5 WAYS I STAY MOTIVATED AS AN ENTREPRENEUR

When I started blogging 3 years ago my goal was to inspire women to be confident and comfortable in their own style and natural hair. My goal will always be to inspire women and I hope that I have continued to do so through my experiences with family, friends, my fashion, and my love for living life to the fullest.

This month I started an event planning company called MARZ Events! You probably think I'm nuts but it's something I've wanted to do my whole life. 

As an entrepreneur, your journey can be tough and feel lonely! You're not alone. Here's 5 ways I stay motivated!

1. I HAVE A TRIBE

I have been blessed to have an incredible support system, aka my tribe or tribes I should say. I have an entrepreneur tribe, who consists of like-minded women who know my struggles and when I see them win I can keep hope alive! Most of them are military spouses as well so they understand the struggles of having to move your business and the need of flexible income (aka R.Riveter). Then there's my bestie tribe. Most of my friends I've known for over 10 years, some as many as 20 years. They know I've always wanted to own my own business and now that I'm finally living out my dreams they are all rooting for me. Last, but certainly not least I have my family tribe! My husband, Alonzo is my rock! His tough love is what I need and it continues to motivate me to be better and better every day. My mom and cousin Fallon always read my posts before I post them so if there is any typos, blame them! :) My mom is my cheerleader and I wouldn't be doing any of this without her!

2. GET AWAY!

Oh, I love a good getaway. It's so important to take the time to enjoy your family and other loved ones. It's so easy to get wrapped up in your goals and forget about the people around you. Those people around are your tribe. Your tribes need you as much as you need them. Take the time to meet someone for coffee, go on a hike with a friend, walk your dogs or get away for a night with the husband! A little breather goes a long way, I promise.

3. I REMIND MYSELF DAILY OF MY GOAL

You are your worst enemy when it comes to motivating yourself. It's so easy to get down and caught up in what everyone else is doing on social media. If I haven't learned anything, I've learned don't believe the hype. Everyone has their own struggles and everyone's life isn't full of beauty snapchat filters. Every day I have to remind myself why I'm doing this. I'm doing this for myself, my family, and my future children. I've wanted to own my own business since I was about 11 when I made my first business cards. My reason motivates me to continue to work towards my goal. Remember: Every day ends and a new day brings more opportunities and another chance to move one more step closer to your goal.

4. PLAN, PLAN, AND PLAN AGAIN

By nature, I'm a planner. As an entrepreneur, it is essential that you plan your days. It's so easy to wake each day and say to yourself:

"I'm going to write my business plan, clean the house, walk the dogs and give them a bath, apply for my LLC, cook dinner, rearrange my office, oh and maybe if I have time I'll wash my hair and twist it."

Okay, so who's tired after just reading that sentence? When you plan your day, be realistic. You should always give yourself attainable goals. Once the day is over you'll feel so accomplished and be motivated to tackle the next day. 

5. I STAY TRUE TO MYSELF

Look, let's be clear you just can't be GREAT at everything. If you're a YouTuber, maybe blogging just isn't your thing. If you're a blogger, maybe YouTube isn't your thing. I've learned over the years where my skills lie and I don't try to stray away from that. Everything you put into to the world should be your very best work. It should be GREAT so stay true to yourself and you'll always win!

xoxo,
Marcy MARZ

MARZ + DIY | GUILTY PLEASURES SWEATSHIRT

About a month ago I scored a few sweatshirts for $1 from Kmart during the last day of their going out of business sale. Alonzo hadn't been in Kmart in probably a decade so when we decided to go in it was on a really good day! 

I knew I wanted to make a cool short sleeved sweatshirt to sport on a summer night. My inspiration for this sweatshirt was all of my guilty pleasures. I've recently become obsessed with donuts, well Duck Donuts in particular.  So here's how I made it!

WHAT YOU'LL NEED:

  • Crewneck sweatshirt
  • Scissors
  • Patches (found on Amazon, HERE)
  • Iron

STEP 1: 

I'm probably the worst person when it comes to measurements. I eyeball everything. In the picture above I folded the sweatshirt in half and cut the bottom of the sweatshirt (just above the "Everlast" logo). Then I cut the sleeves just about at the halfway mark.
*Tip: I cut both sleeves together so that they will be the same length.

