I love sunglasses. I’ve always worn them the same way as we now sell them; thinking about them as fashion items that can complement a particular mood or style. And that is our brand’s concept – to sell a range of reasonable sunglasses as fashion accessories that can suit any style.

Caito Maia founded Chilli Beans in 1996 and is currently CEO

From the very beginning the idea was to create a strong brand. The most important part of Chilli Beans is the main concept. Once you get that, you can do whatever you want; you can create a lifestyle. Our first step was to work with the brand to create an impact in the market. The second step was focusing on accessories to support the core business. Chilli Beans is already the biggest sunglasses brand with the highest sales in Latin America; our goal now is to become one of the five biggest accessory companies in the world.

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The store is a fundamental element of the proposition. We have a self-service, open-display format where the customer feels comfortable trying on our styles. We have ten new styles each week, every week. However, it’s not just about glasses. Our customers come into our stores not necessarily looking for glasses, they’re observing what’s going on around them; the clothes we wear, the parties we sponsor, the music we play. We are a “mutant” company. I don’t follow any stereotype; I’m not modern. I’m democratic and mutant.

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*Interview for BOLD: How to be Brave in Business and Win Shaun Smith & Andy Milligan

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