Grand Unveiling of Forget Me Not Blue Beebag

I will never forget the day that I showed the class I worked with our first ever bee bag. It was the forget-me-not blue bee and I must admit I was a little nervous of their honest critique! I said that I had been a ‘busy bee’ designing and creating something special which I hoped they would enjoy…

…Gasps of excitement and whispers filled the classroom carpet in anticipation as I carefully unveiled the blue forget-me-not bee. They all wowed, clapped and all hands went up at once for questions. It fascinated me how interested they were as to how the bag was made-“did I use lots of Sellotape?!” being one of the memorable questions! “Do you have a bag to give to each of us” being another!

They also had inquisitive questions such as how did I make the handles? How did I stamp the logo? As I explained that it had taken a lot of time and explained all the stages-first I had to put my creative hat on-for which they all joined me in our imaginary hat! Then I had to get my sharp pencil and start to sketch and think about what I would like my bag to look like-all of the elements-the handles, the lining, the logo design-even the use of a ‘net’ which we had covered in Maths previously suddenly made sense! I saw the sparkle in their eyes, there was not a sound as they listened intently absorbing the information and taking note. Then one of the girls put up her hand and said, “This afternoon I am going to design a handbag and give it to you tomorrow!” It made me feel proud to have inspired them.

It was a magical moment when you could physically see the list of possibilities buzzing around in their minds-all they could achieve excited them!

The ideas they came up with from them on were truly inspiring. I was given so many variations of bee bags and bee linings which I am sure I will use on future You Me and Bee ranges!

I feel that with the world we live in now and given the huge trend of influential ‘kid bloggers’ it is so important to embrace personality and identity. Even more so from a young age so that we can develop strong and independent individuals who know who they are, we can do this through the use of positive and inspiring role models…bees! If we start from a young age it just makes the development smoother. Teen groups also love our bags as they are not like usual high street bags. Even ladies have purchased our bags as they love the design and want to support UK bees. I know my friends and family are all hoping for a You Me and Bee bag in their stocking!

Thank you for taking time to read this… Becky

Creating Young Identities through Fashion!

As I turned 30 I didn’t think that I would be developing a brand called You Me and Bee, I couldn’t have thought of a more exciting journey to embark on! To design fashion accessories for an audience I know so well in collaboration with saving bees and educating children in the process truly is a dream come true!

I really think the way children think and behave now is much more creatively, and they are embracing independence.

I first started to see the changes within children’s behaviour about 2 years ago whilst working in schools. I would get my usual daily sweep glance up and down as I walked in the room… then with eyes burning into me (ever discreetly of course!) they would put up their hand and openly announce “I really like your dress today” or “I like your earrings they are so pretty” and “oh my Mum has those boots too!” It always brought a smile to my face how wonderfully observant young people are and of course how honest too!

Children I worked with became ever increasingly aware of trends and fashion. I would hear in the playground I went shopping with my Mum yesterday and brought “the cutest dress it’s so me”-“so me” eluding to the fact that at as young as 5 and 6 they knew who they were stylistically and knew what their style and personality was...what made them feel like ‘them’. Girls in my class would always want accessories like elder peers. I remember a child telling me she had so many sunglasses-“like I have hundreds of pairs!” But her favourite was a pair that look ‘just’ like Mummy’s! Again, indicating children want to be taken seriously and want to be able to choose a style for themselves.

There were of course some children who were less confident but evidently interested in fashion. They were just not as self-assured and it is those children who I would like to inspire. A chance to explore who they are by giving them the chance to have a bag that helps them embark on the journey of self-discovery. As simply as what they decide to put in their bag gives us insight into what they are like and what drives them? For example bringing their colouring pens and notebook implies they are creative and artistic, they might bring their favourite teddy-so showing they are a little sensitive and caring.

I really felt that whilst there is more fashion available for children than ever before there is a lack of quality accessories. I feel accessories can be less scary for a shy individual as they are a subtle nod to your personality. For example, wearing the pink bee-instantly says confidence as well as sweet and innocent. It brings personality to any outfit even a less daring outfit such as skinny jeans, a subtle white tee and nude ballerina pumps so they can slowly develop a style confidence while exploring what types of clothing they like. I feel it is a subtle transition as they will get compliments from their bag which will build their confidence to venture into different style ranges. Therefore, the theory of the bee being more of a companion than just a bag!

Thank you for reading this! Becky