Interview: Andi Day and Mary Claret

Mary Claret, a small batch and low waste clothing brand straight out of Austin had a pop-up over the weekend at our flagship store. We sat down with Andi Day, the founder to learn a little bit more about her as well as the inspiration behind the brand. 
Why did you start Mary Claret? Where did the name come from?

The name Mary Claret comes from the Catholic patron saint, Anthony Mary Claret. I’ve always loved the patron saint tradition and find the brief time that I lived in northern New Mexico and Catholic imagery an influence on me as a designer.  Anthony Mary Claret is the patron saint of textile merchants and weavers and textiles have always been an inspiration for my designs. I am a designer that doesn’t like to be in the spotlight and taking the attention off of me and putting it on the persona of Mary Claret, a fictitious woman, helped me to create and name a woman whom I felt embodied the brand.


Before starting this company, I worked in television and film as a costumer and stylist.  While receiving my Masters of Fine Arts from UT Austin in Costume Design I became interested in entrepreneurship and learning more about manufacturing and design for the mass market.  I love learning and starting this business opened a whole world of learning opportunities. I started designing pieces in March of 2016 and have been slowly adding styles since. Both understanding and catering to my customer and the business operations constantly inspire me to learn and grow.

 

How did you get to where you are today?

I’d like to attribute the growth of my business to friends and early customers who were willing to take a chance on me and purchase products in their early stages.  Customer that have made me feel like I have a unique product that is filling a need other brands couldn’t provide them with gives me the inspiration and determination to keep going.

 

What mottos/mantra do you use? How do they help you?

I am a big fan of audiobooks and entrepreneurship podcasts to help me learn from business owners and founders who have gone through the same process I’m going through right now.  I love listening to How I Built This an NPR podcast by Guy Raz. I also really love the book Shoe Dog by Phil Knight, the founder of Nike. What particularly love about this book is Phil Knight’s ability to forgive himself as an early stage business owner and learn from his mistakes while constantly working to improve the product, hire amazing people, and grow the business.  I think true perfectionists don’t make the best entrepreneurs because you have to be able to let things go and they never take their product to market because they never think it’s good enough. I love the concept of being agile and quickly adapting products to the needs and wants of your customer.

 

What items do you always carry with you?

Safety pins, sewing pins, and thread manage to follow me everywhere.  When I dig through my purse, I always manage to come out with a hand full of thread and a pin or two stuck to my hand.

 

If you could receive a superlative, what would it be?  

Call me basic, but as a small business owner I can’t help but want “Most Likely to Succeed”.  Jumping the path from hobby business to profitable company is a challenge and success is the ultimate goal.


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