Forget push-up bras and restrictiv­e corsetry – these two brands will help you upgrade your lingerie drawer without compromisi­ng on comfort. Think lacy thongs, embroidere­d bralettes and mesh ‘bum clouds’…


Two entreprene­urs whose delicate lingerie offers both style and comfort


STARTUP COSTS: ‘My mom gave me her old sewing machine when I started creating bralettes,’ says Mianca. ‘We’ve grown so much since that we were able to acquire more sewing machines and an embroidery machine.’ TURNOVER: ‘The growth of Luna has been overwhelmi­ng and so incredible to witness. Our sales have tripled every year since we started. What began as a side project has turned into an ever-growing business.’

‘I’ve always loved the ability of lingerie to make you feel powerful – it’s a secret confidence booster you put on just for yourself,’ says Mianca Teifel, founder of Luna Intimates. With a degree in Fine Arts from Stellenbos­ch University, she’d planned to become a painter, but then her side hustle took off. Luna Intimates got going while Mianca was studying.

‘At that stage I had no idea it would grow into a full-time career and business,’ she says. ‘But I knew I wanted to work for myself. It’s like nothing else, starting a business from scratch and watching it grow. Seeing people fall in love with something you dreamed up is so rewarding. It makes all the hard work and stumbles worth it.’ Mianca’s mother is a seamstress, and the one who taught her to sew. ‘She’s recently joined the Luna team full-time, and it’s an absolute dream to work with the woman who shaped me into the girl boss I am today.’

‘Luna’ is Latin for moon. ‘In Roman mythology, Luna is the divine embodiment of the moon,’ says Mianca. ‘She’s often presented as a goddess who is the female complement of the sun. In some stories she is portrayed as Queen of the Stars, an image I am especially fond of.’

‘Seeing people fall in love with something you dreamed up is so rewarding. It makes all the hard work worth it.’

Mianca makes use of a studio at home but hopes to get a bigger space that can double as a pop-up shop. She’s also hoping to expand into handmade, everyday items of clothing at some point, but for now she says she’s happy making lingerie and growing her business.

‘We believe in designing with thought and sewing with care,’ Mianca says. ‘All our pieces are made by hand in small batches and a lot of it is made to order. Our system allows us to accommodat­e everyone, creating pieces that fit without creating stock that might not sell. We strive to not add to the clothing waste problem that fast fashion creates – we’re about ethical, sustainabl­e, slow fashion.’

Luna is big on self-love and inclusivit­y. ‘We want all women to feel confident and beautiful in Luna, which is why we make custom-size pieces at no extra cost. Customers can send us their measuremen­ts and particular needs, and we make their pieces. We also use “real” women in our shoots. We’ve reached out on Instagram, asking women to join us for a shoot day full of cheek, laughter and, of course, pretty delicates, and have met the most amazing women: an aspiring doctor, a passionate chef, an eco-warrior… the list goes on.’

Mianca uses Instagram as a marketing tool. ‘My Fine Art background comes into play here, as I love curating the posts the same way I would my art pieces.’

She says not having prior experience of running a business actually turned out to be a good thing. ‘I didn’t have any “rules” to obey and was free to try new things and fail, and try again until they worked. I call my own shots, even though that means I have to put in more hours. I go to bed so tired… but with a real sense of pride and accomplish­ment.’

Her greatest lesson? ‘Listen to your gut. You know your business better than anyone else. Never let anyone undermine you because you are a young female entreprene­ur; insist on being acknowledg­ed and treated equally.’

Luna’s lingerie is sold through the Luna Intimates online store. Website: lunaintima­tes.com Instagram: @luna_intimates

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 ??  ?? Luna Intimates founder Mianca Teifel.
Luna Intimates founder Mianca Teifel.
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women. ‘We use “real” women in our shoots,' says Mianca.
Luna Intimates caters for women. ‘We use “real” women in our shoots,' says Mianca.

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