Meet Hyla Nayeri and Adrien Bettio, Bff's and founders of dreamy Toronto based apparel and swimwear company, 437.
With the mission of creating pieces that make women feel sexy and confident whilst never compromising comfort, 437 offers us flattering lounge and swimwear that enhances a range of body types and sizes, all designed in Toronto.
With the 437 pop-up here at IRC in full swing, we thought it would be the perfect time to learn more about Hyla and Adrien's journey so far, how finding balance has been key to their success and what beauty products they reach for to help them feel their best!
Tell us a little about the backstory of 437 and how it came to be!
In third year of University, when both of us were on exchange in Europe we noticed a gap in the swimwear market, we couldn’t find swimsuits that were flattering to our specific bodies or for a variety of figures. We returned from the trip hoping to design some bathing suits that make women feel comfortable and sexy, while still feeling like we can eat whatever we want. We had no design experience so we sketched out our vision, found a manufacturer and started to bring the design to life! When we launched in 2017, it was the two of us working on it, grinding all the time. We had all the inventory in Adrien’s parent’s basement, we would pack those orders ourselves. Eventually orders start to pick up and we found a lot of our popularity was picking up on Instagram and we started growing a lot. Now we have an external fulfillment centre and a team of 14 people, and we are still constantly working hard to expand our offering into apparel and swim simultaneously.
What was your vision for 437 and how did you want it to differ from other swimsuit companies?
Our vision has always been to empower women to feel comfortable and confident in our swimsuits. We’ve sourced high quality fabrics and made designs keeping all bodies in mind. We’ve differentiated ourselves by taking a community driven approach and we’ve always had an open dialogue with our customers taking their feedback to choose new colourways and styles. While we came out with our first couple suits, we became known for our versatility as well. Our suits can be tied a number of ways and we’ve kept that true in a lot of our swimwear drops today.
Was the addition of loungewear an intentional move for you guys or did it evolve naturally?
It evolved naturally when we rebranded from 437 swimwear to just 437 as we wanted to expand our offering beyond swimwear and make room for apparel collections. This past summer (2020) we released our first ever apparel line which was 2 summer capsules and we’ve got more swim and apparel on the way. It made sense to do loungewear naturally after our apparel lines given our move into apparel and the quarantine we were all experiencing in March.
Where do you find the inspiration for each collection?
Every collection has a different inspiration but most of them are influenced by where we are at the time, what colours we are drawn to and the trends of what’s going on in the world. When we released our collection European summer in 2019 we spent a month in Europe on a girls trip and the photoshoot, the suits and the colours themselves were representative of our time there. When Covid hit in March and everyone went into lockdown we were drawn to the creamy warm tones for loungewear and we were inspired by that cozy feeling of staying at home and still looking cute while doing it.
Let’s talk routines! Do you value routine and what are some daily/weekly or monthly rituals that are important to you both?
Adrien: It’s important for both of us to stay in a routine, it provides structure when work gets crazy.
I always start the day off the same, writing in my gratitude journal, drinking lemon water and I ease into my day by checking my email and getting into the swing of things. Staying grounded is important to me so I try to see my parents, my brothers and my grandparents every weekend, it helps me really feel like myself when I have a lot going on.
Hyla: I really like to start off my day with a meditation, 5 min journal and a workout. This helps me set my intentions for the day and get off on the right foot by getting some exercise bright and early. But not every day is like this, don’t get me wrong. Sometimes I wake up 5 minutes before a zoom meeting and barely have any time to get ready. Adrien and I also always try to make time to do things we love together like shopping and traveling to keep that balance of having a best friend and a co-founder all in one.
What is your relationship to skincare/makeup and what are some of the key products that live on your bathroom shelf?
Hyla: We have always been a big fan of Jūs by Oreya (a local hair/beauty salon in Toronto), I have been using the all natural hair oil from Jūs by Orea, Amandine Sol Botanicals Inner glow face oil and Look Organic’s toner that balances and hydrates my skin.
