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Rebecca Minkoff on Handbag Designer 101 Podcast Every Tuesday



Emily Blumenthal

Host

00:00

Hi and welcome to the Handbag Designer 101 podcast with your host, Emily Blumenthal, handbag designer expert and handbag fairy godmother, where we cover everything about handbags, from making, marketing, designing and talking to handbag designers and industry experts about what it takes to make a successful handbag. Welcome, superstar of all handbags, of everything. Handbag, the template of how it should be made, the case study that, if it has not yet been written by Harvard Business School, I will be writing it for them. Welcome, the one and only Rebecca Minkoff, to Handbag Designer 101, the podcast I am overjoyed for. Clumped, you name it. I'm all those things. 

Rebecca Minkoff

Guest

00:48

Welcome. Thank you for having me and yes, please tell Harvard you know they need to get on it. They need to hurry up the case study. Seriously, no one's reached out to you. We were in talks about me speaking there, but I decided after what was happening to just take a pause. 

Emily Blumenthal

Host

01:03

I respect that and would do the same. That's a whole other conversation. If you would, a whole other conversation. If you would like to take a gander. It's showing up in reverse. But here is my lovely book and there is your bag and it is, it is, and I was honored and flattered and all that great stuff that you were thoughtful and kind enough to let me include your lovely bag. That changed the history of handbags for everybody. The morning after bag. How did it get that name? I know everybody knows it, but for anybody who wants to hear it again, because I don't want this to be all about me talking, because I could, like I said, tell you your story back to you, like when you said, told your parents you were going to be a bartender and they're like, we're calling in your brother. If I'm quoting, they're going to jump around. So what's the story of the morning after bag? For everyone who doesn't already know, yes. 

Rebecca Minkoff

Guest

01:57

So for those of you who maybe you're new to the brand or you, you know you're Jen Alpha. How can anybody be new to the brand? That is insane. Alpha and Z, it's like you know it's kind of a new name. 

Emily Blumenthal

Host

02:10

So yeah, so listen. When I told my students that Kate Spade was a real person, because I was teaching when she passed, they were like what Right? So yeah, I get it. 

Rebecca Minkoff

Guest

02:20

So, basically, I had been struggling in the clothing arena for the better part of four years, making almost everything myself. Couldn't see a way to grow or scale my company, but was very much dedicated to it. And the same actress, jenna Elfin, that have put me on the map for the shirt the Isle of New York shirt, which you can Google and read about. She came back to me and said do you make bags? And I said yes, I do, but I didn't, and very quickly, you know, I had an opportunity to be in a film integrated on the main character through the whole film. 

02:52

That was the one with the rabbi and the priest, right, oh, that would have been great. No, this was a film called Touch it. Touch it and I'm going straight to DVD, so really no loss. But at the time we didn't know that. I just thought, oh my God, you know, she was huge for keeping the faith and I think that was probably and Darma and Greg, and Darma and Greg. So I very quickly had a bag made. 

03:19

Didn't make it to set on, time was crushed that they started shooting it with someone else's bag. But I carried the second sample around with me and enough women stopped me on the street and asked me about it that I thought let me try maybe adding this to the collection. So I contacted the showroom that was selling my stuff and I said, hey, let's add the bag. And the woman there, the buyer, was like I want to buy this for a store in LA. That was like where all the Starlets were going Fred's ankle, no, it was called the tee. Oh God, the other one, right, right, right. So at any given day you know again, people have to remember who was famous then. But like Lindsay Lohan, hayden Pianater, like Reese Witherspoon, jessica Alba, like that there was a crew of like Starlets that were going there and getting photographed leaving. 

Emily Blumenthal

Host

04:10

All wearing low rise jeans, yep, which sadly are back. 

Rebecca Minkoff

Guest

04:15

Too many kids for that I will not be partaking in that trend. And she said I'm going to have this publication called Daily Candy. Write about it. And this was like the dawn of email, when people were excited about getting like the newest, hottest, latest in your inbox and that newsletter alone would transform a company. 

