Shay Mitchell remembers the moment she decided to expand her travel bags and accessories company, BÉIS, into the baby category. The new mama was still pregnant with her now four-month-old daughter, Atlas at the time, trolling the internet and asking her mom friends for their best diaper bag recommendations.
“So many of the BÉIS products and designs have been inspired by [either] the challenges that I have faced in my own life and travels when buying travel bags and accessories, or “holes” I have discovered in the market offerings when searching for a bag that suits my needs,” Mitchell tells SheKnows. BÉIS Baby was born under similar circumstances.
“As usual, I kept coming up short,” she said. “Either the bags were super cute and felt like “me” but didn’t have the function I wanted, or it had some hideous chevron or polka dot pattern on it. And impish looking animals, always. Ugh.”
Mitchell was on the hunt for a diaper bag that provided her with all of the basic mommy essentials — something organized and functional — but that didn’t skimp on style. “Of course when I became a mom my life dramatically changed, but not my taste,” she explained. I’m still me. I still gravitate towards the same styles and looks, so in the absence of an option that suited that style I figured, let’s just do it ourselves – and we did!”
The Diaper Bag ($168) was the first piece Mitchell and her team designed for the collection (now available at BEIStravel.com.com, Revolve.com, and Nordstrom). It’s a cornerstone item for new parents with a chic exterior and highly organized interior equipped with stroller straps, a changing pad, an odor-proof bag for dirty diapers, a pacifier pouch, two bottle pouches, and a teething ring made from 100% food grade silicone.
“Based on my market research — aka shopping and talking to my friends —I knew what I was wanting [in a diaper bag],” she said. “The bag was obviously designed to be a diaper bag — but take out the teething ring and pacifier pouch and it could just as easily be a work tote, a purse or an overnight bag.”
Next came The Stroller Caddy ($34), followed by The Bottle Cooler ($28). The Stroller Caddy was created for quick errands or walks around the neighborhood that really only call for the essentials like bottles, diapers, an emergency change of clothes, baby’s favorite toy, and Mommy’s cell phone. It also comes with a mesh bag for storage, plenty of pockets, and removable straps you can attach onto your stroller handle or the back of an airplane tray (an essential for the new mama who travels so much, she coined the phrase “Shaycation”).
As for The Bottle Cooler, Mitchell’s vision was to create a product that was timeless, multi-purpose, and would appeal to a wide demographic. It features an insulated interior to keep bottles cold or warm, comes with cylindrical ice packs, and is roomy enough to not only fit four bottles, “but also four beers,” Mitchell adds. “Maybe we tested it…MAYBE!”
While the goal of BÉIS Baby is to offer new moms staple items that are functional and versatile with a fashion-forward twist, Mitchell also hopes the new collection helps moms feel “glamorous amongst all the chaos.” In a behind-the-scenes video announcing the collection, the 32-year-old showcases how parents can utilize these items in all kinds of scenarios: from running out the door in high heels and full glam to doing laundry in sweats and a top knot because when it comes down to it, the reality of motherhood is that it isn’t all baby giggles and snuggles. Motherhood takes work, it can be frustrating and messy, which is why Mitchell values the little details that make her feel glamorous and implements them into her daily routine.
“I don’t dress like I’m going to a red carpet event everyday — I am in sweats. A LOT! And that’s great!” Mitchell says. “I [also] love to workout and though I don’t look glamorous while I am exercising, it makes me feel good, and that helps me be a better mother to Atlas.”
Mitchell says she aspires to live her life doing little things that make her happy every day and hopes to inspire other moms to do the same. Whether that means putting on a dress while you nurse your baby or rocking your favorite shade of lipstick with your sweats on — Mitchell encourages you to find whatever makes you feel like your best self, and do it because not only will it make a difference in your life, it will also set an example for your child.
“I think motherhood looks different for everyone and there is no one size fits all approach to this thing called parenting,” she says. “Everyone is so different: Moms play so many more roles these days than mom. I am a businesswoman, an actress, an avid traveler, a friend, a partner, and a daughter. I love what I do and it is very important to me to have Atlas see all the parts that comprise the self.”
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Check out our roundup of more trendy newborn essentials.
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