STEP 2:

Next, I cut around the back of the collar of the sweatshirt. Then, I cut from the corner of the top of the collar at an angle to the lower part of sweatshirt. This creates a flap that you can fold over and trace.

STEP 3:

Cut along the edge of the flap to make an upside down triangle. 

STEP 4:

Now it's time for the fun part! Arrange you patches and iron them down.  I added steam and ironed over each patch for at least 15-20 seconds. Check to see if each patch is secured and you're all done!

HERE'S HOW I STYLED IT:

MARZ + FASHION | MET GALA EDITION

First of all, does anyone know what the Met Gala is? Anyone?

Okay, let me help. The Met Gala, according to NY Times, is "the Metropolitan Museum of Art Costume Institute Benefit, a black-tie extravaganza held the first Monday in May to raise money for the Costume Institute (a.k.a. the fashion department), the only one of the Met’s curatorial departments that has to fund itself."

This annual event dates back to 1948. The Queen of Vogue, Anna Wintour, has been the chairperson for the gala since 1999. Anna is playing no games when it comes to who attends this event either! To read more about the deets of the event click HERE.

Okay so let's review my favorite looks from last year!

Bey was pretty in pink, Kendall showed a lot of skin and I wasn't mad, Kim looked like a superhero while Kanye changed his eye color, Lupita raised eyebrows with her really, really high bun/ponytail thingy but I loved it all! And then there was Rihanna...

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Of course, my bestie shut down the red carpet with this show stopper. The memes were endless but girrrlllll you never cease to amaze me. *insert praise hands emoji*

Here are my faves from this year!

TOP 5, TOP 5, TOP 5...

The looks this year really pushed the limits and I loved it! There were so many that were amazing but Kendall Jenner, Rihanna, Bella Hadid, Zendaya, and Kylie Jenner killed it! 

Kendall wore a super scandalous dress that was literally made of just thread and crystals. The dress apparently took hundreds of hours to make! The designer is La Perla Haute Couture, a lingerie company that she's currently working with.

Rihanna stole the show for the second year in a row with this flower power look that exudes every bit of the theme this year! The exhibit this year was Rei Kawakubo/Comme des Garcons: "Art of the in-Between." Rihanna rocked a Comme des Garcons look ripped right from the Fall 2016 runway.

Bella, I don't even know where to begin! This Alexander Wang catsuit is one for the books! Bella you are bangin'!

Zendaya gives us new life every single time! This beautiful Dolce & Gabbana gown paired so well with her fro! 

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Finally, Kylie, looking gorgeous in this romantic yet edgy gown by Versace and I am loving this blonde bob!

Best Couple on the carpet has to go to Diddy and Cassie. This was the money shot.

Cheers to another year of amazing works of art!

xoxo,
Marcy MARZ

MARZ + TRAVEL | CHARLESTON STYLE

When I thought of the looks I wanted for Charleston I knew I wanted fun, colorful, and unique pieces! I knew we would have at very least one nice dinner so I choose to wear my custom one of a kind vest from FabyDesigns when we had dinner at Husk. This vest is absolutely beautiful. I'm not sure if the pictures will ever do it justice but it one of the best pieces I've owned. Feben is an incredible sewer and the quality of her work is simply unmatched. Please be sure to check out my interview with Feben, HERE

Here's some more detailed shots of my look and this amazing vest. The clutch I'm wearing is also a piece from FabyDesigns, find more like it, HERE.

LOOK 2: FLOWER POWER

This was my Easter Brunch look. My coworker has an online thrift shop and when she saw this blazer she thought of me! So nice, right?! It was exactly what I was looking for to pair with this jean skirt that I cut and distressed. She found this piece for me as well! This look went perfectly with the colorful buildings on Rainbow Row! Check out her online thrift shop on Instagram, and Poshmark.

LOOK 3: VB FOR TARGET, CAN THIS BE REAL LIFE?

When I heard Victoria Beckham, aka fashion icon and former member of Spice Girls, was coming out with a line for Target I could've just died. Not only was I absolutely obsessed with Spice Girls (to the point that I sometimes play their songs on repeat while I work, I'm still mourning) but it would be a clothing line by VB and affordable at that! I managed to only snag this little gem but I love this shirt! It is well made and the sleeves are just too cute. Did you see them catch that wind in the pic above? Yup, and I didn't even plan that. 

WHERE DID I GET MY INSPIRATION FOR MY LOOKS?