Emily Blumenthal

Host

04:35

Danny Levy was the forerunner for that. That was nuts. I remembered like to know someone, to know someone to get that covered. And then it's like, and it's splintered into different cities and you're like you want Daily Candy New York. I said that's going to be the game changer. 

Rebecca Minkoff

Guest

04:48

Yep, Yep. And so at that time I believe that was it was just one, she hadn't segmented it out yet, and I just remember the day it went live the article. You can't even find it on the internet anymore, which is really sad. It's sad it was called the catwalk of shame and I don't have to be the morning after bag, because this is the bag that holds it all. It holds your daytime and holds your nighttime and you know, sex in the city was the rage and so I just wanted to romanticize. I was 26. This idea of going out, finding the guy sleeping over and like proudly walking home, you know, yes, you do. 

Emily Blumenthal

Host

05:22

Yeah, when your hair was short, actually because you used to have a bob. 

Rebecca Minkoff

Guest

05:27

Don't even call it a bob. It was some fucked up haircut that my hairdresser just kept losing Like getting shorter about here, and it was bangs. It was bad. My husband and I look back and we're just like I was like why did you even like me with that haircut? 

Emily Blumenthal

Host

05:43

I mean and that's a loaded question of how many reasons why but we go so far back, you and I, that we were Facebook friends and I remember and I told you like my memory is scary Some people call it, like you know, stalker, ask but I don't forget things. Today it's dangerous, because I remember your Facebook profile picture was a black and white picture of your wedding, of you and your husband, and you were like half tilted that way and you could see the back of your hair and that's how I remembered your haircut, because I was like how could she pull that off? It's so chic, so lucky you. We all had a different perspective. 

06:20

Question said morning after bag what was the process? Did you sketch it out and then take it to? You know all the factories in New York City who claim because the funny thing is is being an independent designer. In the early not early 2000s, when you were going to see factories, they'd all say, like we made Kate Spade's bag and then it turned into we made your bag, we made Monica Baccaro's bag. Did you sew it together yourself? Did you pick out the letters or did you sketch it out? Like what was the process of? Actually? Because you had to have a quick turnaround just for that one bag. 

Rebecca Minkoff

Guest

06:54

Yeah. So I had had this vintage kind of travel bag that I loved but it was big and bulky and kind of just whatever. But I was like if the dimensions were different, and I added you know, I took it out of it being canvas and made it leather and canvas and so I've been sort of toying around with it. So I took that bag, plus a sketch, to the place where I was already buying leather because I was making leather jackets, and I said do you guys know anyone who makes bags? And so they took me. She recommended a woman who I don't know had this weird factory made the first couple samples, made the first production run, but the quality was terrible. And it was then that I asked a friend of mine who was selling this clutch. You'll probably remember it was a clutch by a woman, it was a clutch with like a ruffle on the corner. Oh my god yeah. 

Emily Blumenthal

Host

07:44

Yeah, jana, something, yes, yes, yes, janerich, or Is it right? Yeah, it's going to bother me. We're going to be like towards the end of the conversation and I'm going to be like that's who it was. Yes, yeah. 

Rebecca Minkoff

Guest

07:57

Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah. She recommended me go there and I walk in and it's funny, all these factories, and you know this. You walk into the showroom and they're total trash. Yes, it looks like bags made in China, correct, but they don't show who they're really making. So I go in there and I said my quality of my first factory is terrible. And he's a Russian guy's name is Joseph Baikal, which I'm sure you know. Baikal, yes, You're like you know, in his this he was. 

Emily Blumenthal

Host

08:23

He went to the point and like, very much, like, I don't have time for this. What do you want? 

Rebecca Minkoff

Guest

08:29

Yeah. So he said, hang on, he goes out and he gets Monica Bakir's bag. And she was like the hottest designer of the time, her trick or trick, and I was like. I was like that's a knockoff, I don't believe you. And then he said, okay, come with me. And he took me through the factory and he showed me all the stages of her bags being made. I was like, great, good enough for me. So he made my bags for the first, so exclusively for the first four years. But then we kept US production going for probably another five, so like almost 10 years of working together. And his pattern maker was incredible. Like you could pass him like a napkin sketch and he'd be like, yep, I know what you're talking about. 

