Miranda, the Maven Behind Sustainable Bedding Line CAJU

Miranda de Moraes is a second year at the University of California Santa Barbara, pursuing a double major in Sociology and Philosophy with a minor in Spanish. CAJU bedding was born in her hometown of Palos Verdes, California, and she continues to integrate her passion into her busy college life, confident about extending her efforts throughout the rest of her lifetime.

One thing is for certain: Miranda is on a mission to change the world.

What does CAJU mean?  

CAJU means “cashew” in Portuguese. I wanted to integrate some Brazilian flair into the name of my label, especially since 5% of all sales go toward the Nature Conservancy’s work in Brazil. The logo of CAJU is a cashew nut, which represents the sleek curves of CAJU products. Most importantly, cashews are my favorite type of nut.

Was there a specific moment of realization that inspired you to create your brand?

I had initially wanted to start my own swimwear line. However, sewing bikinis are harder than you’d think! After trying myself, hiring a seamstress in London, and hiring a Spanish-speaking seamstress in Los Angeles, I decided to stick with pillows, sachets, and blankets (products I can execute with grace and ease).

I knew I wanted to start my own sustainable business so I could raise donations for the Nature Conservancy’s green-efforts in Brazil and help preserve its breathtakingly unique landscape. My dad is from Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, so I’ve grown up very much immersed in Carioca culture and aware of the precious environment there.

Where do you get the locally-sourced, vegan fabrics and non-toxic prints you use?

I source all of my vegan fabrics and stuffing locally from Los Angeles to ensure reduced transportation emissions and support local vendors. I hand-make each product myself, overseeing all aspects of the production process to ensure optimal quality and sustainability. Tags are printed with acid-free nontoxic ink on FSC recycled paper and each product is personally fragranced with essential oils (free of parabens, artificial colors, and gluten).

What items does CAJU specifically include?

Starting with decorative, sweet-smelling pillows, CAJU bedding has expanded to include aromatic blankets and sachets too, fragranced with Gardenia flower essential oils. Sachets are tiny, scented pillows perfect for freshening sock drawers, cars, or your mood as therapeutic stress-squeezers.

Have you thought about expanding the brand to create other accessories, articles, materials, etc.?

I would absolutely love to continue expanding CAJU products, potentially including a perfume and cosmetic line in the near future.

How did you feel the first time you sold one of your pieces?

I was absolutely ecstatic about my first sale. Many of my hometown friends really supported this endeavor by purchasing a pillow to take with them to college, and it is thanks to their support that CAJU was able to take off.

I see why artists are intoxicated by what they do: creating something with your own mind and hands that are appreciated by others is the ultimate feeling of interpersonal accomplishment.

I know you just recently did a pop-up shop outside of the Isla Vista Co-op where you work. Are there any plans for the future to do more of these pop-ups or even have CAJU sold in stores?

SAVE THE DATE:

CAJU bedding will be at the Isla Vista Open Market on Saturday, March 3rd.

Hours may change, but as of now, it will be from 11 AM-3:30 PM. 

The Isla Vista Food Co-Op loved hosting CAJU this past month, so I should be back for another Pop-Up shop in April.

As a long-term goal, I would be interested in selling CAJU bedding at local boutiques, so long as the integrity of the production process and the philosophy of CAJU is not compromised by increased output.

Is there a way our readers can contact you to purchase material online or in-store?

My website has a gallery of sample pillows I make, although I do have many other designs and products, too. I also am extremely open to custom orders and suggestions, which can be made through the “Contact Me” field on my website, or via my email: [email protected].

Make sure you check out CAJU’s Facebook page to stay up-to-date on sales and new styles!

All images via Miranda de Moraes