Well, a few weeks prior to our trip I did a shoot with my photographer, Kala (Kala C. Photography). After I saw the pictures I thought to myself, "ugh, why didn't I save this for Charleston?" 

I found my top at my favorite thrift shop in Southern Pines, NC, called the Butterfly Boutique. You may have seen me mention this shop before but I literally hit the jackpot almost every time I stop in. This shirt is from the men's section and the skirt I found in a Columbus, GA thrift shop a few years ago. To give it a more trendy look I cut the bottom, added some slits, and cut it slightly higher in the front than the back.

I hope you enjoyed my looks!

xoxo,
Marcy MARZ

Meet Feben Teffera: "I am a maker and my soul is happy"

A little over a year ago I was working as the Retail Manager at R.Riveter. Our customers were pretty awesome and I loved talking to them about the brand, where they were traveling from, or how long they lived in the area. On this day a beautiful and fashionable young lady came in named Feben. I knew we would end up chatting for some time because I just knew we shared a loved for quality and clothing. I couldn't take my eyes off the vest she was wearing. It was gorgeous and so well made. When she said she made it herself I was blown away. As a fellow military spouse, I wanted to support her company in any way I could. We constantly ran into each other so we always had a second to catch up. When she said her and her family would be moving to California I knew it would put her in a great place to make her brand even more successful! After being in touch for some time I had to pull the trigger and get one of your vests.

Feben is the owner of FabyDesigns, a hand-made women’s coats, leather bags, and accessories company. She is now based in San Luis Obispo, CA and has been in business for a year. Her background is in IT and she worked as a Systems Manager for a large firm in New York City for over 10 years. Once “life took a complete turn” as she says she is now doing what she has a true passion for.

I am a maker and my soul is happy.
— Feben Teffera

What was your defining moment that made you go for it and start your own brand? 

I have always loved unique things.  I shopped at random places and if I didn’t find what I liked I modified my purchases.  I would usually add something or another to a shirt or a jacket and give it a new personality.  But I would say the defining moment was when I had a child, a boy, and I had a hard time finding clothes I liked for him. The selection for girls clothing was a lot larger than boys and I was not happy with that and I figured I can make my son’s clothing unique by adding and modifying his store bought clothes.  I would add, for instance, a giraffe made out of felt on his t-shirt and a giant heart on his pants or a yellow triangle on his jacket and people would ask where I got his clothes and I knew I was into something.  I decided to go to school and learn how to make clothes.  I was extremely fortunate to be living at savannah GA at the time and I heard about the Savannah Sewing Academy.  The gentleman who owns and runs the place, Mr. Jim McFarland, is a master tailor, pattern maker, designer, sewing instructor and clothing manufacturer, has been active in the garment industry since 1961.  He changed my life. I studied under him for a year, spending all my spare time in his studio and learning about sewing, life, and everything under the sun.  He is a storyteller, a mentor, a great cook and more.  I gained a lifetime of lessons being around him and just working in his studio.  He would always say, if you can sew it you can sell it, and it took me a long time to really understand and live by that motto.  He taught with passion and was very serious about the workmanship, if you make a mistake you are taking apart an entire piece to correct the mistake, no shortcuts.  After leaving Savannah and moved to Southern Pines, North Carolina, I was moving away from kids clothing and fully embracing women’s clothing.  And by the time I decided this was going to be business, I was nervous as I was not certain it which way it would go, I was not very well versed in the business world and I am still learning but I knew I loved what I was doing and I was going to give it a go.  Now, I can’t imagine doing anything else for so many reasons. 

As we all know starting a business takes a lot of time and dedication? What drives you to keep going?

I think what gets me going, for the most part, is the love of creating. I enjoy the physical part of making something, I love seeing the end result and it makes me happy whenever people appreciate or something I made.  Long story short, I love creating and the love is what fuels me.  As far as time, making anything by hand takes a lot of time and dedication and everyday I feel like I don’t have enough time to finish my many unfinished projects but right now since I work from home, I feel I have flexibility. I also feel like, if it’s something I love, I make the time.  

What is the inspiration behind your designs?

People, I love meeting different people and learning about what moves them.  I also love foreign films, old books, books stores, the theater, anything vintage, and coffee.  I am also a big fan of the opera, ballet or any other performing arts. I am make an effort whenever possible make it to live performances and in addition to the talent, I admire the costumes and get inspired.  