Emily Blumenthal

Host

09:07

Listen. So the way you handled even like production was so you know we could talk about a billion things. Again, the case study that I'm going to write about you for you with Harvard at a different time, the fact that you kept and so many people lack this wherewithal to have overseas production but to still have a local factory that could either do immediate fulfillment or to do quick samples and quick turnaround, and to keep both those going until it was obviously fiscally not viable, was so forward thinking and because I always thought, like how is one able to get new inventory in so quickly for something that's a hot seller without creating a glut? So I remember you telling me like, yeah, what we would do local fulfillment here and then we can cross reference the prices so it all evens out. 

Rebecca Minkoff

Guest

09:56

Yeah, I think you know it was scary in the beginning to have all your eggs in one basket and it takes factories a long time to figure out your hand, and so we never wanted to abandon our factory here. At one point we looked at buying by Cal. It was too expensive for us to be able to do that financially. But I think you know in a perfect world we'd still be there. It's just the prices got so outrageous that women I said a survey, would you want to pay this for a bag? And the answer was no. I was like, well then, I can't make in the US, that's what it costs, yeah. 

Emily Blumenthal

Host

10:29

So I want to talk to you about because, again, I know you didn't go to college. I know that you were in high school and I think you were making costumes and that's was where you, I guess, developed the hand of craft making fashion and making things. Who taught you how to sew? 

Rebecca Minkoff

Guest

10:47

My mom initially taught me because I wanted a dress and she wouldn't buy it for me. But she's like, let's go dress. No, no, this was before this is. And I was about eight. She taught me how to sew. Then, when we moved and I was getting closer to about Mitzvah time period, I enrolled with this art class and sewing teacher and she was like a designer from New York, you know, and I was like, oh my God, I can learn from her. So she really taught me sewing and I did my about Mitzvah dress with her and I got really hooked and I stayed with her and then ended up going to a performing arts high school where my breasts were far too large to be a dancer, so I would just always a problem. 

11:24

Yeah, yeah. And that's where I really learned, like finally, like the lady teaching sewing was like dusting off the machines because no one cared, and she's like finally someone who cares. So she really took me under her wing and taught me stuff that you pretty much learned in your first two years at FIT Right. 

Emily Blumenthal

Host

11:42

Do you have a machine in your new home? 

Rebecca Minkoff

Guest

11:45

I have my aunt's machine that is for my daughter, but I'm not going to lie to you. She wants to learn how to sew, but she thinks she knows everything already and I don't have patience to deal with that. So no one is using this machine at the moment. 

Emily Blumenthal

Host

12:02

It's so interesting the things that you think that you went through and you know we're so groundbreaking for you as a person, a designer and entrepreneur, a business person. You're like I'm going to do this for my kids and you can sit down and they're like you know what? Can I figure it out? Because putting that thread through the bobbin is enough for you to have a divorce with your own kid, because I tried that myself and I was like, okay, I'm done. And my daughter ended up taking going to this place called the fashion class and now she yep, and you know that, yeah, you went there for judging and she works there now. And it's so funny that the way you were raised and what you were taught had such an impact on me and how I'm raising my kids, which you'd be like that's so weird. But the fact that you were, you know how, the responsibility that you had to pay for so much yourself and understanding what things cost. And I have this hard, fast rule with my kids, like if you're not going to be on a team, you have to have a job. And Zoe went there as a kid and I was like you should go back there because you already know how the system works. So she cuts patterns, she works with kids and I'm like, how can you thread the needle in the bobbin? And she's like, oh, it's so boring Because 1000 years ago she wanted to get into fashion and now she's so over it just from working. I said, yeah, working in fashion it can really burn you out. You can get over it fast just from that alone. Yeah, so, yeah. 

