Have you ever seen a nice pair of pants, skirts or jacket that you want to be a little different? In a different color, for example, or made of a different fabric. Or maybe just a little shorter or longer. At Bia Design it is possible. That is actually exactly the point of Bia Almeida, clothing designer and owner of the store. “Every customer should leave the store satisfied.”
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Bia likes nothing more than designing and making new outfits. As a little girl she already did this for her dolls and later she started making clothes for various manufacturing companies. Now she has her own store in Schiedam, Bia Design, and works according to a unique concept.
“Everything you see here in the store is for sale. But the most important question I always ask a customer is: ‘What suits you best?’,” says Bia, looking around her shop with satisfaction. “Is it this skirt or pants, but you’re looking for a different color, or something with a higher waist because it fits your figure better, I’ll take care of that.”
You could say a kind of tailor and designer in one. “Maybe a little. But I don’t try on clothes. I adjust the design and then recreate the clothes. So it fits the body exactly,” says Bia. “I never let a customer leave the house until she’s completely satisfied.”
The most important question to my clients is: ‘What suits you?’
The clothing designer from Schiedam has not yet finished his sentence, and a lady walks into the shop to give an example. The woman turns out to be a regular customer and is looking for trousers to wear under a tunic. Not too wide, but not too tight either. Something like that, but I think this is too small,” she points to a pair of trousers in one of the clothes racks. “Oh, but we’ll make it anyway,” comes Bia’s reply. “Is it the same substance?”
When the woman is gone, Bia looks satisfied. “Delicious, isn’t it?” she says. ‘She will soon have a piece of clothing in her closet that no one else has, and that fits her body and the rest of her outfit completely. That’s what I do it for.”
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And then the Schiedam entrepreneur gets even more customers in his shop on the Hoogstraat who know exactly what they want but cannot immediately find it elsewhere. “But also people with a different size, e.g. Or who just want to wear something special that not everyone has.”
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Bia knows that the concept of her clothing store is special. But to her it actually makes a lot of sense. “I didn’t really think about it, it just happened,” she says. “After many years of producing clothes for other companies, I wanted to design and sell my own clothes. I started with a showroom, where I regularly invited friends and family.”
After many years of producing clothes for other companies, I wanted to make my own clothes
Bia continues: “One of the first times my mother saw a skirt that she liked, but the fabric was too thin for her. “Can you make them too?” she asked me. And of course you could. I remember thinking at the time: ‘how wonderful that I can adapt my designs to everyone’.
From showroom to store
It was a success, because more people followed her mother. “The circle got bigger and bigger as my friends and relatives started bringing someone to the showroom more and more,” says Bia. “That’s why I decided to look for a store where everyone can just walk in.”
Bia has been completely at home on the Hoogstraat for almost three years now. “In the shop and window, I can show my designs and at the same time work on new items. Also, I keep meeting new people, which is great fun!”