I see design inspiration in everything, especially in nature.  I feel, nature provides unlimited numbers of shapes, colors and textures to inspire anyone.

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What gives FabyDesigns it's uniqueness?

FabyDesigns is unique because I don’t have a standard and I try to always have a beginner’s mind when I make something.  I don’t make assumptions and rule out some designs, fabric or other material because ‘it might not work’.  I don’t like to follow rules even when I shop for myself.  I would purchase a piece I like no matter the size or the color etc.  I worry about the details later and it always works out.  I feel like rules limit your creativity. I like to ignore ‘rules’ rather than follow them and that always serves me well.

When it comes to identifying your customer who do you think they are?

I was once at an event, and within an hour, a 16 year old purchased a FabyDesigns coat, it was what she wanted for her 16th birthday and another customer who was turning 80 purchased coat, both the same design.  So I would say with most of the pieces I make there is a wide variety of customers that style my pieces very differently and appreciate and love my pieces because it moves them individually. 

In 5 years where do you see FabyDesigns?

I hope to still be doing what I am doing now in 5 years.  By that I mean, I still want freedom to create what I love and not have to keep to a standard.  At the same time, I would like to stick to a few core pieces and just make those on a regular basis but also allow myself the creativity to expand with niche pieces when I am inspired to make them.  Right now, since I am a small business, I have a lot of freedom as far as branding.  In five years I want to have established a brand and stick to it, but again also create new things even if it strays from the brand image.

What advice would you give to women looking to start their own business?

I would say, if it gives you satisfaction, go for it.  I read a lot of books on business advice, especially the creative business and the common message is that it takes a long time.  If you do what you love and if you are happy with creating sooner or later others will appreciate and even purchase your work.  The key is knowing it might take years but if it’s something you love that won’t stop you.  Also I believe in showing the progress of your work.  Whatever creative realm you are in, pursue it and share the process and your story. Many people draw distinct lines between their beginning and current work but the process is interesting.  I don’t have to remind people of the financial part of any business, everyone knows it a risk, and it’s a risk you have to be willing to take.

It was great getting to know Feben and FabyDesigns!

Here's how to keep up with Feben:

Website: www.fabydesigns.com
Instagram: @fabydesigns
 #fabydesigns

If you're just as obsessed as me with FabyDesigns, don't forget to mention MARZ sent you!

Stay tuned, I'll be sharing how I styled my FabyDesigns Vest on Friday!

 

 

 

 

MARZ + TRAVEL | CHARLESTON, SC

We've lived in the Fayetteville, NC area for a little over 2 years now. Since we moved to the area I have been dying to go to Charleston, SC. Home of the finest cuisines, richest history, and some of the most beautiful and unique architecture. 

This year for our anniversary we decided we would head to Charleston and finally see what everyone was raving about. Boy, did we find out!

LODGING.

One reason we hadn't traveled to Charleston sooner was the price of lodging. We could never find a hotel, Airbnb, or shack that was under $300 per night! Maybe we were a bit last minute at times but sheesh! This time we lucked up and found an amazing quaint apartment just a few blocks from King Street on Airbnb. It had the most comfy and cozy sunroom and rooftop deck (not pictured but click HERE to check it out). King Street is one of most popular streets in town. There are tons of bars, restaurants, hotels, yoga studios, shops, yoga studios, oh and did I say yoga studios?

GOOD EATS.

Taco Boy
Although Taco Boy wasn't on our list I thought it would be a great place to start once we arrived. Taco Boy is a cantina that specializes in tacos and nachos. I loved the atmosphere and the servers couldn't get enough of Sophie and Scout. They were well hydrated and loved by the time we left. I choose to indulge in three tacos: Kimichi, Al Pastor and the Avocado Tempura. I have to say the tacos were pretty yummy but I think I will definitely have to try the nachos next time. They looked awesome! 

Hominy Grill

Hominy grill is a quaint and homey restaurant just a short walk from our Airbnb. After our morning at the beach, I thought we should head here for lunch. Hominy Grill did not disappoint. Every now and then I like to choose a healthy choice off the menu. After nearly 3 days of eating oysters (fried, smoked, and raw), hamburgers, fried anything, and endless drinks I decided to get the grilled eggplant & herbed goat cheese sandwich with roasted red peppers & grilled red onion on sunflower toast. YUM! It was absolutely delicious! Alonzo had the pork belly sandwich and I didn't hear from him until his plate was scraped clean so I'm pretty sure he thought it was awesome! Our food came out quick and we had a great conversation with one of our waiters about North Carolina. Can't be that if you ask me! Hominy Grill is a great choice for a quick lunch. 

