There's something about Mara...
Her smile is infectious. Her outlook on life and uplifting spirit is something to be admired. Mara has the ability to marry beautifully crafted hand-embroidery and words, creating unique clothing designs.
So it was a pleasure to speak to her for It's Her Business...
Tell us a bit about yourself!
I am Mara, originally from Italy. I am a passionate traveler and a dreamer, advocate for feminism, and an artist, specialising in hand-embroidery. I am a podcast host and a writer. I have lived and worked across the globe from Italy to Mexico, Portugal to Greece and London and have been inspired by my experiences around the world and by the people I met and their stories.
As a child I wanted to be a writer. In fact, prior to opening Mara Girone Simple Sophistication I founded and successfully directed my own publishing house. That means that the little spark of entrepreneurial life has always been with me.
Your story is literally the dream. Talk to us about your business…
My business is Mara Girone Simple Sophistication, a fashion label of ‘powerful words you can wear’.
I embellish clothes with hand embroidery for women who are guided by passion and curiosity for our rich and colourful world, facing every day with independent spirit and style. I have created a range of ready-to-wear products including 100% recycled t-shirts and organic cotton hoodies with powerful words and messages embroidered on and 100% silk scarves manufactured in Italy.
It takes time to build a business, it doesn't happen over I strongly believe in the power of words beyond their value as a group of letters and sounds. Words have intention, intensity and cultural significance.
To break free from our limiting beliefs and feel uncaged and bold, we need to work on our mindset and the words, repeated, worn and meaningfully accepted, can make wonders in that direction.
With my podcast I follow the same ‘why’ that supports my fashion brand. My guests empower other women through the energy of storytelling, sharing with us their ups and downs, their breakthrough and learnings.
Where did the idea for your business come from?
At the age of 8, I fell in love with hand-embroidery and regularly returned to this artform throughout my life. I could get lost in it for hours and although at the time I didn’t know, I had discovered a powerful and effective form of meditation.
Creating with hands has always been very fascinating. It holds some magic as it has the power to transform raw materials into beauty.
I was living in Athens when I turned to hand-embroidery again and because this art became a defining gesture of my day-to-day life, I promised myself that I would not lose it again. So when I moved to London in 2017, I took a leap of faith, and with a full heart, I began this adventure of creating empowering hand-embroidery. I chose clothes, as it is something everyone has need of, and they can inspire both the wearer and the watcher.
I was inspired by that girl who felt trapped in a small reality and felt the need to open her wings and fly;
by the mother who in the process of giving to her family lost her identity and felt the need to find it again; by the woman who not always could count with the right mindset for success and had to work on herself to extract the magic within. These versions of myself and more examples from many other women in need of the right support, of the right reminder of their value are the inspiration behind my creations.
There is so much more meaning to clothing than we give them and the designers the credit they
deserve. What would you say have been your biggest learning experiences since becoming a business owner?
I have learned the strength to never give up, the attitude to face life with a smile, the capacity to dream wild, and to not be afraid of giving it my all.
I have learnt that to have a dream is not enough, you have to work to make it your reality.
I learned to always ask myself: what would the best scenario be and what the worst? With this awareness every choice becomes easier because I can see clearly that very often taking action can offer much more than the worry we have big in our heads.
If you could give one bit of advice to someone thinking of starting their own business, what would it be?
You will always be afraid of trying new things that life forces you to face, but be courageous and be determined. Jump, take the leap, amazing things are waiting for you on the other side.
No matter what, trust yourself in this adventure, the best is still yet to come. If you feel uncomfortable when faced with a choice it means that there will be growth along the journey that is what we have to aim for, no matter what.
I can resonate with this so much. Having the strength to believe in yourself is a superpower we all possess! What has your biggest success been since starting your business?
I feel that my greatest success has been the ability to believe in myself again because I found renewed energy to not only chase my dreams, but also to grab them and make them come true.
Who inspires you on daily basis?
People. Their stories. Their uniqueness. Their creative journey. They can be children, they can be random strangers I meet in the street and they can be amazing artists, writers, entrepreneurs.
What book/article/podcast really gave you that OMG moment?
I believe that in every phase of my life or business I had the opportunity and privilege to be inspired and have breakthroughs thanks to a book, an article, a podcast but also a piece in a museum, a scene in a play. You really cannot decide where and in which form you will receive the spark to ignite a a-ha moment. Be always alert, open your windows to opportunity and the inputs from out there will be coming in bringing with them a bit of magic.
If you're looking for your next uplifting podcast to be inspired and motivated again, listen to Mara's podcast here: Empowering Voices
➡️ You can find Mara:
Emma Downey | Founder, Women Who Do
Emma can be found glued to her laptop/kindle or embarking on her next favourite hobby. Avid cake-eater, Disney-superfan and passionate about female empowerment, Emma founded WWD in 2017. She's currently travelling around Europe in her converted camper van and eating far too many croissants.
You can contact Emma: firstname.lastname@example.org
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