13:29

So I want to talk a little bit about the evolution of the brand. Because you were working alone, you were doing everything yourself, you were doing well enough that you could do it. And then also bartend, which is a sexy job and something all parents should be so proud of their kids trying to make it. Your oldest brother was commissioned to come in and work with you. How, to some degree, and you can correct me if I'm wrong what was that like? You know you come from a very strong family, a very tall family. What was it like? Because how many years did you work with him? 10?. 

Rebecca Minkoff

Guest

14:08

No 2022, from 2005 to 2022. Is that 17 years? That's a long time. Yeah, a long time. 

Emily Blumenthal

Host

14:19

It's hard enough to live with your siblings growing up and still want to be siblings with them after it's another to work with them, like I'm, garment to offspring. My dad worked in the Garment Center, my grandmother worked with him, my aunt worked with him, my mom worked with him, my sister sold for him. I mean, he was a converter and I was the only one who didn't. Ironically, I'm the only one who still goes there, so that says something. But how is that, considering the vision of the brand, the DNA, the fashion, how you saw it? How is that able to be transmitted? Working with a family member. 

Rebecca Minkoff

Guest

14:59

So I think that the first, probably four years were like fantastic. You're both like oh my God, this is all growing so fast. There's so much momentum Like what do you got? What do you got, let's go. 

15:14

I think where it started getting stressful was when the stakes got bigger and more real and an error or a bag that didn't sell was a bigger like problem. I also don't think it helped that over the course of couple years we had either had a president or a head of sales that was kind of always trying to insert themselves within. You know we call it the triangle. That led to a lot of like well, rebecca thinks this and Orgy thinks this and sort of pitting us against one another. So we ended up with like a couple's business counselor that we would turn to when it got really tough, which I highly recommend for any co-founder relationship, especially if you're married or siblings, and I think you know it was like when it was bad, it was bad. 

15:54

You know we got really good and remember there was like a period of nine months where we wouldn't speak to each other outside of work and outside of like things that were work related. So at family gatherings no one felt the drama we were really good at like you're all going to be here and we're not going to talk to each other, but that doesn't affect anyone else here. And then in the office it would be like Rebecca, what do you think about this? But there would be nothing else you know. 

16:20

And so there were times when it was like that and I think we did the best we could and I think we're both relieved that we don't have to get in fights anymore and argue and we can just be brother and sister. Because you know, I think what a lot of people see is just the romantic side of business and they don't see how hard it can get. Or, if you read my book, how many times it can all go away. Yeah, you know, and then you only have that one person you're working with and it can get really tough. 

Emily Blumenthal

Host

16:47

So you know, and I got to tell you the romantic side of it I mean seeing you to train shows and talking to him and like I am so impressed that the two of you can work together, I am so impressed I tried with my husband running an online store selling independent handbag designer bags, and that in itself was such a challenge that I would kill myself to get the press and the coverage. And then, like the deliveries wouldn't come where the quality was off, or you know, we got something in in style. And then this is me dealing with him on the back end and me on the front end and me doing the press and, like you know, the fact that we were being married after that, I was still impressed. So, and I remember talking to your brother about this and him being like, yeah, sometimes it's not easy. If you ever wanted to start a handbag brand and didn't know where to start, this is for you. If you had dreams of becoming a handbag designer but aren't trained in design, this is for you. If you have a handbag brand and need strategy and direction, this is for you. 

17:48

I'm Emily Blumenthal, handbag designer expert and handbag fairy godmother, and this is the handbag designer 101 masterclass. 

17:57

Over the next 10 classes, I will break down everything you need to know to make, manufacture and market a handbag brand. Broken down to ensure that you will not only skip steps in the handbag building process, but also to save money to avoid the learning curve of costly mistakes. For the past 20 years, I've been teaching at the top fashion universities in New York City, wrote the handbag designer Bible, founded the handbag awards and created the only handbag designer podcast. I'm going to show you like I have countless brands to create in this in depth course, from sketch to sample to sale. Whether you're just starting out and don't even know where to start or begin, or if you've had a brand and need some strategic direction, the handbag designer 101 masterclass is just for you. So let's get started and you'll be the creator of the next it bag. Name me, emily Blumenthal, in the handbag designer 101 masterclass, so be sure to sign up at EmilyBloomethalcom slash masterclass and type in the code on cast to get 10% off your masterclass today. 

