Laura Vinroot Poole
To time with our trunk shows in Charlotte, North Carolina this week, we are thrilled to spotlight our latest Marfa Muse Laura Vinroot Poole.
Laura founded renowned retail destination Capitol, our exclusive partner in the USA, twenty five years ago, later opening menswear store Tabor. Last year, Laura hosted Marfa Stance in the newest Capitol outpost at the Brentwood Country Mart in Los Angeles and recently interviewed Founder Georgia Dant for her popular podcast What We Wore - listen here.
Laura wears the Colourblock Quilt in pastel pink, reverse pale yellow and copper in size M, with the Shearling Collar in pink.
Tell us about your background
I grew up in North Carolina which is a place of beautiful land, gently kind and hard-working people, and the warmest hospitality. I often say that Southerners possess a strong sense of wanderlust and that’s certainly true for me. I’ve loved travel my whole life and always sought out special, hand-made things in the places I visited. I also adore meeting the people behind the treasures I find…. learning about their paths and obstacles along the way has always been very important to me. My family calls me “Miss Superlative,” because everywhere I am or anything I eat or anyone I meet is the ‘best ever’…I just love experiencing things that are important to other people and learning the stories behind them.
Talk us through your career journey so far
I have a fine arts degree in painting and worried that being in the studio full-time was going to be especially challenging for an extrovert, but knew I wanted to work with art. Creating our store 25 years ago has given me the opportunity to work with artists around the world and to share their work with my clients. Building a business from a tiny idea to a community of people who love and appreciate beautiful craftsmanship has been an absolute joy.
Now, we have a collection of stores that span from North Carolina to the Brentwood Country Mart in Los Angeles, and it’s a privilege to be a part of the passionate and powerful bi-coastal team that keeps the vision alive. I really love the opportunity to work with men and women early on their professional journey and mentor them through all of the obstacles that come with creating meaningful lives and careers. It’s an honor!
And, because of my endless curiosity about the people behind the beautiful products we carry, I began hosting designers and makers from around the world on our podcast, What We Wore. Sharing the stories of these magnanimous individuals is such a privilege, and after 100 episodes, I’m still excited every time I sit down for an interview. It’s so rewarding to share a deeper look into their lives, motivations, and struggles rather than just having a surface level conversation about their current inspiration or style, which you can find anywhere.
What are you most proud of?
I turned 50 last year and celebrated 25 years of marriage and my business so naturally I’ve been reflecting on many aspects of my life. I’m proud of being a breast cancer survivor and coming out of a year of treatment as a more grounded and gracious person. I’m proud of the strong relationships I’ve built with my family and friends. I’m proud of building a business where women can create careers for themselves as they navigate families and children and all of the other surprises life presents along the way.
What advice do you have for fellow female entrepreneurs?
Trust that you have all the things inside of you that you need to succeed. For the first 10 years of my career I felt insecure that I had only an Art degree and not an MBA, and as the business evolved I worried that I didn’t have the training to grow the business properly. If only I had known that the Great Recession was coming! The Recession knocked me down and almost put us out of business…several times…and I didn’t know my strength or my resolve or my will to succeed until those years. I got up every day and went to work and kept at it until several years later we emerged in a better position than before because we knew who we were and why we do what we do. One of my mentors later told me that I had graduated from the hardest MBA of all-time - figuring out how to survive a recession and come out stronger and more successful than before.
How do you style your Marfa Stance piece and why do you like the brand?
Oh my goodness…this poor coat! I have been the crash test dummy for this coat as I have worn it in rain, sleet, ice, and snow. I’ve gardened in it, slept on planes under it, walked through Fashion Week in it, and shucked oysters in it. It is like a great piece of furniture that you inherit and change the fabric every few years…I love adding hoods and collars and attachments as my needs change. I am completely in love with this coat.
Photographer: Chris Edwards