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March 16, 2022 5 min read
With a shared love for design and celebrating artisan craft, we took 5 to catch up with designer & brand owner Marloe, the brains behind the beautiful Byron Bay based @marloemarloe homewares brand.
Tell us about Marloe Marloe and how it came to be?
Marloe Marloe began in late 2013 as a creative side project while I was working as a Stylist and Photography coordinator. I enrolled in a short course at my local potter’s association and fell madly in love with the medium. After my first ceramics course, I enrolled in a second and began to focus on building out a body of work. I set up a small studio in my garage and took my first collection to markets. The custom requests quickly followed and my ceramic practice focused solely within the commercial restaurant and hospitality space. After 6 years of building strong relationships with clients such as The Calile Hotel, Halcyon House, Hellenika & The Star I found myself looking for joy and play within my practice again. I turned back to decorative object exploration and designed a small collection of homewares and launched our online store.
My husband James joined the business in 2018 and together we now head up Marloe Marloe. Over the last 3 years, our business model has evolved to support the birth of our son and the growth we have seen in our global fashion lifestyle retail network.
What does a normal week in the life of Marloe look like?
My weeks can be quite varied depending on what the team is focusing on. As the Creative Director, I lead design & production as well as oversee our creative & marketing team. My role works across 3 to 4 collections at any given time all in different phases of either design, production, wholesale or launch. This week I am working across design development for our Resort collection which will launch in November/December this year.
As a wider team, we are building out retail support packages as well as refining our launch strategy for our SS22 collection launching in early March. We are holding an activate event on Monday so I am assisting Grace and Katie with content and final preparations. And my final focus for the week will be building out the content direction for 2 brand spotlights.
How do you find running a business with balancing family, social life, wellness & more? What tips can you give for other aspiring working mummas out there?
Balancing a business, family and personal wellness is a constant challenge and unfortunately, one area of my life takes a backseat depending on the season and what is required of me. The start of the year has been quite busy as we are in-between seasons so it has been work work work thus far. I have not been able to spend a lot of time with my friends but this will shift in the coming weeks.
I am definitely not an expert as I am a work in progress myself but I think it is important to be easy on yourself and set achievable expectations that will set you up to win. I wake at 4 am 3 to 4 days a week so that I have time for myself before my family wake. This allows me to spend time in silent prayer, exercise or get a few hours of work in before our morning routine begins. This routine empowers me to be focused and gives me the space to be with Valla when he wakes. Some of our teamwork well at night and I work better in the morning. Finding what will work for us and experimenting with routines till we found something that suits our family has helped to alleviate the pressure.
Tell us more about your design process? Where do you pull inspiration from?
My design process beings with a feeling, a concept or a thought captured in a moment. I then build that concept out visually through mood boards and colour stories to convey our vision for the body of work. Once I feel the concept is refined and considered enough I begin exploring form and how our concept will translate into a physical product. . We also review past season data and take the time to look at what is working and what could be improved. I also look at the gaps in my own rituals and design forms that reflect these findings.
We then move to sample and continue to refine our collection story. It is important that our collections are small and well-considered as our environmental impact is central to our team. Once we have explored form and surface treatment and we are happy with the collection we build out a marketing and visual communication strategy and take the collection to market.
If you weren’t doing this, what would you be doing?
If I was not designing and leading a creative team at Marloe Marloe I would be an interior stylist or Art director. I love shape and form and playing with colour. It is where I find my flow.
What’s on the agenda for Marloe Marloe in 2022?
James and I have been working really hard behind the scenes to build our team to support our vision for Marloe Marloe and what we hope to achieve for the future. 2022 is all about joy for me, enjoying our team, getting creative and spending time with our production partners in Indonesia.
What words of advice would you give to those hoping to start up their own business?
Being in business is incredibly rewarding and I love that I am able to share every day with my husband as we build a future for our family together. Business is also challenging in so many ways and it takes incredible sacrifice that lasts years. I believe that you need to have an deep passion for what it is you are hoping to achieve. When times are trying and the challenges plenty you need to be able to connect back to your passion and why you started.
I am so incredibly lucky to have my husband James as my business partner. Our skill sets compliment one another and it makes for a smooth and balanced journey. I am creative and enjoy all the design, production and marketing fascists of Marloe Marloe. Scaling, operation and finance are not my strength and without our duality, our business would not be successful. It is important to evaluate your strengths and consider how that would play out as your business grew. How would you sustain what is not your skillset?
Finally, where can our readers find you online?
You can discover our work at www.marloemarloe.com or get to know more about our inspiration, products and team @marloemarloe on Instagram
Marloe wears our Best-Selling style, the RUMI SMOCK DRESS in Coconut White, Also available in 2 other colourways.
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