Check out our interview with Shark Tank” Entrepreneur & Founder of Makeup Junkie Bags Meredith Jurica.
With more than 10 million dollars in sales and an ABC “Shark Tank” deal with Lori Greiner for her revolutionary product line of Makeup Junkie Bags, Meredith is poised to become the next power player in affordable beauty, fashion, and travel accessories. Frustrated with what the market had to offer when storing large makeup items, MJ created her own patented design for the perfect multi-functional cosmetic bag that doubles as a clutch with a conveniently attached wrist strap (retails for $30-$50). Makeup Junkie Bags lay flat on a surface and have an elongated medial zipper that allows them to gape open, allowing easy access to all materials while eliminating the chances that the bag will fall over sending products everywhere.
Named by USA TODAY as “One of the Top 10 Travel Bags,” Makeup Junkie Bags are handmade in the USA, sold in more than 2,000 stores nationwide, and come in more than 400 trendy styles and seven different sizes.
Follow Meredith @makeupjunkiebags
Describe yourself in 3 words?
Dreamer, Entrepreneur, Goofy
Who is your biggest supporter?
My friends and family
Best advice ever given?
Fall down seven times, stand up eight.
When did you start in the business?
What book should every entrepreneur read?
Take Care of Your People by Paul J. Sarvadi
What is the key to your success?
I think being able to connect with people and identify their needs, paying mind to quality including benefits such as our lifetime warranty and always always be growing and developing new items.
Tell us about “Makeup Junkie Bag?
They are for more than just Makeup… The leak resistant, high-capacity storage lay flat/pack flat design is a grand slam. Unlike bulky toiletry bags that take up space, these hold full size products while taking up no space in a travel item and protect your suitcase/purse from leaks. Stuff them…. then the magic happens!
Where and how did you get the idea to create this?
As a true “makeup junkie”, I own tons of makeup. Modern day cosmetics are so much different than the cosmetics that have been around for years. Now we see all these large artist pallets and full sized brushes that are supposed to make us look like Heidi Klum and Tyra Banks haha. I was frustrated that no cosmetic bag company was keeping up with storage of modern day cosmetics. I had an upcoming trip and so in preparation of my travels I went to the local craft store and purchased materials to make my own cosmetic bag that would house all of my things. I wanted it to pack flat, be leak resistant, and open up down the middle so I could see everything. The design did exactly as I intended it to and I was so pleased. I mimicked the 12 inch size I had made for my makeup and made a larger one for my shower toiletries as well as smaller sizes to pack face creams, eye care, chargers etc. I was excited to take them on my trip and never really knew it would turn into a business.
Do you have any competition in the market? If so, what makes you different from them?
In competing with other cosmetic bag companies, what sets us apart is that I have a Patent on the design of my bag. We also have a Lifetime Warranty on all of our products. We manufacture at my own private facility here in Conroe, TX.
What is next for Makeup Junkie Bag?
I am ALWAYS designing and developing new things under my brand. In addition to my travel bag line, I make purses, totes, fanny packs, I have a cosmetic line called MJ Cosmetics, and I recently launched Modern Jester clothing which is my own apparel line that I manufacture here in Texas. I think domestic made products are enjoyed by many and I am happy to offer ample customization to retail customers and stores alike.
How did you and your team manage the company and clients during the COVID-19 situation?
We are very fortunate that we do a lot of online sales, so that helped us tremendously during COVID. Makeup Junkie Bags also started making masks and donated hundreds of them, as well making and selling of hospital gowns during the shortage.
Now tell us about your experience in ABC’s “Shark Tank?”
First off, there are several ways you can apply. You can fill out an online application or you can do an open casting call at a convention center. I applied online, uploaded pics and videos of myself and product. Several months went by and then I got a call from a producer. I was a little stunned at first…is this a prank??!! They asked me questions and were so friendly. They instructed me to submit a formal application video answering a series of questions. You can still find my Makeup Junkie Shark tank application video on YouTube. After that it was rounds of cuts. Lots of videos and phone calls. With almost 40,000 applicants to my season and a meager 100 of us made it. Talk about a Fairy Tale! I was given 3 offers. One from Sara Blakely to just loan me money, one from Kevin O’leary, and one from Lori Geiner which I ended up taking on the show. I was very pleased and enjoyed the experience very much. I own 100% of Makeup Junkie Bags as we did not execute our partnership after further discussions. Sometimes it is better that way for both.
