Nothing is an overnight success — We thought we would hit it out of the ball park when we first launched our website. We then learned how much time and dedication goes into a successful brand.
As a part of our series about entrepreneurs who transformed something they did for fun into a full-time career, I had the pleasure of interviewing Angela and Mina Plachta.
MaeMarie is co-Founded by mother-daughter partners Angela and Mina Plachta. Angela has been an entrepreneur nearly her whole life and when Mina graduated from college, they put their minds together to create a new jewelry concept of Intention Wraps. MaeMarie is an intention-based jewelry brand where the focus is on the personal desires you want to manifest in life rather than the jewelry piece itself which is beautiful, well-crafted and an original design. They believe that each of us can create an amazing life by being intentional and mindful of our well-being.
Thank you so much for doing this with us! Can you tell us a bit about your “childhood backstory”?
Angela: My childhood was interesting. My father was an immigrant from Sardinia, Italy and became a hard-working, self-made entrepreneur living the American dream. So, business has always been in my blood. He was strict and college was out of the question for me. Fortunately, I was born with the gift of hairdressing. I began cutting my friends hair when I was 11 and went on to have a successful career as a stylist for years. When I started a family, my children became my new creative challenge. My husband and I ran several small businesses while raising our family. Personally, I had a small jewelry business, started a salsa company from an old family recipe, and built out an intimate two chair hair studio. When my kids were away at college, I began feeling restless and my sister mentioned making jewelry again. I wasn’t really going in that direction but figured why not. Before I got started, I knew it needed to be something original. The jewelry industry is very saturated and I’m very unconventional, so if it wasn’t exciting and new, I would get bored and look for what’s next, again.
What was the catalyst from transforming your hobby or something you love into a business? Can you share the story of your “ah ha” moment with us?
Angela: My “Ah Ha” moment happened several months after the process began. The beads we use for our company turned out to be nearly impossible to get. I became entirely focused on finding them and sourcing everywhere I could think of. When the answers started materializing, the Intention Wrap was born. I began realizing that being completely intentional about every detail was what was making my dream a reality. That’s when I understood that each of us possess this quality of being intentional and manifesting the things we want in life. The problem is that many of us don’t know it or do know it and forget it. I believe that if it worked for me it could work for every man, woman or child.
There are no shortage of good ideas out there, but people seem to struggle in taking a good idea and translating it into an actual business. How did you overcome this challenge?
Overcoming the challenge of integrating the message to the company was easy. We lead with the message. Always. It’s about you and your personal desires. We are solely responsible for the craftsmanship and we take particular care in that, but the message is yours and yours alone.
What advice would you give someone who has a hobby or pastime that they absolutely love but is reluctant to do it for a living?
Angela: Mina was graduating at the time with an advertising/copywriting degree and one of my personal intentions was for her to work with me on this project, which manifested into reality. She chose to be a part of this new family business instead of heading out into the workforce because she loves it and truly believes in the message. She’s fantastic at running a business and fortunately, wasn’t reluctant to give it a try. We’re best friends and I couldn’t be prouder of her ambition. We’re partners and I wouldn’t trade that for the world. My advice is, sometimes in life you just have to go for it and that’s exactly what we did.
It’s said that the quickest way to take the fun out of doing something is to do it for a living. How do you keep from changing something you love into something you dread? How do you keep it fresh and enjoyable?
We have a rule; if it’s not fun it’s not worth it. We feel that it starts as an idea and no one knows for certain how things will transform, but if you have an aching to do something special with that idea, then good will continue. We also believe it’s important to keep moving forward. Hold on to the positives, learn from the mistakes, and keep moving forward. Oh, and daydream about your success. Act as if you’ve already made it. That’s a sure way to keep it fun and interesting.
What is it that you enjoy most about running your own business? What are the downsides of running your own business? Can you share what you did to overcome these drawbacks?
Angela: Running my own business with Mina and family is a dream. Having total creative freedom is priceless. We do what we want 100% of the time. We choose not to focus on the downside of things. They are there and every business has them, but that part we just call “work”. Instead, we choose to focus on our intentions, growth, and our success.
