This article is republished here from Forbes
Shay Mitchell may have only launched her travel brand BÈIS last year, but it’s been a long time coming. Even before her popular Shaycation videos on YouTube, Mitchell was making her way around the world for her acting career. Unfortunately, she never felt there was anything on the market that could accommodate all of her on-the-go needs.
Instead of continuously being disappointed by the low quality or overpriced options out there, the former Pretty Little Liars and You star fixed her problem by creating her own line of travel essentials. At first, she released items like fanny packs, packing cubes, and more all at budget-friendly prices, but earlier this month, she finally dropped a series of hardshell suitcases in time for everyone’s summer vacations.
Her designs are truly one-of-a-kind and will completely transform the way you travel. Each BÈIS suitcase has TSA-approved combination locks, a cushioned trolley handle, a built-in laundry bag, and a weight indicator that ensures you won’t go over the airline limit. Plus, it’s extremely chic and affordable proving how much her brand stands out from the rest. In celebration of Mitchell’s latest launch, she elaborated on the exact moment that inspired her to start her company along with her plans for the future of BÈIS in her Forbes interview below.
Isis Briones: Was there a specific trip that inspired your new rolling luggage?
Shay Mitchell: “Not so much a specific trip, but several during a specific era. Before I was acting, I was living in Toronto and right after high school, I moved to Thailand. I remember going to shop for luggage and was frustrated when I found that all of the luggage that I could afford was kind of janky and definitely ugly, while the luggage I actually liked and seemed the most functional was way out of my price range.
I, of course, bought what I could afford, but basically had to replace the pieces as soon as I landed in Thailand because they were already falling apart. It felt like such a waste of money and I didn’t think it was fair that I had to almost immediately replace my luggage just because I couldn’t afford the higher end pieces.
One of my biggest priorities with developing and establishing BÉIS was to not only create pieces that look good, but that are functional and affordable. Money is being spent either way and I wanted people to not only get a quality, dependable piece of luggage, but to feel good carrying it with them.”
IB: Your influence undoubtedly brings so much to the brand. Does your team have plans to add celebrity or influencer investors to the company?
SM: “With the first few BIG drops under our belt, we are beginning to focus on developing collaborations and partnerships with other entities and individuals in the travel space that I am inspired by. I think by working with other likeminded influencers, we can leverage and incorporate their experiences to bring new and exciting dimensions to BÉIS.”
IB: How exciting! On another note, what’s your advice for dealing with snobby travel agents like the one you played for your promo video?
SM: “To just smile and be kind. I always remind myself that we never really know what other people are going through, and since you’re about to get on a plane and dive into an adventure, there’s no need to let someone else put a damper on your experience or potentially make their day worse.”
IB: What’s the worst thing that’s happened to you on a trip and how did you bounce back from it?
SM: “I think one of the worst things that can happen to us while traveling is either having our luggage lost or missing a flight. Both have happened to me and it’s frustrating, but I always try and see the silver lining by telling myself that everything happens for a reason.
One of the best times I’ve ever had exploring a city was after getting stranded from missing my connecting flight. Instead of being angry with myself for running late, I went out and took advantage of the time that I did have in a city I may not have otherwise visited.”
IB: Lastly, where do you see BÈIS in ten years?
SM: “I really want to focus on creating travel products for the whole family to make everyone’s lives just a little bit easier while on the road.”