Meredith Jurica became weary of buying and throwing out cosmetic bags. Each time that she thought she had found just the right one, it turned out to be too small so she’d need a couple/few for her whole cosmetics collection—she surely did love cosmetics! Or it was too big, and eyebrow pencils, lip liners and lipsticks were swallowed up, never to be seen again. Or maybe the inside cloth was one big smudge of face powders, blushes and eye shadows—might be astonishing if on a canvas by Jackson Pollock, but only “Ew!” in a cosmetic bag, especially when all those colors and oils come off on your fingers. Then there would be the frustration of discovering the material wasn’t waterproof as spilled products leaked out.
Meredith is a natural problem solver. Doesn’t matter how big or how small the problem. In fact, it was a vital part of her profession as a speech pathologist working with patients on how to form words, speak, and understand what others are saying. Designing a cosmetic bag would be easy compared to that, wouldn’t it? Not so much, but she was determined. She made a list of what she would need in a perfect cosmetic bag, made many drawings and created her first Makeup Junkie Bag—just for herself. It laid flat with an elongated medial zipper for easy access. The inside lining was a beautiful custom waterproof fabric. The outside as, or more, beautiful finished off with what would be Meredith’s signature: a brightly colored zipper with a suede tassel.
It didn’t take long for the cosmetic bag to become the hottest thing on the block—on lots of blocks. With her Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in speech pathology, she didn’t feel qualified to start a business, not even a small one based in her home. But she loved her cosmetic bag and became Founder, Owner, and Lead Seamstress of Makeup Junkie Bags. She had a “baptism by fire” into the business world—swindled, robbed of her designs (even though patented), text on her website shamelessly pirated, and $100,000 of inventory lost to Hurricane Harvey. She persevered, and her bags brought in $1 million the first year, won the “People’s Choice Award of 2017” at Junior League Market and was featured in USA Today as one of the “Top 10 Travel Bags of 2017.”
The bags comes in four sizes: Mini (4” x 7”), Small (7” x 9”), Medium (8” x 11.5”), and Large (9.5” x 13”). It’s difficult to choose from among the artistic and fashionable colors and patterns, such as “Havana” (black and white stripes with palm leaves), “Penelope” (fuchsia velvet on the outside, cheetah inside), and “White Gold” (a glowing vinyl exterior with a soft onyx interior). They sound like evening bags, don’t they? Add the gold, black or red wristlet, and you and your bag are all set for a night on the town. But wait! Meredith didn’t forget the guys. The “Gentlemen” bag is a rich-looking faux vegan leather, and it’s only the first of what will grow into her men’s line.
Meredith is particularly proud of providing work for the community in which she lives, as well as the various charitable endeavors that her company supports. A perfect example of who Meredith is occurred after Harvey wreaked its havoc. She lost her inventory and got right to work—taking folks who had lost their homes into hers that had escaped damage.