Rebecca Minkoff

Guest

19:04

Now let me rephrase that for him. Most times it's not easy being in this business, but as I meet more and more incredible women and founders, no one has it easy, even when you think they're at the top. 

Emily Blumenthal

Host

19:16

Yeah, I think, especially with a handful of female founded handbag brands where one of the female founders comes out or work, gets out that they were difficult or psycho or crazy or keeping everybody 24 seven. It's such a fine line, you know, because part of it. I'm reading the story and I'm like, yeah, it sounds like there definitely was an abusive power, but on the other side it's like I think women get a raw deal, you know, like a woman being crazy and being worried about her brand and how it's received versus how a man does it. It's like there's a certain classical understanding of what we should expect from a female founder versus a man. 

Rebecca Minkoff

Guest

19:59

I think that would struggle with that. No, I never struggle with that because, you know, I was probably at the influx of when things were starting to shift in terms of I had a president who grew up in the Calvin Donna Ralph era, work like a dog, never sleep. 

Emily Blumenthal

Host

20:16

Like that was it. That was your first president, right. 

Rebecca Minkoff

Guest

20:20

That was my first president, so with her being that way, I almost always wanted to be like it doesn't need to be this way. You know, to a point where I remember on one of my I think it was my second maternity leave which I didn't even get to check out and like be on leave. But when I came back and I would bring my kid into nurse, she's like must be nice, you know, getting to nurse your kid in the office when others don't have that privilege. And I was like, first of all, everyone can do that. Second of all, I didn't get a fucking maternity leave. So, yeah, my baby's going to come in when I need. 

20:52

And like it wasn't until her daughter had a baby, you know didn't have any flexibility or freedom that she's like I'm so sorry that I put that on you. You know I'm seeing my daughter struggle with it and it was a big mistake I made. And I was like, yeah, it was a big mistake, you wait, not that she could tell me what to do, but just no one needed that. So I think I always had a. I wanted to be more equitable, fair, whatever it is, and you don't get anything good done at two in the morning. So why bother, you know? 

Emily Blumenthal

Host

21:20

No, nothing good can come at two in the morning. I can totally, totally attest to that. In fact, the later it gets, I think, the more clarity and lucidity people have of their thought. Like I think, as humans, we just start to go a little crazy at that time and we're like you're not even seeing things straight. But the last thing you should be doing is trying to dictate to other people how they should be working, let alone for you, because what's going to come of it? Yeah, how was it, you know, when handbags became the core and the bread and butter of your brand? What gave you the courage to say, okay, we're going to move into other categories, because that's something I think a lot of people grapple with? Because you were making that, or you were making them Making what work? Like, did you license it out? Or you're like okay, this is also going to be under the Minkoff umbrella. 

Rebecca Minkoff

Guest

22:12

So basically what we decided to do is we very much felt that you could get pigeonholed at the time as she's just a handbag designer and we wanted to sell lifestyle and to do that you had to launch category. So because I felt comfortable in clothing, that felt like okay, now we have the infrastructure. Let's add that, because that really is the backdrop basically of who the woman should look like, and then the bag she's carrying. And then we decided to do a manufacturing and design relationship, not a license with a shoe company. So they would make it, we would design it, they would make it and we would sell it. 

22:47

But it's not really like they weren't a factory. They were doing the fitting, they had the expertise in that industry, they were doing the sourcing and then from there, everything else we wanted to license bags, belts, jewelry, eyewear, luggage. All those different things were sort of categories we didn't expand into right away. But, like we said, okay, here's the roadmap, this is what we're doing. So today a lot has changed, but in-house to shoes, clothing and bags, soon to be in-house jewelry, and then the rest is licensed out, because I know you launched a fragrance. 

