Marysia, we’re big fans of your bathing suits! What is your background and how did you start your line?
Born in Warsaw, I spent most of my life wearing leotards and wetsuits, surfing and taking ballet. It wasn’t until I began to explore my interest in fashion that I discovered I could translate my early uniforms into a fresh, modern swim and effortless beachwear collection. After moving to the states, meeting my husband and attending the Fashion Institute of Design & Merchandising in LA I pursued my dream of becoming a fashion designer. After graduating, I landed an internship in NYC which inspired me further to start my own business. In 2009, living in Charleston, South Carolina, I launched my brand and Marysia LLC was founded.
Was there one moment where you thought to yourself, “I’ve made it!”?
No, not really. I feel like I haven’t made it yet- there’s always more. Maybe when I don’t have to work so much then I‘ll feel like “I’ve made it.” There’s always more work to do.
What is your philosophy as a business woman and as a boss?
Work hard, late nights, and do whatever it takes.
Your brand has exploded. How did you manage this on the back end? Was there anything that was integral to your growth? What was your greatest lesson throughout?
I’m still trying to manage the growth. I like to do everything myself and that’s a really hard part of having your own business because when you grow you have to bring on more people. Trusting others and training others takes a long time so having good team members is key. That’s what we’re trying to do right now, one by one.
We love the story about you meeting your husband in a surf shop. What are your non-negotiables for keeping your relationship solid?
Non-negotiables (laughs with Nathaniel, husband and CFO of MARYSIA). I don’t have any, maybe that’s key. You have to go with the flow, communicate with one another and share the ability to apologize. We know that sometimes things can get heated or we get mad at each other for different things business and family related. Whatever the stress is, if it’s caused by the business and put on the family or vice-versa you have to remember to always communicate and be able to apologize. The most important thing is knowing that you have each others back no matter what.
You are a mama to two little girls. How has motherhood impacted your career?
I feel like motherhood has definitely pushed me to work harder because they’re the reason for everything. They’re the reason we strive to have a better life. We want to set an example for them so that they grow up to be hardworking and strive to have a better life for their children and their families. It’s not just about the money or having a big house but setting an example of being a hard-working individual and being able to make way for yourself in life without having to constantly ask people for all these favors. I think the girls watching us will be a good lesson for them in the long run.
We are obsessed with your expansion into Resortwear! What are your three favorite pieces from the new collection?
Happiness comes from the way you feel, being at peace, your children being healthy and no major life worries about anything but also, being able to properly deal with those things.
Your home was recently featured in Architectural Digest (swoon!). We love that every item in your home was locally sourced. Tell us more about this decision and what that means to you and your family.
It was more for selfish purposes that I sourced all our things in the home locally. I wanted to be able to see everything in person and test how everything looks like in the home. When you have things shipped from far away you’re paying a ton just for shipping and if it’s not what you thought you envisioned, you’re stuck with it. Then, say you have to return it and that’s such a pain because you have to pay a fee or the shipping costs back. So, I decided to have everything local brought in for me to see and say “yes” or “no.” I’m such a visual person that I have to see it in place to be able to imagine the big picture. Maybe, it’s more expensive but to me, it’s worth the extra money and to be able to support the local man making his furniture for a living.
We all talk about finding balance in our work and home life. Do you have any life hacks that help keep things flowing?
i-calendar and text messaging!!!
What does happiness mean to you?
To me, happiness is a feeling. Happiness comes from the way you feel, being at peace, your children being healthy and no major life worries about anything but also, being able to properly deal with those things. Life is not perfect, there are many moments where everything is fine and then they’re not. Who knows, someone will get sick or someone will get mad so being able to deal with the everyday stresses and remaining peaceful and happy through it all. That’s happiness.
Who do you look to for inspiration for career? Motherhood? Lifestyle?
My friends and family. Career wise, my friends and other woman in the industry that are also women entrepreneurs inspire me a lot. I love reading their blogs, keeping up with them through Instagram, catching up on articles about them when I can. My friends like Jane Pope Cooper, Jackie Thomson and Nasiba Adilova.
The key is being there and being present with them. Quality time spent with your kids is so important. All they want is your attention so just being there with them, not rushing around or looking at your phone, or doing something else that’s when they seem to be at peace. Being able to give them your undivided attention is key.
Family time. It’s also important to spend quality time as a family, taking vacations and not working.
Playdates. They love playdates. My girls want us to become friends with their friend’s parents so bad. They like that sense of community.