I love this interview feature with Marrin Costello. Marrin is fierce, entrepreneurial, and creative – the ultimate boss babe. Let’s read about how she created a stunning jewels line while building her personal brand alongside her business.
What inspired you to start Marrin Costello?
I didn’t choose jewelry, jewelry chose me.
I received a bead kit for Christmas when I was not even 10 years old, and it became a very quick obsession.
What is your brand differentiator when it comes to jewelry?
We take a holistic approach to the MC jewelry line.
I design pieces that are meant to go with your existing jewelry collections — knowing that the magic is in the layering.
All of our products are sourced and manufactured ethically and sustainably on a global level and shipped from our Los Angeles headquarters with love.
The MC collection is on-trend without being trendy — as we also approach sustainability from a design perspective of having longevity in the accessory wardrobes of our respective clients and brand enthusiasts.
What are the qualities that you look for in a truly sustainable brand? How is your company taking steps in the sustainability movement?
As mentioned above, we are doing our due diligence to honor the sustainability and eco-friendly movement in as many ways as possible. From our products to our packaging, to how we operate in the office — we do as many things as we can to implement both eco-friendly processes for the brand at large. Sustainability is not only important to me personally, as these practices are part of my own personal daily life, but creating a carbon footprint that is as small as possible is at the core of the company’s mission — especially as the brand continues to grow.
Can you share a time you failed and what you learned from it?
To be perfectly honest — I don’t believe in failure. In my eyes, there are only lessons to be learned. Failing is purely the Universe redirecting you to where you need to be. And when lessons to come about, I do my due diligence to troubleshoot the issue, learn from it, and move on — so much so that I don’t necessarily remember any one thing that has taken up too much of my bandwidth.
I like to game-ify everything — both personally and professionally. It brings light and joy to all of the challenges, and honestly makes me excited when I am called to pivot and engage in strategic problem-solving. These entrepreneurial lessons have only aided in preparation for greater wins and future challenges.
Proudest moment to date?
There are so many… simply because I have been creating jewelry for over 2 decades now! From committing to the brand full time, to opening our headquarters in Downtown LA, to partnering with our wholesale showroom, to launching in nearly 100 retailer doors nationwide, to creating my team and hiring my first full-time employee… the last two years have been nothing short of proud moments. But above all, I am most proud of how I now take care of my physical, mental and spiritual well being. Self-care is at the top of my priority list — and I can honestly say that there is a direct correlation between caring for myself and the wellbeing of the business.
What have been some of the most challenging aspects of starting and growing your company?
The learning curve has been SO steep! But so beyond enjoyable. Again, I like to think of everything (the good moments, the challenges, and the lessons) as a game. The gift of life is a wonderful journey of learning — and for this season of my life, building the brand is a huge part of that journey.
What is your long-term vision for your company?
There are so many exciting irons in the fire for the company! It has morphed into an elevated lifestyle brand — with many different content elements, new product categories, and embracing the MC community that has been built through conversation pieces. I cannot wait to take everyone along on the journey and share more of both myself and the behind the scenes of the brand as it continues to grow and flourish.
What advice would you give to women who want to become entrepreneurs or run their own businesses?
Do it!! Don’t think, just do. We are SO much more capable than we give ourselves credit for. Some of the most magical brands, moments, stroked of genius have come from the fearless and fabulous female entrepreneurs that I have had the privilege of witnessing. Women are so powerful, so capable, so multifaceted, so talented.
What does women’s empowerment mean to you?
In a word — fearlessness.
What’s your way to unwind and relax?
Any time I get just to myself is relaxing. From exercise to meditation (breathing) to journaling to doing errands and being alone in my car — any ‘me’ time is the best time for me to relax and clearly hear my own thoughts. I also so enjoy traveling and exploring the world. To me, the meditation of exploration has been some of the best and most metal relaxing times I have spent with myself.
Tell us about a philanthropic mission you care about, and maybe how it has been incorporated into your business.
We partner with dozens of philanthropies and charities each year — from contributing to the Red Cross to the Muscular Dystrophy Association to Autism to Girls Inc and beyond — and continue to grow our list of charity partners as time goes on.
One of our longest-standing relationships is with a philanthropy called Two Wings — which works with women in Los Angeles transitioning out of trafficking. We not only donate proceeds to this amazing cause, but we also create custom jewelry pieces for each woman that graduates from the program at the end of their term.
It is our greatest privilege to give back to both our local and global communities. Giving back will forever be part of the brand’s mission at large.
What is the process when it comes to designing your pieces and bringing them to life?
This is a question that I am asked quite frequently — and each piece is completely different! The inspiration comes from a number of different sources — living daily life in LA, client request, iterations of items in the collection that have done well in seasons past, architecture, travel, vintage archives, reflecting on my Art History textbooks from university… all over! Once inspiration strikes, producing the pieces themselves depend on the design and manufacturing capabilities. Sometimes we create pieces from existing raw materials, sometimes I sketch out a new piece entirely, sometimes we manipulate an existing piece to make it our own. Any single piece can be sourced and assembled anywhere from one to eight manufacturers or production leads, depending on the mechanics of the design.
- Current book you’re reading: “The Busy Leader’s Handbook: How to Lead People and Places That Thrive” by Quint Studer
- Hobby: Vintage hunting, reading, exercising, travel
- Favorite podcast and/or blog: Pia’s Pod + The Gary Vee Podcast
- Role model(s): My future self
- Favorite vacation destination: it’s a tie between the Bahamas + Paris
- How can people find you:
Interviewed by Katie Lam: firstname.lastname@example.org.