Emily Blumenthal

Host

23:20

I know all those other spaces because I spoke with Elise Aaron, who was one of the co-founders of Kate's Fade, and I spoke to her about that and the first thing they went into was stationery and I said you know who goes from bags to stationery? And she's like, well, it really tied into the DNA of our brand, it made sense Like that was our customer and I just found that so fascinating to go into something that was like a completely different category. I wanna ask you because, again, you being this insane early adopter doing things before anybody else does, like I basically had been your underground PR without you either. Enough, talking to N-M-A people Like, well, if you wanna know how it's done, watch her, I see this. Buy now, sell now. 

24:11

Like before you, I think it was Brazil that had during their fashion week that they were the only fashion week that you could actually buy off the runway. And then you did it and then you were the first ones to have influencers to be part of your show and I just wanna talk about like these seem like bold risks, but they just seem so methodical to do things before anybody else does them. Did you have trepidation to move into the market of like okay, you know what we're gonna have. This works available for sale, like how did you decide? And that was a bold choice, crazily enough at that time. 

Rebecca Minkoff

Guest

24:53

I think each scenario was just. Sometimes it was. You know, when we first started working with influencers, it was because it was like we couldn't afford an ad in Vogue and these guys were excited to promote the brand. You gave them a bag, they photographed it, they put it on their blog and it was like, wow, this is great. You know, social media was a great way for me to connect to my customer. I'm sure you remember the purse for them and all of the crowd sourced what they call crowd sourcing now orders that we would get from just women. Be like, well, you would make the purple bag, but this time with the pink zipper. I'd be like, go get me 50 women who want it and their credit cards. And, yes, I will. 

25:31

And so some of that was just, you know, being an on the ground entrepreneur. Other things later on, with technology, you know we can credit my tall brother for because he had a keen sense of wearables and, you know, using technology to innovate. And so I think it just became this your eyes and your ears are always open to opportunity. And because, again, we were self well, not self-funded. We were self-funded for the first seven years, but we would do things because we didn't have the money, but that ended up always being more innovative and exciting than these older behemoths who moved too slow to think about the world. And so you know, I think that's the point, and so I think it's just, you know, we're not going to be able to overthink everything. 

Emily Blumenthal

Host

26:15

They're worried about public perception, whereas yeah, we had a couple of fuck ups along the way, nothing that damaged the brand in the long term. You know, I interviewed Julie Dean of the Cambridge Satchel company no-transcript and when the first time her company was acquired or she gave a percentage away I think it was a majority stake and they were going through all this crazy stuff about like okay, we're going to go into the science of this color and that color and this. And she's like can't we just do it based on a banana, the color banana? Like this is like why are we making things so much more complicated? Like let's focus on what works and to your credit, I think you always have to have your feet on the ground and like roaming through the purse form to see like this is what sells. 

27:00

And I think that's a testament where you know, I hosted this event with you and your brother at SACS a million years ago and the pair of you were discussing and this is one of the first times I'd heard it how your social strategies were different, that you knew like I could be saying this wrong like Instagram was like more celebrity focused and Facebook was more product focused and understanding the analytics so narrowcasted better than absolutely anybody. Do you think in terms of like, following this strategically, taking this analytical approach, was that just an organic way to do things? Or was like okay, we have no other choice? 

Rebecca Minkoff

Guest

27:44

I think it's, it's both you. It's sort of like, at first you have no choice. Then you start experimenting, then you see what works and you're like great, let's follow that. And then it's my brother it's a different point saying this is happening and other consumer product goods companies or in other parts of the world maybe it works for bags, let's test it. And then you know, you're like sort of like trying, augmenting and sort of expanding what is working. And then you're testing and you just kind of you know technology engineers and they have an A and a B, right yeah, and they're testing and if A doesn't work they go to B. So I think that that's how we approached all of the things we did. 

Emily Blumenthal

Host

28:25

You opened up your first store Was it either Japan or Korea before you opened one up in New York? Is that? 

