New in the Mix…MIEL
They’re new at The OC Mix, but these two young female entrepreneurs are aces in style and the perfect mix of New York chic paired with California classic, and after this Q&A it’s easy to see why.
We caught up with the store’s owners earlier this week to talk shop and play a little dress up (yep, all MIEL, of course). Read their story and stop in for a quick Fall shopping session soon (cozy sweaters included!).
Tell us a little bit about MIEL, what’s the store’s concept?
Miel is not just a fast fashion retail store but a place where women, young or old, can come in and feel like it is their own dressing room. An ideal dressing room that has lots of nice clothes and a good selection! We view clothing pieces as flowers and flowers should always be watered and renewed. We bring in lots of selections so that customers can come in often and see that it feels fresh.
Miel is also not just a fast fashion retail store in the sense that most of these big chain retailers carry the same styles. We make sure that our selection is unique so that customers won’t have to feel like they are buying and wearing the same thing that their best friend might have. We also believe in affordable pieces but also quality so customers won’t have to worry about getting cheap items just because they are affordable. Finally, Miel carries a mix of high and low items from bigger brands as well as local designers.
Where did you two meet…we want to hear the backstory.
We both went to Parsons in New York City to study fashion but we actually didn’t know each other then…Our backgrounds go a little something like this:
Grace worked in the entertainment industry right out of college (movie development at Paramount) but after a few years felt like she wanted more of a hands on creative outlet so she decided to go back to school for fashion design and went to Parsons in New York. She worked at a few big contemporary brands and started a contemporary line as well. Kayla also graduated from Parsons and majored in fashion business management. She worked at major fashion and beauty houses in marketing and branding while traveling around all over Asia. After these experiences, Kayla and Grace actually met working at a fashion company that had a few in-house brands but decided there was a void in what women were looking for in fashion and decided to start Miel.
What’s it like being the newest store at The OC Mix?
The OC Mix is very design-oriented and an organic meeting place. These two elements were something we were looking for to open a retail front. Since we are both from fashion and design backgrounds we wanted a place that catered to customers that understand this background. Also, we wanted a meeting place that was organic and not forced. A lot of the big shopping malls these days can come off cold and uninviting, but we wanted to house our first retail store at a place that felt more like home and a communal living space and that is how we see the OC Mix to be. As one of the newest stores at The OC Mix it’s great to meet all our neighbors and to be welcomed into this community.
What’s the best part about your new business venture?
The best part about Miel is that it came at the right time and moment – we always wanted to create a brand on the retail front but weren’t looking to start it right away. But the opportunity came up and we were able to make The OC Mix the home to our start of our retail venture and everything just came together!
The greatest part is that we are able to utilize all of our fashion industry experiences with Miel as our first boutique store.
How would you describe the juxtaposition of styles you see at MIEL?
We are both southern Cali girls that went to New York to study fashion at Parsons so we wanted Miel to showcase both the west and east coast styles. Miel brings the west coast charm to east coast chic. We carry items that have the down to earth comfort and quirkiness of the west and the classic and tailored look of the east – pieces that can go from day to night!
We know you both have been in the fashion industry for the past few years, any advice for college students or young grads you’d like to share?
If you have a passion for fashion, immerse yourself in it! Any and all forms of outlet you come by related to fashion can be helpful in your career. Fashion reaches all forms of media, art and is really a lifestyle nowadays so having a backbone as an education in fashion and filling it with life experiences is the best way to go. And always remember to have fun with it!
Follow us on Instagram @TheOCMix for more daily updates!