In speaking to various private flight attendants in the aviation industry, there is a general consensus that MY DRAP is their napkin of choice when entertaining the jet set. The quality, elegant design, and convenience are superior to none- MY DRAP has undoubtedly become a household name to many working in the aviation industry.
This week, we bring you three of these aviation customer success stories- private flight attendants who give MY DRAP credit for helping their inflight entertaining experience really take off! (see what we did there?). Learn about how they got started, their passion for elevating the inflight experience, as well as how they use MY DRAP on a day-to-day basis to impress their clients. Hopefully you will be able to derive some inspiration for your own home entertaining needs. Bon voyage!
In 2018, private flight attendant Kia Williams was working as a teacher and was looking for a change. The moment a family friend introduced her to the world of private aviation, she was hooked. Kia got certified in 2019 right before the pandemic- what would have been a scary and tumultuous time for others was to Kia a blessing in disguise. She decided to take lockdown as an opportunity to take courses on resume building, hospitality, and French cuisine- a period that helped her hone her skills in the best way possible. Since then, contract trips have been coming in and Kia hasn’t looked back.
Kia compares inflight entertaining to throwing a mini party: “you’re selling an experience so you really have to ask yourself: ‘how would I make someone coming into my home feel special?’”. Kia appreciates the transferable skills her job has given her- cooking, child rearing, and event planning, to name a few. She also appreciates the people she meets, the cultures she gets to experience, and the unique places she gets to travel to.
“Communication is a huge part of aviation”, she says. “You have to be a social chameleon”. This makes sense, considering Kia gets to entertain the likes of Nigerian dignitaries, pop singers, actors, and actresses on her flights. However, CEOs and their families are her favorite clients: “they are always so excited and in awe of the entire experience. It’s really rewarding to see.”
Kia got her start as a private flight attendant by training with a company called Sky Academy. Her mentor at the time was big on her contracting on the side, which is what she does. “My mentor is a huge proponent of marketing yourself in this industry. There are so many skills that go into being a private flight attendant. When building my website and social media profile, it was important that I showcased my diverse set of skills in order to better market myself”. Luckily, Kia describes the industry as super tight-knit and supportive. “Getting your foot in the door is the competitive part, but once you’re in, you’re in.”
The first time Kia ever laid eyes on MY DRAP was on one of her contract flights to Nigeria. Since then, she’s seen and used MY DRAP on every flight. “It’s truly a staple product for me and many others in the industry”.
Kia’s favorite way to elevate inflight entertaining is to line her silver trays with MY DRAP napkins. She also loves to slip in a MY DRAP cocktail napkin in cup holders when serving water, for an extra luxurious feel. Finally, lining the welcome table with tiered MY DRAP napkins always creates a great first impression when clients first board the flight.
“I really enjoy coordinating the inflight theme with the destination,” she explains. “When travelling to a destination like Hawaii, I like to serve mocktails. I will typically rotate out 3-4 drinks, and will match the MY DRAP napkin color to the theme. Pops of color are super important when going somewhere tropical”. Kia likes to get a feel of the client or destination first so she can conceptualize the perfect color story for each flight. This ensures a perfect and well thought-out presentation every time!
“MY DRAP is a constant during my rotations. It’s always on our stock lists and in our stock rooms”, she gushes. “Before MY DRAP, I was running to Home Goods between flights. The napkins would always get that wilted look when wet, and just didn’t last long. The difference in quality has been incredible. MY DRAP napkins are more durable, elevate the experience, and look so much more refined to go with these million-dollar jets!”
“There was once a woman on one of my flights who asked me if her napkin was disposable. She was so enamored by the fact that they were both reusable and disposable”.
Indeed, Kia and many of her peers love the fact that MY DRAP napkins are so versatile. This was especially important during the Covid pandemic: “sometimes, you just couldn’t get napkins washed in time for your next flight. MY DRAP napkins can always be disposable, and are readily available- a true lifesaver.” She triumphantly explains: “people in my industry love them. Virtually everyone I know in this space uses them!”.
Lauren Smith first got her start in commercial aviation while waitressing in San Diego. After a rigorous, three-day open casting event for the prestigious Emirates airline, she was chosen among many hopefuls. She flew to Dubai and it was there that she was introduced to the opulence and prestige that is the world of private jets.
When she came back to the US, she immediately looked into corporate aviation and started working for Clay Lacy- a well-regarded private aviation company. In the year that she worked for them, she flew every jet imaginable, did world tours with huge bands, and traveled to the most remote and beautiful places. After this experience, Lauren decided to go out on her own and branched out into contract work, where she met her current boss.
“What I love about this industry,” she explains, “is that you learn to become a quintissential stepford housewife, but with a masculine mindset. It’s the creativity and expanded skillset combined with this tenacity and sense of independence.” This sentiment seems to ring true for Lauren. In order to best elevate the inflight experience for her clients, Lauren became a self-taught home chef and swapped catering for planning and preparing her own meals on flights. She dove deep into the culinary arts, conducting cooking classes for the other flight attendants at Clay Lacy. She explains: “I have always been in the service industry and am naturally a people-pleaser. There’s nothing like seeing the joy your food brings to people”. In every city she lands in, Lauren sources the best and freshest ingredients, preparing dazzling multi-course meals that capture the spirit of any given flight destination.
