July 12, 2017
I met Analisa of Marloe a few months back when she reached out to me via email. She initially proposed doing a collaborative shoot but after looking at her website I had more in mind! I instantly feel in love with her gorgeous leather goods. She fuses simplicity with unique design elements giving the bags a unique twist. I also love the bright pops of colors she throws into the mix!
We met up for coffee and discussed details on how we could work together. I began carrying a handful of her bags in the Dazey Lady Shop, a section of our site dedicated to selling and supporting other female entrepreneurs. I also began carrying her bags on my body everyday LOL ;) The pink layover tote fits my laptop perfectly and is so comfortable to wear! I also use the black bucket bag as my everyday go-to purse! They were doing so well on the site that when Analisa approached me about a collab I was SO on board. I've always wanted to see my designs on leather. The two pieces came out gorgeous and I am so proud of them. Nothing like working with a fellow female on an amazing project!
Below we have a full feature on the boss babe behind the brand and on our collab pieces! Analisa began sewing all the bags herself out of her house before moving to her current studio. I love small beginnings stories like this. Be sure to check out all the fun Q & A's, photos, and our collaborative designs below!
No success story is simple. Mine is a success story of emotional roller coaster proportions. I quit my stable job as a visual merchandiser to set off on my own in order to discover a new me. What an undertaking! I was interviewing over and over for various creative jobs in leading companies, but there were no call backs. I was broke and unemployed for almost a year leaving me with no choice but to go back to retail in order to pay the bills. Funny enough, I met my soon to be husband, at the company that hired me for sales. He knew that retail was not where I wanted to be so he encouraged me to do some creative volunteer work on the side. I left retail once again to volunteer my time at a well known, leading event company based in LA. I learned so much from them but the biggest take away was a simple pile of faux suede that they threw away. Which I naturally scooped up for a creative project.
I volunteered two days a week and the rest of my days were spent job hunting. Again, I was down on my luck. No one wanted to hire me for creative positions. In order to fill my time, I started messing with that pile of fabric that the event company threw away. I decided I was going to finally master the art of using a sewing machine. That was easier said than done. It was awful! I couldn't sew a straight line to save my life!
So I practiced until my lines got better. Then I taught myself how to make a tote. A few samples later, I finally made a somewhat presentable version of a tote. I had no intension of making a career out this, but my tote came in handy for my intense volunteer work. Part of my job description was driving and running errands all over the LA area, from Santa Monica to North Hollywood, to Downtown LA and back to Culver City, where the event company's HQ was located. Well to my surprise, everywhere I went, people wanted to know where I got my bag!
It all started when I used a tote that I made as a time filler project. I couldn't go anywhere without at least one person complimenting or asking where they could buy that same bag. I always laughed when people asked where they could buy one, only because I couldn't believe that my sewing skills had gotten so good, that my tote looked store bought.
So, my "ah-ha!" moment happened right after that experience. I thought, "Well, people are constantly asking about my tote, I am a walking billboard, why not start an online shop for my totes?!" So, I did just that. I had really good sales with orders coming in constantly. Eventually as Marloe grew, I stopped producing the faux suede totes and started making genuine leather product, which I also taught myself how to work with.
Marloe officially turned three years old this year in March! We're still a very young company, but we've come a long way, and hopefully have a full journey ahead of us.
At the beginning it was literally just me! I was a single lady boss running the show. It was crazy once I started to get more inquiries than I couldn't manage alone. It got to be pretty challenging to make all of the endless orders and still have the time for meetings and all that comes with running a business. My fiance came to the rescue and took over my sales and marketing sector. I have since hired a part time production assistant that does just that, assists me in the production of Marloe goods.
Marloe has already come so far since I started this company three years ago. I started making bags from my home office in this tiny nook. Now housed in a warehouse, I still want to make sure that everything is made in house to ensure quality and Marloe standards. Not to mention, being able to provide a fair price to my customers.
As Marloe grows, I hope to continue to add to my production team and continue to produce Marloe goods in house. My goal is to always remain affordable without compromising quality.
Each Marloe piece is hand prepped and handmade in our warehouse studio just outside of Long Beach, CA. I personally hand pick each leather and make sure that it's tough and durable while still being soft and buttery to the touch. I never want to sell anything to my customers that I wouldn't use myself. All of our bags are priced fairly because I make each bag by hand with the help of my in house production assistant.
Marloe goods are different in the sense that our bags are not mass produced. Most of our designs are made to order in small batches. We hand trace the pattern onto the leather, then hand cut. Every step in the process is thoughtfully handcrafted in house.
Each bag has a story behind it. I designed each piece based on my own personal style, travels, and experiences. Some of my designs are even named after important people in my life. The Martina Backpack is named after my Dad, Martin. He taught the art of being a business owner. I have never met a more hardworking person on the planet. The Leena Cross- Body was named after my Mom, Avelina (ah-veh-leena). She taught me that one handbag is never enough! (haha).
Simple was always the inspiration for coming up with a logo and a name. For weeks I wrote down words and phrases and weird word combos. After a few ideas, I knew I wanted my company to have a, single, strong, but also, feminine word/name. I then heard the name Marloe in a song and thought, PERFECT! It was exactly what I had pictured as the name for my company. Then I jumped on my computer and started designing my logo in AI.
I had no real need of getting a side job other than I missed visual merchandising. I'm naturally very good at it and it's weirdly therapeutic for me.
I do the majority of the visual merchandising at 6th and Detroit, a vintage home goods shop in downtown Long Beach, CA. It sounds crazy and oxymoronic, but merchandising at 6th and Detroit is my zen. It's my spa day two days a week. It's pretty insane having a side gig while running a very busy and successful company, but I love it. It's something that is quite fun for me.
I want people to understand that it's a different era. You have to do what makes you happy. If you want to have multiple jobs then you should do all the things you want to do. Now, don't get out of hand and start a million different projects but if you can do at least two things that you love at the same time, then do it!
It took me a long time to let go of what people might think. I was afraid for a long time that my customers would no longer think of Marloe as a successful and legitimate business if they saw me working part time at a shop, but there's something to be said about people who can do both. It's incredibly humbling to walk into my office and run the show, answer emails from big companies wanting to work with Marloe and then two days a week answer to another lady boss and still feel powerful.
To me, being a Dazey Lady means always supporting fellow women. I feel that society has engraved in women's mind to think of each other as competition. I think that stems from the fact that even though, times are changing, there still is a lack of opportunities for women. Which forces us to compete for that one job.
I think is time to change that mentality and start encouraging change. Let's work together and push each other to do better and to be better.
July 13, 2017
This was really awesome to read and see how you make these bags! Awesome job!!
August 18, 2017
August 15, 2017
August 10, 2017
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