Bringing style and functionality to the cosmetic bag, BEKKA MAY is your new travel essential designed by Geelong flight attendant, Cat Sceney. A design that is modest and versatile yet also stylish and affordable, we chat to 28 year old Cat following the recent launch of BEKKA MAY.
Hi Cat, thanks for chatting to Forte Magazine! Congrats on the release of Bekka May! Can you tell our readers the idea behind the cosmetic bag and why you created it?
Well, at the time I was quite literally living out of a suitcase! I was doing four-day trips away with work and then when I got home, I would pack a fresh bag and drive back to Geelong to my boyfriend. Between all the makeup, hair products and cosmetics I always had at least three smaller bags on me. That’s when the idea hit me. A large cosmetic bag that had different sections where you could see everything, that was functional and easy to use. It seemed like such an easy concept and I honestly couldn’t believe someone else hadn’t already made one!
Who is this product best suited to (young women, business travellers, holiday goers etc.)?
I designed the BEKKA MAY cosmetics bag to really suit anyone. It is very simple and versatile so you can really make it your own. Even I use it so differently depending on what I am doing and where I am going.
For my every day it holds all my makeup, skin and hair products (even my hair straightener). It sits next to a big mirror so when I get up in the morning I sit on the ground, fold it out and get ready – I think my favourite part is it folds and zips up so quick and easy. It also looks like a cute handbag sitting on the ground and really keeps the space clean and tidy.
We know you were scribbling designs somewhere between Melbourne and LAX, while all the passengers were peacefully sleeping, in order to come up with this. How long was the whole process?
It moved pretty quickly at the start. Within the first 24-hours of landing back into Melbourne I had bought the business name and made the most hysterical prototype from handbags and make up bags I had cut up. I remember there were even parts I had sewn with hot pink thread!
There was a part that felt like it was moving so slow, because I had absolutely no experience in anything, I thought everything would be so quick and easy. Boy, was I wrong.
From the initial idea, to launch date, it was just under 11 months. Everyone in the industry thought that was so quick and amazing and in my mind I seriously though it would take me four months. I have learned a lot since then!
What was the process like in getting the bag made – did you have any previous experience in design or anything of the likes? Where was all the production done?
The process was easily the biggest learning experience of my life. I had zero experience in design, sourcing manufacturers, or really anything in the industry. I took to the Internet and would Google and YouTube everything. It was not easy! But with these things, you really need to just do it and learn as you go. I would sit up late most nights reading or watching videos on my laptop just trying to learn anything to help me. The production is overseas and I have a factory in Hong Kong that distributes for me. As I’m addicted to travel, and my boyfriend and I were wanting to move overseas, it was really important for me to have a business that I could run from anywhere in the world – all I need is a laptop and some internet.
Currently available exclusively in Australia at www.bekkaymay.com, are you thinking of expanding distribution to other platforms or stores?
I really wanted to make BEKKA MAY affordable to everyone and selling direct to the customer online keeps the price down. I have definitely thought about distribution, but am not making any plans just yet. I will be expanding overseas very soon though, so that is exciting.
You’ve also relocated overseas. What comes next? Are you still a flight attendant, or are you now following the business dream?
Yes, we moved to London two days before I launched BEKKA MAY. I am still a flight attendant over here, but have a few weeks off before I start back. I am lucky with flying because it is very flexible and I have a lot of down time which allows me to really focus on my business. There will be a lot more coming from BEKKA MAY so make sure you keep an eye out.
The BEKKA MAY cosmetics bag is currently available exclusively in Australia at www.bekkamay.com.