Dom and Rebecca are the ones to thank for finally providing us with the option of a stylish yet functional baby bag. Jem + Bea was born after these ladies identified the need for a more stylish offering of baby bags, and as two very cool mamas they understand that we shouldn't have to sacrifice our style for the sake of a changing bag!
Sharing the same values and brand ethos we were so excited to include them as part of The BeauBox, with the beautiful leather Mama clutch in grey and black. Cool, luxurious, chic and stylish....these ladies are game changing the baby bag.
Tell us how your brand was born….
We have known each other since secondary school and were both at points in our lives where we had started families and found that commuting to London and long hours in our jobs meant we were knackered and missing out on important things we just didn’t want to miss anymore. Over a glass of wine one night we were chatting about how we couldn’t wait to ditch our changing bags and get the good ones back out their dustbags and realised there was a huge gap in the market for a bag that looked like a luxury designer handbag but functioned as a baby bag. We basically met again the next week over coffee and brainstormed ideas and the business plan and went full steam ahead. With Rebecca’s experience as an accessories designer for Anya Hindmarch and Burberry and Dominique’s passion for business we were able to quickly get to the sampling stages and did our first tradeshow 4 months later. Jem + Bea is named after two of our children, Jemima and Beatrice.
How did you motivate yourself to succeed?
Masses of passion and belief in the product that there was a need for the type of changing bags we wanted to create... and fear of failure is also a great motivator!
Who inspires you?
I think our families give us the most drive to succeed. We both want to be strong role models for our children, especially the girls. We want them to be proud of us and show them that anything is achievable. Also that you have to work hard to do something that you love but that the reward of this is that work never feels like ‘work’.
Who’s your all time style icon?
Rebecca - There’s so many stylish woman I adore but I think Eva Chen always gets it right and she’s a real bag lover so that always gets my vote! I also love Yasmin Sewell as her look is very ‘fashion’ but in a cool irreverent London way. Both women also manage to pull off great bump-dressing when pregnant which i really admire.
Dominique - Since the 00’s I have had an obsession with Sienna Miller. I loved the boho era she instigated but also love now how she carries off the ultimate off duty chic and often throws some quirky number in too. Her shoe collection makes me drool.
What’s the most stylish item you own?
Rebecca - Modular Bookcase from Future and Found. I’ve recently renovated and this was something of an investment piece. It adds a nice touch of modernity in our victorian house. I’m definitely spend more on my house then clothes etc for myself at the moment. Having a newborn and working from home means you’re at home rather a lot, so I thought I might as well enjoy my environment!
Dominique - I think it would have to be a pair of Jimmy Choos I got last year. They are a luxe burgundy velvet colour with a killer heel and I get so many compliments when i wear them. They definitely add that extra touch to any outfit.
Which mum friendly item could you not live without?
Rebecca - My Navy Petit Bateau raincoat - it’s super practical of course for bombing around with a buggy in all weathers but is also very iconic and geek-chic stylish.
Dominique - One of my many pairs of trainers. When my first was born trainers weren’t yet an acceptable item of footwear for everyday, it was more ballet flats or Uggs (which i now despise) which i’ve never found comfy. I LIVE in box fresh trainers for running around after the kids and to meetings in London.
What has been your proudest moment as a brand?
Seeing our bags on the shelves in Selfridges, we still pinch ourselves! Winning Best New Product at the Little London Awards last year came a very close second.
And what has been your proudest moment as a mama?
Rebecca - It’s a cliche i know, but watching my eldest daughter in her nativity play last year made me feel so proud. She was really pleased to see mummy & daddy in the audience and was really singing her heart out! It was particularly poignant as I was pregnant with my youngest and having (pretty painful!) contractions during the play but I was so determined I wasn’t going to miss it I just focused on Beatrice and breathed slowly and quietly to myself! (Margot was born 2 hours after the play!).
What advice would you offer to any aspiring mumpreneurs?
Dominique - Don’t try and do it all. Inevitably some things like the washing, cooking and having as much time to see your friends are going to have to slide when you start out setting up your business. So don’t feel guilty about asking for help or delegating out household jobs to save your sanity and enable you to focus on your business.
And finally, what are your plans for the brands future? Any exclusive’s you can reveal?
We’re launching our Dummy Bear Bags this spring. They were a very last minute addition to the SS17 range. They came about after chatting about wanting to create a fun pompom-type thing to hang off your bag and a luxe mini bag to hold baby’s dummies. We amalgamated the two ideas and Dummy bear was born! (Our design meetings are never dull!). We also have a few very exciting collabs coming up.
General future plans for the brand involve us growing and evolving as a brand but not to quickly. Our strengths lie in the luxurious and bespoke elements within the brand like the monogramming and leather craftsmanship. These are the things set us apart from the competition and we don’t want to dilute that.