Thank you to Marcia from Missmarci who has taken some time out from her busy schedule to talk to me this week. Marcia’s beautiful bright button stall at the Tanks Market caught my eye last year and we have kept in contact ever since. Always smiling, Marcia inspires happiness and creativity. It is always a delight to talk to her, so I was very excited to ask her some questions and find out more about her!
Marcia, tell us a little bit about yourself.
I was born in Nairobi, Kenya. I had a lovely childhood living in the Caribbean, a short time in the UK, last stop PNG before moving to Cairns in 1992. After living overseas for so long there was no way my family could go back to the UK from where we originated so we migrated here. Cairns is very cosmopolitan and we felt very at home.
I’ve always worked in Retail. The majority of that time in the Visual Merchandising field. When I started over 20 years ago it only involved creating and dressing windows. Today it encompasses the entire look of the shop. Everything that is ‘Visual’, from the windows right through to how many garments are on the shop floor, to the ticketing that is used. Also analysing how much money each item is returning, to the amount of space it occupies. The company I work for has down sized and it was through this change and lack of me being able to ‘create’ that Missmarci was born.
I get my inspiration from so many different places it’s hard to name them all, but nature would be my strongest influence. Especially the beautiful mix of colours and textures that we see all around us.
What are you passionate about?
Buttons! I love the sound and look of them as I pour them out onto my table. The way they tumble and roll across each other, some landing the right way up, some the wrong, urging me to turn them over and discover their beauty!
Tell us about Missmarci…how did it all start?
It all started with me getting a packet of buttons and thinking how beautiful they were. I had some wire left over from my other half hearted attempt into jewellery with beads. I now realise beads were too limiting, and predictable for me, hence the interest wained. With buttons you have 2 holed, 4 holed and what is known as shanked buttons (where the button is smooth on the top and on the back a piece attached running parallel with a holed drilled through). Therefore, with say a 2 holed button, you actually have the choice of 3 surfaces to use in your design, I love this freedom!! Some buttons have their beauty running around the edge, front on they look plain, then there could be a lovely pearl finish completely around the rim, unseen til you turn them. Some are more interesting on the back, having a lovely pattern. All of this is lost with the conventional use of buttons. I started stacking them and seeing in what ways I could connect them together. I made myself a couple of necklaces and got lots of compliments.
I made up about a range of about 10 and took them into an art gallery in Cairns. They had them for 3 months and only sold one. Not the avenue for Missmarci. I then read an article in the Cairns Post about a shop owner, Lucy, who used to make her own button jewellery but was now running a gorgeous shop in a little blue house off Grafton St. called Love Lucy Vintage Boutique. I walked in with my jewellery and Lucy took them on the spot. I was ecstatic!! Lucy was so enthusiastic over my designs, she loved them all. I didn’t go back for about 6 weeks, as the response at the gallery had been slow. When I walked in Lucy had a big smile and said “I have got lots of money for you”. I was blown away, I had found a perfect spot for Missmarci. Lucy has had my range of jewellery for over a year and also now stocks my bags.
I’m glad you mentioned the bags, I’ve already started my collection!…how and when did you start creating them?
The Missmarci bag range started after a holiday to NZ last year where I saw a pair of jeans had been turned into a bag. I loved the idea, not a new one, how many of us made one when we were at school? I went to my local Op Shop and there was rails of denim. I love denim, for its texture and durability. And worn denim has a beautiful soft feel to it, perfect for re-use. I bought a few, came home and just let the creative juices flow!
What other materials do you use?
My bag range is evolving and I now use tea towels, placemats and crochet to make bags and clutches.
I know you’re very environmentally conscious, where do you source your materials?
Local Op Shops….I always get a thrill going to the Op Shops, you never know what you are going to find. I wash all items before turning them into a Missmarci creation. One of the Op Shops will put things aside for me that they cannot sell as the original article i.e. it has stain on the clothing or a bag handle is ok but the rest is damaged. It works well for both of us, they still get money for something they could not otherwise sell, and it saves me time sourcing. Win win and more things get re-used that would otherwise be thrown away, thereby helping the environment.
I also try to use re-cycled packaging. I use old sewing pattern tissue paper for wrapping and up-cycled cord.
I love that Missmarci is eco friendly! Here’s how my mini clutch arrived last week
What do you most love about Missmarci and running your own business?
I love being able to work at home, I am very lucky to have a Studio, where I can leave a task and not have to pack up, unlike many other crafters, who often are working on the kitchen table. I love being able to do what brings me great joy and satisfaction, my creativity now has an outlet, with the bonus that others love what I do. I have so many new ideas that I am itching to try.
Where can we purchase your beautiful objects of desire?
Love Lucy Vintage Boutique on Grafton St Carins, just up Graffiti Lane past Caffiend.
Lucy from Love Lucy Vintage Boutique encouraged me to do the Tanks markets last year. The response was so encouraging, I saw first hand that the public loved what I was doing, so I will be at there again this year when they commence in April. Tanks Markets are held at the Tanks Art Centre on Collins St, Edge Hill on the last Sunday of the month from April to November.
At the moment I am trying new avenues to see which ones will work best for me. I’m looking for more stockists, hopefully at Port Douglas and on the Tablelands.
To keep up to date with what’s happening at Missmarci you can like us Facebook.
I hope you enjoyed finding out more about Marcia and Missmarci, I know I did!!! I have 2 beautiful custom made rings and 2 clutches from Missmarci and I know over time I’ll be adding to my collection….some of her new earrings look amazing 🙂
Until next time, be happy and healthy, Dee.