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Fawnd of You: Bembien

Bembien is one of those brands that feels so special that upon discovery you immediately text the site to 1o of your girlfriends because it is just too good not to share. The straw bag has become a closet staple, but finding the perfect one can be difficult. Yi-Mei Truxes, the founder of Bembien, saw an opportunity to create a vision around the perfect straw bag. Affordable, yet elevated. Loved by it-girls and world travelers alike. We are so drawn to the on point branding that screams effortlessly chic style. We got the chance to chat with Yi-Mei and learn more about her and the brand. She is complete lady entrepreneur inspo, juggling a position at Vogue while launching her brand. We always say “Nothing works unless you do” and Yi-Mei is the perfect embodiment of that mindset. Lady, we are so #FawndofYou

 

What inspired you to start Bembien?

On a hot August day last summer, I saw a woman on the street who embodied a kind of effortless style I’ve always found appealing—and yet hard to achieve. She was wearing a white dress and holding a straw bag. After many unsuccessful searches to find a similar bag, I decided to start Bembien.

Where does the name Bembien come from?

It was important to me for the brand name to sound approachable. “Bem” means “good” in Portuguese and “Bien” means “good” in French! I thought the combination of the two words, “Bembien” sounded just right when I first said it out loud.

Where were you before you started your own company? Did you always know you wanted to be an entrepreneur?

I was at Vogue Magazine for six years before (and during) the formation of Bembien and I currently work full time for the fashion photographer Mario Testino! I’ve always loved fashion and photography, so both positions I would consider absolute dream jobs. I definitely never knew I wanted to be an entrepreneur, but I do love building things from the ground up. Whether that means doing something on my own or working for others, it will always be my north star for any career decisions I make along the way.

What was your biggest business breakthrough when you first started?

Who What Wear featured the Lily Bag in an article about festival style, which was the first piece of official press Bembien received! It was an incredibly exciting moment—I thought for the first time, ”This is real!”

How did you get the word out about the new brand?

 

I have a handful of people to really thank for getting the word out in those initial moments—the main one being my dear friend (and incredible photographer), Lucy Laucht. Beyond friends and family spreading the word, it has really just grown organically!

All of your branding is so cohesive and on point, how would you describe the Bembien girl?

Optimistic, effortless, intelligent and of course, incredibly incredibly chic.

Describe the perfect outfit to pair with a Bembien bag:

Easy: jeans, a white t-shirt and a Bembien bag!

What was the biggest challenge in starting a new brand?

Just the act of deciding to start it was the most challenging part.  I am not the world’s most bullish person, and often times I assume that there is always someone better out there to do it. The blind confidence it takes to commit (both emotionally and financially) to starting a brand is not an easy decision.

What would be your ultimate dream for Bembien one day?

One personal dream that comes to mind would be to see my brand in an issue of Vogue Magazine and for the whole thing to come full circle!

What does an average work day look like for you and what are you wearing?

I have two jobs!—so my average day is to work for Mario Testino during the day, and then spend the night working on all things Bembien (I drink a lot of coffee!). I tend to dress minimally, especially when it comes to color. So usually just basics in either black, navy, grey or white! Right now I’m wearing a black sun dress and St. Agni slides.

What inspires you and sets your soul on fire?

The compassion, intelligence and support of my friends. Also other female entrepreneurs! There is an incredible, active community of brilliant, talented women who are ready and willing to help one another! It has been an inspiring thing to discover through Bembien.

What is the best gift you have ever received?

I don’t receive many gifts! But my boyfriend, Gray, got me a plant on my last day at Vogue. Every time I water it, it reminds me of the love that came from my colleagues during the early days of Bembien. Their support was invaluable.

Who do you think is totally muse-worthy?

Jeanne Damas! Hands down. She is the picture of effortless French girl chic. And if we are looking for an Italian muse, I’m also obsessed with Diletta Bonaiuti.

What are so words of wisdom you would impart on any future female entrepreneurs?

You only learn by doing! No one is ever 100% prepared for the hurdles the future holds…. So just dive in and see what happens! Failure is a whole lot better than never getting off the ground. Resilience is one of the greatest qualities a person can hold, so just stay strong, push forward and hold true to your vision.

 

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