Designer, founder, and mother of four, Marilyn Robertson is committed to creating fashion-forward, functional, stylish, accessories, that are hand-made in Maine. Since its debut in 2009, the company has garnered a loyal following of style-conscious, eco-minded consumers.
When did you have the “aha” moment that this interest/passion could be a business?
I realized that my hobby could be a business when I switched the focus of my company from retail to wholesale.
Were there circumstances that led you down this path, or did you always want to do this?
I left a successful Interior Redesign business in Southern Maine when my husband’s job took us to rural Wyoming. Starting this business allowed me be creative and travel.
Business names are very important – how did you come up with yours?
My parents were go-getters, adventurous and great role models and I always loved the way there names sounded together Jack and Mary – Jack and Mary Designs.
What is the inspiration for your style and design?
I get my inspiration from being observant. I get ideas from nature, architecture and others fashion designs and then create products my way.
Every product has various materials that compose it. What are some of the favorite materials you use in your design?
I use recycled wool and cashmere sweaters to create my accessories line. I love when I find a very ugly patterned sweater and turn it into something fabulous.
Where do you source your materials?
I source my materials from thrift stores, craigslist, and friends closets.
What is your favorite part of the creative and production process?
Thinking up a new product and working on a prototype.
What kind of relationship do you have with the people you work with?
I have an open, honest and appreciative relationship.
What do you wish you had known when you were first starting out?
To outsource what I am not good at – book keeping.
What is the most important philosophy you live by?
Nothing ventured, nothing gained.
What is your secret to success?
Jack and Mary Designs success comes from a lot of hard work and dedication.
What advice would you give to others starting out?
Go for it, be prepared to work really hard and find good advisors along the way.
25 Sentry Hill Road
York, ME 03909