Praise Mutanu ©Akeza.net
Positive energy, confidence and self-esteem start from deep inside but it can be pushed up by a sexy bra and comfortable panties. The lingerie boutique « J’adore », held by the iconic Praise Mutanu hosted us. Well, Praise, a Kenyan lady -based in Burundi since 2013- has made her mark in the delicate and intimate world of lingerie.
Lingerie, what a beautiful world!
No matter the size or shape of the woman, lingerie should be more than just covering our intimate parts or chest “Feminine lingerie should be comfortable and sexy. It should be of a very good quality, if affordable it would be good and it should be something that makes you feel good about yourself. I don’t think that makeup and lingerie is for your partner. So far I have noticed that women want to look good for themselves. When you look good, you feel well. Wether you are with a partner or not. Confidence starts from within, it stars from the inside. You could be wearing something fabulous on the outside, put some make up on but still not feel well inside. Positive energy, confidence and self-esteem start from deep inside”, says Praise.
While stories of closing shops are becoming a normal thing, J’adore is bucking the trend as it grows from strength to strength, becoming a destination for lingerie and nightwear in the area. “The first 2 or 3years, I could even see men coming to buy lingerie for their women and some people were very surprised. Nowadays it’s a thing. Somebody would come and tell me it’s my wife’s birthday; I want something good for her. I want her to be sexy, to feel sexy and I want to surprise her”.
“J’adore” from Nairobi to Bujumbura
The idea of launching a lingerie boutique came up almost by accident, after Praise visited her husband. “I came to Bujumbura in 2013; I had come to visit my husband who lives here [Burundi]. When I was packing my bags, I forgot to pack my underwear. So when I came to Bujumbura I had a hard time getting good quality and affordable underwear. Many people were telling me to go and buy second hand. The good ones were not affordable and the affordable ones weren’t good quality. It gave me an idea that I could bring up this stuff to be available for the modern Burundian ladies. I would bring the best quality and make it affordable. But back then I still had a lingerie boutique in Nairobi”, Praise explained.
“When I started “j’adore”, they would see it as an abomination. I didn’t get my first client until the third month. People would come, look at the shop and run away literally”
Called “Fabulous collections” in the beginning, the boutique was rebranded by the customers liking the items and saying “j’adore” which means, “I like it”. Actually, when I started it wasn’t even called “J’adore”. When we started it was called fabulous collections? But once I opened the shop people would come in and pick items and say “j’adore”. I didn’t know what it meant until I ask a client and she told me it means I like or I love. And I was like that it is how I should call my shop. We decided to call it “j’adore” so that it can relate to locals and it can relate to what we deal with,” she added.
Some of the items sold at “J’adore” ©Akeza.net
At the time of opening, the boutique “j’adore” was seen as an abomination and its holder as a rude person selling nakedness. “When I started “j’adore”, they would see it as an abomination, culturally unacceptable. They were like what is wrong with you? Why are you selling underwear daylight? I didn’t get my first client until the third month. People would come, look at the shop and run away literally. “Unauza uci??”(Are you selling nakedness?) that’s what they had been telling me. Burundian community is much conserved, very reserved. Most people told me that I was outrageous because of my bold move. But slowly and surely, they have embraced it, they like it. Some clients would tell me that their siblings send them underwear from Europe or USA, because they wanted good quality. Now they can have the same good quality at J’adore. It has been a journey but an amazing one”