Adrien: I got obsessed with my skin care routine during quarantine like many others. My current favorites are the Inkey list Oat Cleansing Balm which I use to take my makeup off. I’ve been using Dr. Jart colour correction which has spf and is an easy way to smooth over my skin and not wear any makeup. And my favorite lip liner/plumping gloss duo is the Delice liner and Lip dew in sunlight from 1Day Beauty.
When do you feel most beautiful and why?
This is definitely biased but we feel most beautiful when we are wearing our 437 suits. We designed the original staple suits with measurements to our own bodies because we felt like there wasn’t a bathing suit out there that flattered us. So when we are on a vacation, on a beach somewhere, wearing our own suit that we are so proud of. That has to be when we feel the most beautiful.
How have you navigated finding balance between work and personal lives since starting 437?
Since day 1 of starting 437 we have prioritized balance in our lives. That meant sleeping enough, eating properly, working out, spending time with friends and family, and having personal downtime (on top of all of our work of course). We have had weeks, even months, where we feel like work is a non-stop grind. Those periods always remind us why we prioritize balance, as we leave them feeling drained. Relaxing to us is taking time off to travel and spending time with each other to keep our personal relationship strong.
What is your favourite way to unwind and end the day?
Adrien: I try to go to bed early around 10 or 11 latest, I like to read almost every night before bed for at least 30 minutes. Right now I’m reading Obama’s book, A Promised Land. Before I fall asleep I try to meditate and decompress to let any stress go.
Hyla: My favorite way to end the day is watching some netflix and hanging out with my dog Angel who is a rescue from Ecuador. I like to unwind by facetiming some friends and family to catch up and destress from a day of work.
What is your fool-proof self care move?
Adrien: My fool-proof self care move has to be putting on a lip liner/gloss, slicking my hair back and putting on a nice sweat suit for my work from home days to help me feel refreshed and to get the day going.
Hyla: I really enjoy using my Jade roller at any point in the day for a little bit of self care and moisturizing my skin always.
What is the best advice you’ve received?
Don’t take everything so seriously. I think we were raised with so many high expectations put on us, and so much pressure to follow the traditional, linear route of excelling in school, then getting a secure job, then buying a house and starting a family. At 18, rather than having to look forward and make sure I was taking everything seriously so that I could follow that path, I should have been trying new things and having adventures. Life is short, everything works out as it should, and enjoying everyday by living in the present moment is the thing I wish I knew.
What is one thing you’ve learned (personally or professionally) from creating 437 that nobody prepared you for?
We have been involved with every decision at 437 since we started it. We recently found ourselves in a position where we have ambitious sales and growth goals, but we didn’t have the expertise on our team to help get us to that next phase we were aiming for. We decided to hire directors for each of the major areas of the business (operations, design, and marketing), and are now in the process of stepping back so that we can focus on the big picture while the experts help hone employee skills and operate the company on the day to day. We understood that we were causing a bottleneck because so many decisions were being made by us, and we were so attached to perfection because 437 is our baby. We didn’t learn in school about the growing pains and the obstacles we’d face as we expanded our team. We had to learn ourselves the importance of investing in non-glamourous (but extremely necessary) things like HR support and accounting as early as possible in a startup. We are so excited to have new talent who can help guide us through this next chapter.
What are you most grateful for?
We are so grateful to see 437 grow big enough to be able to employ and empower so many people. It’s so fulfilling to see our customers receive their 437 products and then send us messages saying that they’ve never felt so confident and comfortable in their own skin before, and that our bikini/apparel has helped them find that self love.
What’s next? Let us know what we can expect from 437 in the future!
2021 will be a big year for us in apparel, look forward to some offerings for both men AND women, our summer swim drops as per usual with a hot twist, some collaborations and partnerships with big names that we are very excited about.
Follow along on the journey, @437 on instagram and @437shop on tik tok or check out the website shop437.com and online/in-store at indiarosecosmeticary.com until christmas. curbside pick-up available!