Meet Mazie Fisher (MF) and Abbie Miranda (AM), the sisters behind the iconic lingerie brand – Beija London. While Abbie manages design, Mazie heads up the brand, and together have built a team of 6 since their launch in 2016.
Last September, they closed a very successful funding round on Seedrs. They raised £479,000 from 332 investors, overfunding by 158%.
We’re excited to speak to the duo about their journey building a fashion brand and their experience raising with Seedrs!
What made you decide to start the brand?
AM: We spotted a gap in the market where we could bring a contemporary design aesthetic to all customers, whether a double AA to a H cup. With a family background in lingerie manufacturing, it was exciting for us to infuse all that we know into creating the best lingerie company out there.
MF: We spoke to women and our friends, and the common denominator was how frustrated they were with what was on offer – especially for bustier women. The lingerie brands they approached had a limited offering. Our customer wants to shop at the same place as her friends, not go to a ‘specialist’ brand to shop.
What is the reality of operating a fashion brand?
MF: The expectation was that it would be much easier than it is. But, I love doing what we’re doing and it’s fun! I’ve had jobs where I’ve dreaded going into work, and I can honestly say now I wake up everyday excited. I’m very passionate about making Beija London a success!
But there is certainly a ‘yo-yo’ [up and down] feel to it emotionally and with your workload.
AM: For me, I didn’t realise it’d be so HR-y and accountant-y like. That side of the business has fallen onto my plate and it’s tricky, worrying and uncreative. This can be challenging when you’re creative, especially as I’m the designer.
How was it working with Seedrs?
MF: We had a really good experience! It was very straightforward and our online dashboard was easy to navigate.
AM: It was easy to communicate too – we had a lovely team who offered us great and valuable advice. Yes, Seedrs were great!
What should founders prepare for when fundraising?
MF: The whole exercise of crowdfunding is about learning and it’s the most valuable thing we’ve ever done. We’ve learnt everything from selling, metrics to track, to understanding the core of our business and how it really runs. You should prepare for the fact that it’ll take you away from your job as you need to spend a lot of time fundraising.
AM: If you don’t believe in the product or idea, then don’t bother. You’ve constantly got to dig so deep to deliver the reason why you’re here, why you’re different and what’s great about you. If there’s not enough fuel in you to do so, and to believe in yourself, then it’ll be hard to pitch for investment.
Also, know the areas in your business where there might be tricky questions. Ours was that we have 42 sizes which is a lot of SKUs (i.e. stock). Some investors found this to be a huge issue but that’s our brand and our customers want even more sizes. Yet we had to be able to confidently explain that.
Proudest moment so far?
AM: Definitely the amazing customer reviews we get. It can be quite emotional actually, but it’s rewarding and reassuring. You feel like you’re doing it right.
MF: For me, it was closing the round on Seedrs – it was a long process but we got there in the end! We met some lovely people along the way who we’re proud to be working with.
What’s the vision for Beija London?
MF: What we’re doing now but on a much bigger scale, more eyes on the brand, and building our brand awareness. We just moved into a distribution centre and it’s really made the growth feel possible!
AM: Loads of orders going out everyday from our distribution site, and ramping up our online bra fitting service which is available anytime, anywhere in the world!
Abbie and Mazie are nothing short of an inspiration and we’re so happy we had the opportunity to work with them on their round.
Looking to raise funds through your community?
Apply to raise on Seedrs here and our team of fundraising experts will be in touch.