Camila and Valeria Velandia are two sisters who have created, Miel, the popular women's underwear that is both sexy and comfortable for on-the-go young professional ladies with busy lifestyles. What advice do they have for other young professionals? Find out in today's YEDaily...
Elevator Pitch: Describe your job in a nutshell.
We create simply sexy, extra fresh, super comfy undergarments that are both functional, and flattering, for modern, on-the-go women, like us, with an active lifestyle.
Why did you start working at your company? What was the inspiration for this career route?
We identified a gap between ‘active wear’ not suited for work or going out at night and ‘lingerie’ not suited for the gym or work. With new fabrics, finishes and knitting technologies, we have developed a product suitable for all environments, so you don’t need to change three times a day. Our brand was developed to support a woman's daily activities at home, in the office, at the gym and out on the town; perfect for a yoga class, or under a little black dress. Because it is an ‘all day, every day’ underwear, it appeals to a very wide demographic.
We draw our inspiration from today’s woman; she is strong, confident, sexy and on the move. She works, plays, travels, and embodies the essence of a life in balance. Our pieces not only fit her lifestyle, they complement it. They move the way she moves.
What is the best part of what you do on a day-to-day basis? The most challenging part?
The best part is when we hear from our customers that our underwear is the most comfortable that they have ever worn, and their appreciation that they are finally free from underwires, panty lines and unflattering cuts. Their input and feedback is what keeps us growing and expanding.
The biggest challenge is building awareness and helping dispel all the misinformation in the beauty industry that you need to be uncomfortable to be sexy. Once women try our products, the rest is effortless.
Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
At Miel, continuing to innovate and take risks to engineer the world’s best underwear.
We are in the midst of developing an active community of women who are passionate about life and about looking and feeling their best.
What does success look like to you?
For us, humbly, we have already achieved success, because we are best friends and get to work together every day and put out a product we are very proud of, with no compromises. It hasn’t been pure luck; our success is the result of persistent, painstaking work paired with support from many people, particularly our community of raving fans. Our professional success has been defined by making the best products possible and hearing our customers tell us that they have a drawer full of panties, but ours are the ones they reach for first thing every morning to look and feel their best.
What is the most memorable milestone in your career?
This year we added the 500th store that carries our complete Miel line of underwear in North America.
Do you have any advice for other young professionals?
Building a great brand is not about logos or slogans, it has more to do with focus, discipline and hard work – and thousands of small decisions. It has far less to do with inspiration and creativity than one might expect. It is often about having the courage to turn down opportunities that are not aligned with your core principles so that you can stay true to your vision and values.
Do you support any charities? If so, which one(s) and why is that important to you?
We support the organization LOVE (Leave Out Violence). Their mission is to reduce violence in the lives of youth by building a team of youth who communicate a message of non-violence. It is important to us because their support has educated and empowered thousands of youths who have been affected by bullying, drug and alcohol abuse, and physical abuse.
What to you is notable?
Intelligence, vision, kindness.
Blackberry, iPhone, Android, or Other?
Other – face-to-face meetings. While, we admittedly do use iPhone + iMac, since we work with graphics, images, photo shoots etc…we still draw plenty of concepts by hand. As much as possible, we prefer to meet our clients and suppliers face-to-face and touch and feel new fabrics or packaging. In 2013, we expect 100% of our products to be made in Canada, so we can work closer with our factories and ensure that the quality meets our exacting standards. Our business is about touch and feel and fit, which technology cannot replace.