Rebecca Minkoff

Guest

28:31

correct. Japan. Yes, it was Japan and it was because they were so bullish on we need a store now. This was a partner. They opened it and we were like we don't even know what the store should look like and it's going to take a designer to properly do this least six months to design it and be thoughtful about it and go through the brand exercise. And they're like we don't have it. Send us a Pinterest board of like your inspiration. And I was like, okay, so big mistake, very expensive store, wrong location. It was in Ginza, which is like the Beverly Hills, like people are there to buy Gucci and Chanel, right, and so it was a big waste of money for them and you know, we ended up having to close it or they close it, because I was like shocker, didn't look like the brand really and didn't make any money because the rent was so fucking expensive. 

Emily Blumenthal

Host

29:22

So it was exciting, but it was like right, it's one of those things that it's a flex to say like yeah, my God, oh, my God, I'm opening something in Japan, but meanwhile you're like this isn't going to go the way I want it to, but you still move forward because it's an opportunity. 

Rebecca Minkoff

Guest

29:38

Yeah, it's that fine line. Like you don't want to say no to that, but like you know, it's not going to be done right, and that's the hard part. 

Emily Blumenthal

Host

29:45

And I asked you. So you went seven years before you gave away a piece of the company. Is that correct? Yeah, was that one of those things that you were like, okay, we have absolutely no choice, or if we want to grow, or because that's scary to start recognizing that, okay. And my brother that I have to deal with for control, I have a president who is running this the way I wouldn't run a company. Now I need to have more people involved. Like, can you talk a little bit about that experience? 

Rebecca Minkoff

Guest

30:16

Yeah. So in 2012 or 2011,. We realized that in order to grow, to do our own stores, to expand product categories and distribution, we needed money. And right around then, private equity this is pre. Vc yeah, private equity was looking around hunting for brands and we were getting really great valuations. So we did our rounds, we got a great offer, we sold 26% of the company and at the time it was great, because they're talking about Kool-Aid. And then you're like, yeah, that sounds great Billion dollar brand. Here we come and everyone's like smoking this like pipe dream of opportunity, and so it was great to do. And then I think we made a couple mistakes, probably a year later, that would have had like different outcomes had we been, had we seen the future. 

Emily Blumenthal

Host

31:17

You know, I know I've taken up a lot of your time. I want to wrap up with just some key learnings, because I could literally talk to you. You know, the sun could go up and down and the kids would come, eat and like I'd be, like go away. I'm still talking to her In terms of the evolution and again, just I need to call this out that and I don't think it was you, I think it was your publicist who did apply to the Handbag Awards twice and then I was able to honor you and then we were able to have you as a judge. 

31:47

So that was one of the exciting things and you know, through the awards we've had so much talent that had come through. 

31:55

But, in terms of the evolution of where your brand is at and where it is now, what are some like key learnings and things that you reflect and things that you wish you hadn't done or moving forward, because how you run a company, how you do anything as someone who is single versus a mom of one versus a mom of multiples, is very, very different. 

32:19

Like I had the experience of recently working with someone who didn't have kids and it was it's hard to explain to people the time schedule that I will be up at 2am till 3am working and then, like I, cannot be available for certain time slots. So how do you? Because you have this incredible platform, you have this amazing podcast, you know Women Empowerment, female Entrepreneurship that's now like a key thread of who you are and what you're promoting how do you tie this and I don't want to ask this stupid cliche question how do you balance it all, because there's no such thing as balance. But, like going back to your brand and handbags, how are you handling all of it moving forward, especially like with what's going on in the industry and the circular economy, and are you going to bring back at that original morning after and start selling it that way? 

Rebecca Minkoff

Guest

33:06

Oh, my God, I had a motorcycle but I don't even know which question to add to start with, but I'll see if I can wrap it all up. So, with regards to the morning after bag, we actually did bring it back last September of 2022. We relaunched it. We called it the Mab 2.0. We did a huge event presentation tech forward. It was fantastic. Morgan Stanley, yep, the banker bag, the banker bag. In 2025, it'll be our 20 year anniversary, so we're planning for it to really come back in a big way. 

