Interview | Rebecca Minkoff
This interview was conducted by Femfessional of Boca Delray Business Lifetime Member, Michelle Olson-Rogers, Found of Modern Boca Mom.
Rebecca. Minkoff. If you have any affinity for edgy handbags or accessories, then you are probably familiar with this “downtown romantic designer” hailing from New York City.
Rebecca Minkoff, a wife, MOMpreneur and mother of two, helms a global lifestyle brand with a wide range of accessories, footwear, apparel, handbags and jewelry as well as men’s leather goods under the label Ben Minkoff. The brand is distributed in over 900 stores worldwide including Boca Raton’s very own Bloomingdale’s, where she visited to promote her line, meet fans and sign handbags earlier this month. Rebecca is also an active member of the CFDA and supports multiple philanthropies including Jessica Seinfeld’s non-profit, Baby Buggy.
Modern Boca Mom had the opportunity to interview her during a recent visit to our town. Here’s what she had to say about juggling business, bags and motherhood…
Hi Rebecca! Thank you so much for meeting us atBloomingdale’s Boca Raton. Tell us a little bit about how your business got started?
I designed a version of the iconic “I Love New York” t-shirt. After it became really successful, I designed a small apparel collection. I did that on my own for about four years and I paid the bills by being a stylist. I got lucky and met a director who decided I’d probably fit into his budget, so he hired me and took a chance and I was good at it and thought- WOW, [styling someone] is way easier than designing something. I can just go shopping.
It was good money, so it allowed me to fund the business.
Yes. And then when I did the handbag (Ed Note: In 2005, Rebecca designed her first handbag, which she dubbed the “Morning After Bag,” a.k.a. the “M.A.B.” This iconic bag ignited Rebecca’s career as a handbag designer.), I could see there was a real heat, a desire in the way that the clothing had never had for me. That’s when I knew I had to get serious.
I called my brother about a loan and we actually started the business together. He’s now the CEO.
How has being a mother affected (or launched) any aspects of your global business?
Well, it has not launched any aspects of my business…
So no diaper bags? ?
We have diaper bags, but we had them before. The biggest change is that I realized how terrible they were prior to kids because you have no idea what you need or what you want! So, I think our diaper bags have a chance now. Easy access for moms.
How has becoming a mom changed your approach to business?
I think I say a lot of times, it’s about the juggle. If I don’t get to see my kids a lot one week, I take a comp day or just try to work it out so I can maximize my time with them.
Do you ever take your kids to work with you?
I have, if it’s been a weekend and we’ve had to work. I can only bring them when it’s the type of meeting where we’re deciding on something for the business. When I’m designing, I can’t have them there unfortunately.
If I travel for more than five days, I usually try to bring a human with me. I alternate humans each trip (Ed Note: Rebecca has a son, Luca 4, and daughter, Bowie 1). It’s always a juggle.
What exciting things are coming up with your business and brand?
We are planning to open a Rebecca Minkoff store in Chicago in February of 2016. And, New York Fashion Week is around the corner!
What do you love about visiting Boca Raton?
Well so far, I’ve been to the airport and Bloomingdale’s!
What! You need to spend some more time down here!
I know. I know. I saw all of the snowbirds coming down on my plane. Hopefully soon!