In ELLE.com’s month-to-month collection Office Hours, we ask individuals in highly effective positions to take us by way of their first jobs, worst jobs, and all the things in between. This month we spoke to actress, mannequin, entrepreneur, and mom of two Shay Mitchell, who isn’t solely celebrating 5 years of her journey model Béis, however a just-launched kids collection. (Béis interprets to “beige,” after a beige bag Mitchell used to journey with.) “It really is my first child,” she tells ELLE.com of her firm, which makes a speciality of practical baggage. “Each single element, from the design to the fashions we guide for our advert campaigns, I oversee.” It’s arduous to consider she nonetheless has time to run her tequila seltzer model, Onda, too. Right here, Mitchell talks variety in Hollywood, what’s at all times in her bag, and why Drake is her secret fan.
My first job
I labored at a café in Vancouver referred to as Coco Loco. They served sandwiches and low, and I may by no means work out learn how to get the rattling espresso machine to work—it was this elaborate Italian espresso maker and I at all times messed it up. I believe my wage was $7 or $8 an hour. I’m nonetheless scarred from that have. Individuals would are available in with the craziest espresso orders. Now, my order is tremendous easy as a result of I understand how arduous it’s for the baristas.
My worst job
Bottle service. I hated it. It wasn’t the job as a lot because the scenario—navigating crowds, coping with actually tough prospects after they’re intoxicated, and many others.—however the cash was excellent. You’d go away with nice suggestions, however you by no means knew what you have been moving into on any given evening.
On variety in Hollywood
I keep in mind getting the audition for Fairly Little Liars, and the character of Emily within the guide had strawberry blonde hair with freckles and a very reasonable complexion. Once I first booked the half, everyone was like, “What? You don’t appear to be the woman subsequent door.” However I believe, at the moment, I am the woman subsequent door. That didn’t deter me again then. I used to be going to go for it regardless, as a result of I didn’t wish to look again with regrets.
How I transitioned out of the leisure business
There was at all times loads of downtime on the Fairly Little Liars set whereas I waited for the subsequent scene, so I began a weblog, which stored me busy between takes. From there, I wrote a guide. After which, throughout our breaks from filming, I’d journey, so I created a YouTube channel that documented my journeys. When Shaycations took off, my buddies would consistently ask me for suggestions and packing recommendation.
The ability of self-documenting
I used to be at all times that woman with the digital camera. Like, on the membership, I’d have the digital digital camera. I’ve method too many pictures on my telephone and on my laptop computer. Documenting has at all times been essential to me, in order that I can keep in mind the expertise and share it with others, to allow them to go and expertise it too. It felt egocentric to do in any other case. I used to be like, that is too good to only maintain to myself. My journey to India remains to be considered one of my greatest items of content material.
Why I began Béis
I’ve at all times recognized that there was an entrepreneurial aspect to me, and I at all times wished to get into enterprise, however I had by no means been to high school. I’ve had experiences with baggage the place wheels would fall off and I’d get offended at myself for not spending more cash to get a greater bag. Once I knew it was time to begin my very own firm, I observed there was an enormous hole available in the market: you both had tremendous costly corporations with loopy baggage that weren’t even practical, and on the opposite aspect of the spectrum, you had inexpensive baggage that have been ugly and never well-made.
Mainly, I wished a line of inexpensive baggage that had all of the operate I may dream up and look actually good on the identical time. The worth was actually essential to me, as a result of I understand how costly touring is—I don’t need the baggage to interrupt the financial institution since you ought to be capable of spend that cash on the experiences you may have. It’s an on-the-go model, whether or not you’re happening a hike, to the fitness center, or to the grocery retailer. I wish to present totally different equipment for all of these various things, so everybody can have the bag that makes them really feel at dwelling after they’re not at dwelling.
What’s at all times in my bag
My cosmetics case for on-the-go touchups. Once I’m touring, I take advantage of our recyclable tote due to the performance—sure compartments simply make all the things really easy. I do know precisely the place my passport is and precisely the place I put my snacks and water bottle.
Finest profession recommendation I’ve ever obtained
Work with people who find themselves smarter than you. My complete motto in life is “I’ve this one life. What do I wish to do?” I by no means wish to look again and want I had achieved one thing. So whatever the expertise or lack of expertise I’ve when it comes to design, enterprise advertising and marketing, all of it, I simply needed to [launch Béis]. I introduced individuals onto my staff that have been smarter than me and had far more expertise and have been consultants in their very own fields. That’s one thing I’ve by no means been afraid to do.
How I stability work and household
I take time to myself as a result of I’ve an unbelievable staff round me. There’s no method I may do what I do with out the assistance of individuals—all the things from childcare to my staff, my publicist, my agent. I owe all of it to them.
Most shocking Onda fan
My primary buyer is Drake—and it has nothing to do with me. He discovered it on his personal and pays for it, will get it delivered, and travels with it. He has Onda on him always!
This interview has been edited and condensed.
Claire Stern is the Deputy Editor of ELLE.com. Beforehand, she served as Editor at Bergdorf Goodman. Her pursuits embody trend, meals, journey, music, Peloton, and The Hills—not essentially in that order. She used to have a Harriet the Spy pocket book and isn’t ashamed to confess it.