33:38

Then. As far as how does she do it all? I remember someone talking about having a deep bench. You know, players on the bench yeah, there's the team out there and then there's the ones on the bench, and so you know, I have an incredible CEO running Rebecca Minkoff. I have an incredible CEO co-founder running female founder collective. I have a babysitter, I have my husband, I have me, you know like, and then it just keeps going. And I think what I've gotten good at is letting good people do good work and not trying to like be in it all the time and micromanage. And you know, if I didn't come up with that one idea, at the end of the day did the customer like fucking care. You know, like if my designer did it better, better shade of blue, better, you know application of studs like it's fine. I did this for 20 years, I'm good, and so I think it's learning to let go. 

34:36

Who's your bench and how are they supporting you? Because it's you know, it's not all possible for my podcast. I have a producer. I have a copy as someone who writes the copy. I met a woman, or a good friend of mine was struggling with her podcast and she was listening to every episode that she recorded herself and I was like why, why would you do that? She's like well, I have to tell them what to take out. And I said, no, that's what a producer is for. They're like right, you're like God, I'm saying Valuable time record. Once a week, it's an hour of my time done, goes off and then all the elves have to work, and so that's how it's done. My kids are at school eight hours a day and daycare eight hours a day. So it's like I have the way I look at it. I have eight hours to get everything I need done, and then obviously there's peak times fashion week where I'm working later, working weekends, but I think the more kids I've had, the more. I've been able to control that better. 

35:30

And you can't get into this because, as my daughter says, when I grow up, I want to be rich and famous. You can't get into it. You cannot get into this business. To be rich and famous, you have to love what you do and be so. Yeah, but he's so connected to that that you will weather any storm because, as we have discussed online and offline, it is more hard than it is not. There were pitfalls and there are like momentum, and so you should be getting the joy and the reward or the pay from what you do, not the dollars in your bank account. And if you can do that, then find something else to do and if it comes, who bonus? And if it doesn't come, then hopefully you've enjoyed it, girl let me tell you, I hear you, I see you. 

Emily Blumenthal

Host

36:21

It is so funny because, like, I have my kids historically, even when they were little. If they did things because I don't believe in giving my kids an allowance I think that teaches my opinion. It teaches bad connection with money that you should get paid for household chores, then I should be getting paid for them too. So if you're going above and beyond and doing things outside, so I have them invoice me. I want to quantify the time, I want all of that. And my daughter said to me she's like I think I'm going to be a doctor. I was like, where the hell did that come from? And she said, and I quote I think it would be easier than being an entrepreneur, because what you do is exhausting. I can't even watch it. So I'm like, okay. 

Rebecca Minkoff

Guest

37:05

I mean those of you know that being a doctor and being on call will be very stressful when she has to like tell someone like their dad is dead, but don't, don't spoil it for her. 

Emily Blumenthal

Host

37:13

Yet Listen, listen. My mom has already told her that she should go into dermatology to make it, you know, to amortize the cost for everybody involved in the family. 

Rebecca Minkoff

Guest

37:24

So that's a good bet. You know, Botox will pay for a lot of things. 

Emily Blumenthal

Host

37:27

Let me tell you I'm here for it. Listen, Rebecca Becky, all of the monikers you go by. Thank you so very much for your time, your generosity, all of this. How can everybody find you and your eponymous name? All right, here we go, you ready? 

Rebecca Minkoff

Guest

37:44

Do it, do it, do it At Rebecca Minkoff for the brand and me at Becky Minkoff for just me and everything outside of the brand. I'm launching a sub stack, probably a couple days, so we're back coming off. Dot sub stack, dot com, my podcast Superwoman with Rebecca Minkoff, my book Fearless on Amazon and what else. If you're not exhausted by all those things yet, oh, my LinkedIn newsletter, the stories of failures that entrepreneurs have encountered. It's called. You can't make this shit up. So those are all the places that I'm active with shit as an exclamation point to keep it. 

Emily Blumenthal

Host

38:19

You know, you see, keep it PC. Thank you so very much Love to you and your 80 kids who no longer live in a Brooklyn shoe. I hope to see you very soon, but thank you so much for absolutely everything and anything. Thank you, Thanks for listening. Don't forget to rate and review and follow us on every single platform at handbag designer. Thanks so much. See you next time. 

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