Lori is so sweet and encourages me to this day to keep soaring and reaching. I am thankful for mentors like her to watch. Just a funny little side story I’ll share with you, which I call” The guacamole dress story”. The day I was set to film, the other pitches took too long. I was at the end of the day so they told me to go home and maybe next season I would get to come back to LA to film. So I went to my hotel and cried and got guacamole all over my Shark tank dress. They called me back 3 hours later saying they found a slot for me if I could stay. I triumphed smiling with joy. I washed my dress with hotel shampoo in the bathtub at the hotel, blow dried it, and wore it on national television the next day. Ahaha. Still makes me laugh.
What are the expectations for Meredith Jurica in 2021?
We are launching several new products and have expanded into new wholesale markets so we expect to increase our store customer base and cultivate a lifestyle brand on top of the beloved Makeup Junkie Bag.
What is fun and rewarding about what you do? And what’s not?
I LOVE designing and creating accessories of any kind. There are days it doesn’t even feel like a job. I do not like clerical work very much haha so thankfully my administrative team handles most of that.
Which project is still on your bucket list?
I am currently working on a line of baby clothing which I think is so sweet and fun. It is slow going but it’s fruition is on my bucket list.
3 things you can’t leave your house without?
Makeup, my cell phone and Sunglasses
What music do you like?
I like pretty much all music but my favorite is Country
How’s a typical day in your life?
Wake up, must have coffee, take kids to school, answer as many emails as possible. My daily work life varies every day…I may be at the factory designing, I may be at the showroom working with sales staff, sometimes at wholesale markets showcasing, and doing PR events in between. I also travel to source fabric and materials often.
Idea of a perfect Sunday?
Hanging out and relaxing with friends and family or by the pool with a bottle of Cab Sav!
What is your favorite healthy food?
Cucumbers and tomato with salt and pepper
And your favorite cheat food?
Something people don’t know about you?
I have 2 degrees in speech pathology and can speak many dialects and accents.
How would your best friend describe you?
I asked her and she said….you do it lol
What would be the dream holiday, and who would you go with?
Somewhere scenic, mild temperature, with good food and I would go with any of my best friends or family.
If you could meet someone living or dead, who would it be and why?
I have been privileged through Makeup Junkie Bags to meet some of the most inspiring celebrities and entrepreneurs. That being said…If I ever had the chance to meet Reese Witherspoon, a woman I have watched since I was little, I would give her our hot pink REESE bag ( that sold out by the way ) and enjoy that very much. I kept 2 aside just in case she ever discovers my products! Ha! A girl can dream and this girl never stops. It’s part of who I am. (Imagination = Manifestation).
Do you support any charities?
Memorial Hermann In the Pink of Health, Cleft Strong (Cleft Palate Foundation), Project Autism, Project Beloved
How do you see yourself in 5 years?
God willing, a powerhouse manufacturing company servicing pirate clients as well as continuing to grow my own brand.
How would you describe your fashion style?
Classy and relaxed
What do you think of Social Media?
I believe it can be a powerful tool for business growth and a great way to stay connected to multiple loved ones. As long as we all realize it is tiny blips of reality but not 100% reality.
Where we can follow you?
Instagram plus personal and business – @makeupjunkiebags
Quote: “Imagination + Cultivation = Manifestation”. I used to repeat this when younger trying to improve in gymnastics to make the cheer team or do well on a project. It is SO relevant in my life because everything I make now and what we are started from a seed in my imagination. I put one foot in front of the other. I kept moving. I cultivated. Manifestation hit me when I moved into 18,000 sq ft of office and warehouse after starting at my kitchen table alone a few short years ago. It is a fairytale dream to me.
Song: “Rhythm of My Heart” by Rod Stewart
Movie: Steel Magnolias
Travel Destination: Nashville
Sports Team: Houston Astros