“I never thought I’d start a lingerie company,” Naja’s founder Catalina Girald admitted when she spoke to the Cut last month. “But I realized that the industry was a huge space that was just open for discussion.” Prior to launching her latest venture, Naja, a lingerie line that aims to change a woman’s life with each purchase, Girald spent eighteen months traveling around the globe to remote countries, during which she lived with nomads in Mongolia for two months and learned Ikat with women in Indonesia. Throughout her journey, which was triggered in part by her own soul-searching after selling her first entrepreneurial venture to Fab.com, Girald returned to her native Colombia impacted and rejuvenated by the strength of the women she had encountered in each country that she visited — which she then funneled into Naja.
Each set of Naja underwear, which range from $12 to $22, has an inspirational quote printed on it (some as simple as smile, to brighten the owner’s mood during a bathroom break). The memory-foam bras, which range from $35 to $65, have inner bra cups that feature bold, original prints designed by artists, and every lingerie purchase gives back to women in need. Currently, Naja has partnered with the Golondrinas Foundation in Colombia for a venture called Underwear for Hope that teaches marketable skills, such as sewing, and provides job opportunities for single mothers living in the slums of Colombia. Every purchase from Naja comes with a handmade wash bag, created by the women in the program, who then receive a percentage from each sale. Girald anticipates for the program to have more reach in the coming years. Click through the slideshow to browse through Naja’s first lookbook.