experience is what you get when you’re not getting what you want.”

What was the most difficult challenge you faced?

It’s not necessarily our most difficult challenge, but certainly one of the most surprising challenges: what it’s like to be a woman in the very male dominated tech industry. I came from a corporate background, which had seen huge progress in terms of parental leave, flexibility, alternative promotion paths and the development of more infrastructure to make sure there were fewer barriers to making women successful. There are challenges associated with being a female founder that continue to surprise (and outrage!) me, particularly when it comes to securing the funding women need to grow and scale businesses. Hearing the experiences some women have had fundraising can be like listening to a series of horror stories.

Similar to LookBooker, we’ve seen so many of our female peers who are building businesses that they or their friends use. They make a lot of sense until you come to the point where you imagine pitching that sort of idea to an all male panel of VCs who may be less likely to be pained by the inconvenience of booking their bikini wax on the phone during office hours or in an open plan office. We are in a world where so few venture firms even have female representation among their partnership (<4% of senior VC partners are women) and the industry has been accustomed to what a ‘typical’ entrepreneur looks like. It’s easy to see why more than 95% of venture capital currently flows to male founded teams. These outcomes make it pretty scary to be a female founder at times, but being smart about it makes the situation less insurmountable!

Describe your first feeling of success.

When we first launched LookBooker we were adamant about it being a marketplace that could serve both men and women – we knew that men were inconvenienced by offline bookings and had their hair cut even more often than women and are chronically underserved by the hair and beauty industry. One day in our early weeks of launching I was on the subway in my LookBooker t-shirt and a guy came up to me and said, “do you work there?”. I told him about how we’d created the idea while working together in rural Australia (of course trying to convince him to get his hair cut) and he told me that he’d used it to book his hair appointment the week before. I couldn’t believe it (when you’re a severely under slept founder, you look at any customer as the greatest part of your day every single time) and then he told me that not only was it his first LookBooker booking but his first ever appointment – he’d always gone to a walk in barbershop. It’s the stories of customers who are actually engaging in and using your marketplace that make you feel like a success – even if the moment is fleeting.

FUN FACT: the only things Giorgia can cook are eggs!

Share your thoughts on our interview below!

Welcome to our New Blog!

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Underclub officially turns one year old this month! This milestone signifies an exciting year for us with the launch of www.underclub.co, features in publications like Cosmopolitan and InStyle, and the launch of our new blog! To celebrate our anniversary, we are launching our first mini blog series next week entitled #FemaleFounders, which will feature our own interviews with some of our favorite women entrepreneurs. Stay tuned!

Follow us for content on fashion, lifestyle, and of course – underwear.

If you haven’t heard of Underclub, we are a subscription underwear service helping you find your next favorite brands. It’s great for treating yourself, your friends, and your significant other.

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