5Church
On Easter Sunday we decided we should go to 5Church. This building was so beautiful. I know the name is giving it away but it actually is an old restored church. We ended up eating on their patio but enjoyed the view of the gorgeous stain glass windows as we proceeded through the brunch buffet. I would have to say this was on of the best brunches we've been too! 

Husk
I think everyone we talked to told us to go to Husk or at least have a drink at the Bar at Husk. Here's some advice when people advise you to make a reservation it's a serious matter in Charleston. Husk is constantly booked, especially during any holidays. Once we sat down we understood why. The service was lovely, the atmosphere was warm and welcoming and the food was delicious! The menu changes by the week and each dish is tailored to what is in season at the time. I really appreciated the science behind the creation of each meal. Dining at Husk is a must.

DRINKS.

Alonzo and I love trying new places but when it comes to a place to have cocktails once we find one we love we stick to it. Prohibition is a beautiful bar and restaurant that we frequented during our stay. Steve was our bartender and boy did we get lucky! Steve is ranked in the top 25 in the world and top 10 in the US for bartending. Needless to say, our cocktails were delicious! If you're there before 10:00 pm be sure to try their charred wings. You will not be disappointed, I promise.

If you're looking for a nice view of the town The Watch (located in the Restoration Hotel) has just that plus a great selection of cocktails and entrees. 

Here are some pictures from our day at Folly Beach!

Charleston stole a piece of heart and we can't wait to go back!

Until Next Time...

xoxo,
Marcy MARZ

MARZ + FASHION | BEAUTY IN STRANGE PLACES PT. 1

I have really learned to appreciate the beauty of the south. Everywhere you turn there are beautiful bodies of water, rolling hills or fields, and some of the architecture is very unique. Kala (my photographer and friend) and I have scoured the Fayetteville area for unique locations to shoot. Kala ran into an abandoned gas station. It was exactly what I was envisioning when she described it. I loved the character and it was bit creepy! We did a few looks at this locations so I look forward to sharing more looks from it.

So here's some short history about this look. I used to drive my mom crazy with all my ideas for clothing designs. My mom used to make her own clothes in high school but after several years of being away from the sewing machine, she wasn't ready for my elaborate designs (especially ones that didn't include a pattern). This camo vest was one design we started about 4 years ago. So when I was cleaning out my office/dressing room I thought to myself, "I love the raw edges and this could work!" 

HOW TO RECREATE A SIMILAR LOOK:
SHIRT: HM
SHORTS: ASOS
VEST: F21 (love this jacket option)
SHOES: ALDO
HAT: F21 (change it up a bit!)

Photographer: Kala C. Photography

xoxo,
Marcy MARZ

MARZ + FASHION | where I find unique pieces to style

It's been an amazingly busy week! I planned my first business conference for my job and it was a huge success! I can't wait to share some of the pictures and a full recap of that event soon! 

So let's talk about thrifting. I've always been a lover of unique pieces and thrifting allows me to find those pieces that are not only classics but sometimes extremely unique. My favorite place to thrift here in the Fort Bragg area is a thrift store in Southern Pines. This adorable little shop is called the Butterfly Boutique. Their proceeds help victims of domestic violence, sexual assault and human trafficking. I immediately fell in love with this hidden gem when I learned its mission and met Penny. Penny works in the shop and her positive energy and enthusiasm for what she does are the same every time I visit. 

When I saw this shirt I wasn't sure if I wanted it or not. I'm so glad I decided to get it! I think the colors and the character it exudes are awesome! 

If I'm shopping online for unique pieces my go-to is ASOS. They have a very wide selection of styles and I love sifting through the endless options!  

DEETS ON THIS LOOK AND WAYS TO CREATE A SIMILAR LOOK:
Shirt: Thrifted (Check out another option HERE)
Jeans: Old Navy (distressed by me, similar HERE)
Shoes: ASOS (sold out but HERE are great options)
Earrings: Thrifted
Shades: Frugal Finds NYC (sold out but I love THESE)
Necklace: Frugal Finds NYC

Photographer: Kala C. Photography
 

xoxo,
Marcy MARZ