But her skills don’t end there. Lauren also creates her own floral arrangements, and can add event planner to her colorful resume. “The industry is not as outsourced as it used to be, so you really have to be firing on all cylinders and executing basically everything”, she explains. It seems that Lauren’s dedication to her craft knows no bounds. She once even went as far as to source a $10k piece of art for a client that had elements of lilac in it so it would match the lilac interiors of his jet. Needless to say, she was successful in her quest! According to Lauren, “it’s all about connecting with the passenger”.
For Lauren, sharing her passion for aviation with others came naturally. “It’s a dream job for a lot of people- I offer them a peek behind the curtain into the private jet life. But I do try to be real with people- it’s not always glamorous.” Despite the long hours, Lauren’s biggest passion is sharing her love for the culinary arts with her loyal followers. Her Instagram page provides plenty of recipe inspo!
She adds: “Another part of it is that the community of flight attendants is super supportive. Also, the clients are fascinating. You’re always surrounded by all these smart, business-minded people. Once you start taking advantage of this perk, and get inspiration from the successful people you meet on these flights, you start becoming that person with access and influence.”
In the aviation industry, there are certain standards that pertain to setting a table. “We don’t use regular napkins,” Lauren explains, “on charter flights, MY DRAP is the only choice.” Lauren likes to use MY DRAP napkins as the buffer between the bowl and the plate, and places the napkin under the cup when creating her unique table settings. She also explains that the style of service varies depending on location. For instance, a West Coast flight is more likely to boast an opulent, linen table setting, while East Coast flights prefer something more relaxed and contemporary, such as a MY DRAP table runner paired with a deli plate. Lauren is also obsessed with the Christmas Golden Splash Design Collection for birthdays and special events. She loves the fact that MY DRAP has a design and color story for every event, theme, or vision!
”You guys are the go-to,” she gushes. “The quality is incredible. It has that feeling of ‘wow what is this?’ It’s not just a napkin. The MY DRAP experience is the kind of napkin your mom shoves in her bag because she’s obsessed with the material”. Lauren loves the variety MY DRAP offers to keep her table displays looking unique and exciting: “You guys keep it fresh- new colors, new designs. Perfect for boarding tables, custom cakes, and table runners. It gives a special pop to the whole presentation. Imagine finding napkins and table runners that match. Usually, party stores don’t cut it in terms of quality- MY DRAP is a lifesaver in this regard. You guys have collections so everything matches”.
Another huge plus is the ease of use. She explains the trouble with using traditional linen napkins on flights: “If you don’t have a place for linen, it crumbles- using chemicals to keep linen wrinkle free is not ideal. But with MY DRAP, if you get a roll with a kink in it, you simply pull it out and use the next napkin. It’s so easy!”.
On almost every charter flight, there’s a customer who’s fascinated by the material of a MY DRAP napkin. ”I gave away a fresh roll one time because the passenger loved it so much- she was a party planner and thought it was perfect”, Laura recalls. “There’s definitely a lot of love for MY DRAP in the flight attendant community. In the storage room there was always this huge MY DRAP wall. The attendants would fight over new colors and collections; it was always so exciting!”. According to Lauren, “MY DRAP is the industry standard in regards to corporate aviation. I cannot even think of a rival company”.
Dubbed “the godfather of private aviation”, Scott Arnold has had a successful and illustrious career in aviation spanning 33 years! He got started as a commercial flight attendant for US Airways in 1988, transitioning to business aviation in 2001. While working as a contract corporate flight attendant, Scott noticed inconsistencies in regards to standards around service and cabin safety. He decided to take matters into his own hands and designed an internal, two-day training program surrounding corporate flight attendant skills and etiquette. This then became a part of Aircare’s service program, helping them establish global standards of cabin safety and flight service.
In 2013, Scott launched Sajet Solutions- his own CFA training and consulting company where he trains various flight departments. Last Summer, he decided to also launch The CFA Connection- an online repository of complementary industry resources and video tutorials for aspiring corporate flight attendants looking to take their skills to the next level. He has purposely kept it a non-vendor platform so that it is accessible to everyone.
Scotts philosophy is simple: “when you’re mentoring and training, it’s important to walk the walk”. On top of his various training initiatives, he is still flying as a corporate flight attendant for one, full-time client. “It’s important to always be evaluating what you can do better in this industry and having pride in what you do.”
Being an industry veteran, Scott has seen MY DRAP flourish as the leader in inflight entertaining for the past 10 years. “There was a huge buzz when it was launched. From inception, the product has been consistently good.” Scott uses MY DRAP napkins as tray liners- he loves the diverse catalog of colors and textures, and loves that he can achieve a clean finish with no folding bumps. “It can really elevate the look,” he explains, “clients would never know by touch that they were disposable”.
Space is paramount when it comes to storing items in an aircraft. “The rolls make it so efficient for storage,” he says. Scott has since swapped his linen bin for MY DRAP rolls, and hasn’t looked back. The fact that he no longer has to worry about dry cleaning helps too! Scott loves switching up colors and patterns depending on the holiday or theme. “I’m fully immersed in it now; I have been using it for a year with a private owner. MY DRAP is simplistic perfection”.
“MY DRAP creates better consistency and standards across the board. This is a product that should always be available to charter flight attendants” Scott explains. “My other colleagues say it’s an effortless, easy to use product. MY DRAP always keeps things crisp, fresh, and new.”
Scott’s dedication to keeping aviation crisp, fresh, and new does not go unnoticed, so it only makes sense that we would try and keep up!