INSIDE SAN DIEGO: The Secret Is Out. It’s Kapreeza European Lingerie & Swimsuits
If you ask me, Victoria has spread herself far too thin to be bragging about any secrets. If you, like me, fail to appreciate the sexiness of hot pink letters appliquéd across your (or your significant other’s) derriére, then do read on. I had the opportunity to chat with Renata Carlseen, the owner of Kapreeza European Lingerie in San Diego’s Little Italy, and SHE has a REAL secret—seriously seductive lingerie for grown-up women.
DATE OXYGEN: What does “lingerie” mean to you?
RENATA: It is something a woman puts on that helps her feel more confident about her body and much more feminine. A lot of women in the U.S. are still not sure exactly what lingerie is or when and where to wear it. Women are also a little bit repressed here. Many assume lingerie is something you only put on in the bedroom for your special man. For European women, “lingerie” is simply a fancier word for “underwear.” They are brought up to wear beautiful, yet functional and comfortable lingerie. Some of it is more appropriate and comfy for daily wear, some is more see-through and sexy for evening, and some is boudoir wear made specifically for the bedroom.
DATE OXYGEN: Tell me a bit about your life before Kapreeza and how the store came to be.
RENATA: I had several careers before Kapreeza. I was a lab assistant in Latvia where I am from, so I have some background with the human body. At one point, I was a preacher’s wife living a very conservative lifestyle…that actually shaped who I am today. I have also been a Microsoft certified engineer and a travel agent.
When I was in my mid-30’s, my husband told me to do something that I really wanted to do for a change. It took me awhile to figure out what exactly that was. When I found out that San Diego really didn’t have a lot of lacy lingerie that I really liked wearing, I started designing my own pieces. I eventually found some manufacturers in Europe to produce my creations. I did a lot of trade shows and house parties, but my increasing inventory had people asking me “Where is your shop?”. By opening this private boutique, I created an opportunity for people to come in and get familiar with the product and with me. Most of the brands I carry are not available anywhere else in the U.S., because they’re made in very limited quantities by very small boutique European companies.
DATE OXYGEN: What does “Kapreeza” mean?
RENATA: “Kapreeza” comes from a Russian word meaning “spoiled little girl.” A “Hey, I wanna have it my way!” kinda girl. I think “capricious” is the closest word in English. I believe the word is also used in Spanish (“caprichoso”) and Italian (“capricciosa”).
DATE OXYGEN: What is it that makes Kapreeza special?
RENATA: Definitely the styles and the brands of product that I offer. The majority are more flattering shapes than you will find commercially produced in the U.S. They are produced mostly for the European market and never make it here. Right now I have six countries that I work with…France, Italy, Greece, Poland, Latvia, and Ukraine. The U.S. demands huge quantities of mass-produced molded and simple shapes from China that don’t always fit everybody correctly. I’m different in that I carry a wide variety of bra sizes…from 32A-G all the way to plus sizes like 44G and everything in between. Women with small body frames and small or large breasts have a hard time finding well-fitted bras, but they will find something that fits and flatters at my boutique.
I also carry unique, mostly Italian-made, bathing suits. The fabrics are UV, chlorine, and salt resistant and don’t stretch out like ones made from cheap fabrics. They cost a bit more, but they are excellent quality and fit extremely well. I usually only get one to two suits per style per collection, so it’s very unlikely you’ll ever see anyone wearing the same suit.
The very personable customer service I provide is also special. It’s one-on-one and private. My final goal is not to sell you product, but to make you actually want to wear it. You can take as long as you want, trying on as many styles as you want. I feel like I accomplish one happy woman at a time…I get to see her smile, see her realize that her breasts are now where they’re supposed to be, and see her feel sexy and great about her body. It’s a major transformation for some women. When everything is comfortable and in the right place, a woman has great posture, a great smile, wears clothing differently, and she radiates.
I assure you…Renata’s secret is MUCH juicier and FAR sexier than Victoria’s. When I walked inside Kapreeza the first time, I had to pinch myself to make sure I wasn’t in Paris. And, just when I thought it couldn’t get any better, Renata opened a drawer…I was instantly eight years old again drooling in front of my grandmother’s candy drawer. Renata’s candy is a rainbow of colors, silk, lace…like nothing I have ever seen on U.S. soil.