Interview for Voyage LA Magazine | LA City Guide
JUNE 19, 2018
Meet Lisiane Birks-Hay of Bombom do Brasil
Today we’d like to introduce you to Lisiane Birks-Hay.
Lisiane, please share your story with us. How did you get to where you are today?
I have come a long way, at least geographically, over the last thirty years. Wind the clock back that far, and you’d find a spirited little girl playing amongst the fabrics of my mother’s tiny workshop in South Brazil. While I danced amongst the brightly colored materials, she would stitch by day, and sell her creations to passing neighbors, by night. No matter what your circumstances though, growing up in Brazil, you are blessed with a zest for life, as well as a yearning to squeeze every last drop from it, which may explain why I have been lucky enough to call everywhere from Sao Paulo to London to San Francisco my home over the last decade.
Fast forward to my life here, in 2015 as a proud mother of my newborn son, I realized something else about myself that I think not only Brazilian women feel, but every woman feels; a need to reclaim my body after nine months of pregnancy. I became a regular at my local gym and as saw my old self-returning, and my confidence in it so did my childhood interest in clothing and fashion. As I looked around me, I noticed how somber colors dominated the gym; however vivacious the characters, they all trudged in, in blacks, and greys, dark blues and charcoals.
Instead of injecting the wearer with energy, their clothes seemed to be sucking the life from them; making them sink into the shadows. Then and there I decided to bring a little of my homeland’s lust for life to the humble pair of leggings. To create a brand that would give the wearer a shot of Brazilian body confidence the moment they put them on, and with it, the idea of Bombom do Brasil was born.
Overall, has it been relatively smooth? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way?
As every founder knows, during the early years, you have to be pretty versatile. You find yourself covering every role from design lead to chief coffee maker and everything in between. You quickly recognize your strengths and weaknesses, and it can be a humbling experience.
You also learn to find help, advice and guidance in all sorts of places. Being open to council from all quarters has been incredibly important to me. At the end of the day, I know it is down to me to make the decisions that dictate the direction I want the company to take, but the more I have been able to learn from others the better the decisions have become!
Alright – so let’s talk business. Tell us about Bombom do Brasil – what should we know?
Bombom do Brasil is an activewear company, specializing in designing leggings that bring the spirit and energy of Brazil to gyms and nightclubs, the world over. Produced using fabrics from Brazil, with designs inspired by the culture and character of the country, every pair is handmade with love in Brazil, before making its way here to California. We are a family business, with my mother taking care of production in Brazil, and myself heading the company here in the USA.
Every design is limited to fifty only (in fact every pair is uniquely numbered), and they are made from the highest quality materials, so you look your best whether you are dressing up your trip to the gym or your night out on the town. Central to the design of every pair is the unique stitching across the seat, designed to give a naturally rounded appearance to the butt. After all, if there is one thing we Brazilians know, it’s that a little butt shaping and leg tightening can have eye-popping and traffic-stopping results. All of this adds up to a confidence lifting experience every time you put them on!
Any shoutouts? Who else deserves credit in this story – who has played a meaningful role?
There have been countless useful conversations along the way, fueled by a host of generous spirits and mentors! My mother has naturally been both an inspiration when I was young and has played a key role on the production side, and my family has also been tireless in their support.
However, perhaps the most influential mentor has been my good friend Crina Okumus. Crina is the founder and owner of her own very successful fashion label (Maiocci). Her vast experience building her brand and business over the years, as well as her unending patience towards me and my questions, has been a huge help.
Leggings start from $99, more information on products and pricing can be found on our website