Founder of Marfa Stance
To time with Small Business Saturday in the UK, we spotlight Marfa Stance founder Georgia Dant as our first December Marfa Monthly Muse. Here she shares the Marfa Stance journey so far and her experiences and advice as a female founder and entrepreneur…
I studied fashion in London, focusing on menswear design. After graduation, I wasn't sure which area of fashion to work in, so I went straight to New York to find out! After a few years, I ended up back in London as an assistant designer at Burberry under Christopher Bailey, where I stayed for almost seven years! It was there that I found my passion for functional yet beautifully-made luxury clothing. I then went on to be VP of design at CFDA winner rag&bone, based in New York for a further 7 years.
As a former transatlantic commuter, what to pack for long trips across different continents was always a challenge, particularly taking into account climate change affecting weather so severely these days. Personally, when I was travelling from hot and sunny NYC to cold and rainy London, I needed just one functional yet luxurious jacket that I could wear in different ways across different temperatures.
I did my research and discovered that many of my friends and colleagues were experiencing the same problems, identifying an opportunity in the global luxury fashion space for a trans-seasonal, adaptable and transportable garment.
I wanted to offer meaningful and beautiful products that were solution-led, seasonless, and made sustainably to the highest quality. After a year of development and testing a lightweight, water-repellent, multi-functional jacket - our Signature Reversible Quilt was born! A style that is reversible and adaptable, to be worn in different ways and evolve by adding buildable elements to encourage conscious life-long wear.
Where to start! I began the Marfa Stance journey purely alone, learning all facets of the brand from shipping to accounting, far beyond my comfort zone of design and product development.
It has been and still is a challenge to manage and juggle, but I now collaborate with a collective of freelance creatives, that I am happy to call my team. Marfa Stance is a modern, lean business model and a new way of running a business, but I find it works well for me and is an interesting way to bring personality to the brand and expand the vision.
It has also been an inspiring experience working with my amazing family-run Italian factory partners along the way to create and bring my vision to life, especially during the most difficult time this year.
I’m proud of the fact I am a female founder and look forward to sharing my platform with other amazing entrepreneurial women – watch this space!
It was a real high point when quite early on in launching the brand, we were awarded with the Eco-Age Brandmark, in recognition of our sustainable practices. Now we’re also partnering with Ecologi and for every Marfa Stance piece purchased, we plant a tree on your behalf – I am excited to see the Marfa Stance forest grow!
Building a community has also become one of the most exciting parts for me. Nothing compares to the feeling of seeing people wearing your designs, I love it when our lovely community send me photos wearing Marfa Stance. I am lucky to have wonderful customers who some of which I would say are part of the team – even friends! They are really engaged with the brand and I love to bounce ideas off them.
I think the first question you should ask yourself is what positive influence your brand will have in the world and your industry. Secondly, and most importantly, identify the problem you are trying to solve by creating your brand. It's vital to carve your own path, create your own identity and be prepared for hard work and late nights! Make sure you work at your own pace with your budget robustly managed; as launching a brand is not difficult, it's almost impossible but so worth it!