Meet Marloe Marloe, an Australian design studio founded by Marloe Morgan creating luxury lifestyle objects. Inspired by the intricacies and inconsistency of nature, Marloe's creations are created in small batches by hand resulting in beautiful one-of-a-kind pieces that resonate with simplicity and femininity.
We spoke to Marloe about her inspirations, business lessons and the advice she would give her younger self (and other budding entrepenuers) along with her next life chapter of welcoming her first baby.
I first launching in November of 2014, well launched is a strong word, I began selling some of my ceramic work in late 2014. Things did not really kick off until the middle of 2015 however when I began creating commercial tableware for cafes and restaurants. Marloe Marloe started as a creative side hobby that was never really structured or planned from a business perspective, but here we are 5 years on and it has grown into a really special part of my story.
Top 3 ways you organise your life?
- Getting up nice and early and going for a walk with my husband always sets my day up well. We get to spend a little time together and I feel like I have achieved something before 6:30am which sets me up for a productive and positive days work.
- Second is my to-do list! I could not get through the day without lists, I have tried to schedule tasks in my calendar and while I still do this for group work, personally pen to paper is how I process best.
- And finally, I would say keeping a tidy and organised workspace. Being a creative/maker preparing my space before approaching a project is a really important phase in my process. If everything is just right I am able to create space for ideas and flow to come through.
What’s your must-have desk essentials?
I am a coffee lover so an almond latte or an iced long black in the warmer months is never too far from reach, there is something so ritualist about coffee.
Definitely my An Organised Life diary to keep me on schedule from week to week and it is so beautiful to look at. I have also recently started using my Leo Zodiac Notebook to write my daily to-do lists which is a perfect size and slips into my handbag for client meetings.
And a candle burning, I am obsessed with scent and I love the way a burning candle can set a room and makes it feel ready and complete.
When it comes to stationery, lined or plain pages?
Definitely lined! I am a touch OCD and I could not function without a little structure on my pages. I was the child at school that loved a page margin and my handwriting had to be neat, I have been known to re-write pages of work if it is not neat.
Who inspires you? And where do you find creative inspiration for Marloe Marloe?
Inspiration comes in so many forms. I love interiors, travel and food so a lot of my ideas will come from these areas of my life. I also love to look to other brands and see what they are pulling on or have created in the past. There has been a huge shift in the importance of interiors and store fit-out, I am really enjoying seeing the interiors that are being created as physical representations of brands. I also love product development and I find a lot of inspiration and passion in this part of my job, this really inspires me.
In business and life, it’s important to have a strong support network, who is in yours?
It is so important! My husband James is definitely my biggest support, we both have our own businesses so we are always workshopping projects we are both working on. He is more of a strategic forward thinker and Marloe Marloe would definitely not be what it is today without his support and mentorship. Living on the Gold Coast there is not a great deal of corporate opportunity, the area has developed into an amazing creative community of small businesses. Most of my friends either have their own business or work for small to medium brands. The shared knowledge and support is really special and this is definitely a huge help. And finally my family, I am lucky enough to have most of my family living within an hour of me and we are very close. I see my sisters and mum for coffee a few times a week and this makes me feel incredibly supported and cared for.
Running a small business often requires you to wear a lot of hats. Is this something you enjoy and how do you split your time across all the areas of your business?
You most certainly do! I do enjoy the fact that each and every day is different and no two weeks are ever the same. This definitely keeps me on my toes and focused. If I am honest though, at times wearing so many hats can be overwhelming as I don't have a business partner to split or share roles and I am still very heavily involved in the making of all of our pieces. It is definitely a challenge to be physically producing as well as thinking high level across a business on any given day.
I have learnt that you can't do it all so outsourcing has become an important part of my business and will continue to be as Marloe Marloe grows. This has helped me to split roles and work to my strengths and is also a great opportunity to pick and choose where I put most of my energy.
What advice would you give to young entrepreneurs starting out in business? Or advice you would give your younger self?
Planning is really important and it is something I wish I had of been brave enough to do earlier on in my business growth. Starting a business is really scary and you can tend to downplay planning as it makes it feel a little less serious. Don't be scared to fail, that time is going to pass anyway!
The landscape has definitely changed over the past few years and being strategic is more critical than ever. It is important to consider all aspects of a business, operations, production, logicists and overheads before starting out. Ceramics has been a hard one as it is labour intensive, heavy and fragile so not the easier business to scale however when you have the passion it is amazing what you can overcome.
What is the greatest lesson you’ve learnt from your business growth?
Letting go a little is required. Let your business evolve and develop as it wants to, listen to the market and move with it. Business is about providing a product or service to your customer base it's not all about sticking to a vision or one idea, be flexible and observe with open eyes.
What are your goals for Marloe Marloe over the next 12 months? And any personal goals?
Well, we are just weeks away from welcoming our first child so things are about to change dramatically! This next year will be about our little man and working high level on Marloe Marloe. I am taking a step back from production to focus on creative and product development and be a Mum. I am really looking forward to letting go and trusting that I am exactly where I am meant to be.
We have just launched tableware which is going really well, and will continue to expand on that offering with a vase capsule. I also a very special product release just before Christmas that I have been working on for the past 6 months and I am really really excited to see how our customers respond to this new category. I also have a few collaborations that will launch early next year too. There is a lot going on so hopefully, all the planning will lead the way.
You are welcoming your first bub in November, what are you most looking forward to with this next chapter?
Yes, I am so excited! I can not wait to meet our little man and focus on our family. My sister is pregnant also and I can not wait to experience motherhood with her and we are just in time for summer. I am looking forward to days on the beach with family and leaning into our support network.