One Woman’s Fight Against Breast Cancer Inspires National Business Success
Rebecca Clay is a woman that cannot be stopped, even when faced with life’s most difficult challenges. Always looking towards her next venture, be it business owner, champion water skier, or black diamond snow skier, the South Carolina native shows no fear. So when faced with the ultimate test of breast cancer, Clay used the same fearlessness and strength to add “survivor” to her long list of attributes.
With a renewed inspiration for life and a desire to give back, Clay had an idea to take a simple bra and transform it into something unique. Embellishing the bras with upholstery trim, lavish ribbons, and accessories turned the once ordinary undergarment into an extraordinary purse. Aptly named Bra-cketbook, Clay launched the business in 2008 with a mission to drive awareness and support to finding a cure for breast cancer. Seven years later, Bra-cketbook has become a national sensation selling in over 300 boutiques in 37 states and Canada.
For over 25 years, Clay has operated a successful interior design practice right from her home. Also launching the Bra-cketbook Foundation, Clay is a true at home business owner, running both companies from two bedrooms. “One is my office, and the other is a purse manufacturing facility.”
The majority of the business’s growth first came from an Atlanta vendor market. “I acquired a permanent showroom at the Apparel Mart. I sold my purses there year-round and swapped them out based on the seasons,” says Clay. High-end boutiques are now Bra-cketbook’s primary markets. “Retailing for over $100, they are special occasion purses and are typically for the girl who has everything,” she continues.
Generating support for The Cure has always been the main goal for Bra-cketbook. “I have had celebrities Andie MacDowell and Eva Longoria sign my purses for the last four years to generate income for finding a cure, and it has been a huge accomplishment for Bra-cketbook.”
Clay is dedicated to maintaining her work-from-home business model as it allows her to be cost effective and highly productive, never wasting time going into an office. “No rent, no commute, and if I have one spare moment to accomplish a task, I can right then and there,” said Clay.