Can you share what was the most striking difference between your actual job and how you thought the job would be?
There is no difference between our actual job and how we thought it would be, considering we created it exactly the way we want it to be.
Has there ever been a moment when you thought to yourself “I can’t take it anymore, I’m going to get a “real” job? If so, how did you overcome it?
This is our real job. Creating beautiful, hand-made jewelry and sharing the message of intention with the world, is exactly where we want to be. “Is there anything better out there for me?” We think not.
Can you share a story about the funniest mistake you made when you were first starting? Can you tell us what lesson you learned from that?
Angela: The funniest mistake was over buying beads. I believed we would be successful right out of the gate and I wanted to be sure we were prepared. Funny now, as things take time. I still haven’t changed my intention though.
Who has inspired or continues to inspire you to be a great leader? Why?
We both agree that we are inspired by several influences in our life. Personally, we are inspired by the grind. Meaning, life isn’t easy and we all have a story. We’ve genuinely always been most interested in someone’s story because our bonds with others are exquisitely woven. Although it’s not always easy, there is much to learn from others’ experiences. A leader will always notice.
How have you used your success to make the world a better place?
Angela: I define success as a lifestyle. It’s not something that happens overnight, rather a lifelong journey. At 53, I understand why I am where I am today. It’s my dedication to my family and friends. It’s overcoming tragedies and failures while maintaining a sense of strength and compassion. MaeMarie is ME giving back. Sharing what I have experienced by being intentional. Amazing things can happen to anyone by just being intentional. That is the message and that message can easily be shared far and wide.
What are your “5 Things I Wish Someone Told Me Before I Started” and why? (Please share a story or example for each.)
- Nothing is an overnight success — We thought we would hit it out of the ball park when we first launched our website. We then learned how much time and dedication goes into a successful brand.
- Sleep is needed — Passion is a sleep robber. It’s easy to go days or even months without sleep. Remember, it’s essential.
- Eat — Hopefully you have someone around you that can remind you to eat because it can be easy to work through meals!
- Not everyone will support you — We have no idea why, but it’s true. Hopefully you are able to surround yourself around people who wish the best for you.
- Giveaway tons of product — If you don’t do it in the beginning, you eventually will. The point is to get people using your product one way or another.
What person wouldn’t want to work doing something they absolutely love. You are an incredible inspiration to a great many people. If you could inspire a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger.
The movement is the message of intention. If, by wearing a MaeMarie wrap and using it as a gentle reminder of your desires, and you notice positive changes happening in your life, well, we consider that a movement in the right direction. We humbly accept that the message is bigger than the messenger. We consider jewelry to be a staple part of most peoples’ everyday wardrobe, and if one piece could hold a personal intention reminding you of what you’re seeking, then it’s a win-win. We realize that in today’s world with social media, it is easy to get distracted and consumed with other’s lifestyles. We then start comparing our lives and wonder why ours doesn’t look like theirs. That is because it’s not authentically our own life. The time to start looking into our own wants and needs is now. To value our very existence. To stop receiving information from social media and start receiving blessings from within. If everyone began with one simple intention, this movement could move mountains and stop the cycle of disinformation from polluting our vision for greatness.
Can you please give us your favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Can you share how that was relevant to you in your life?
“Our intentions create our reality.” — Wayne Dyer
After being completely hooked on our tiny, European glass beads for our wraps, we nearly had to throw in the towel because we uncovered the truth about these beads; due to their size, they were nearly extinct and rarely produced anymore. No one saw a use for them and they were slowly being discontinued from ever being produced again. Not taking no for an answer is where it all started falling into place. People were showing up that could help us locate batches of them sitting on shelves here and there. It was through being intentional that this project was far from over. Our intentions truly do create our reality.
We are very blessed that some of the biggest names in Business, VC funding, Sports, and Entertainment read this column. Is there a person in the world, or in the US with whom you would love to have a private breakfast or lunch with, and why? He or she might just see this if we tag them.
Breakfast or lunch with Joe Dispenza would be at the top of our list. In many ways, his philosophy of “the best way to predict the future is to create it” became the driving force behind MaeMarie, and again, that’s exactly what we did.