Marnie Quinn: “Know yourself, know your weaknesses, know your strengths; Know your team, their strengths and their weaknesses”

Know yourself. Know your weaknesses, know your strengths. Know your team, their strengths and their weaknesses. Create an environment of empowerment. Create an environment that people feel safe to pitch in “crazy ideas”. Create an environment of collaboration. Be honest. Be open. Be vulnerable. Be boundaried and ask that your team is the same. Be […]

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Know yourself. Know your weaknesses, know your strengths. Know your team, their strengths and their weaknesses. Create an environment of empowerment. Create an environment that people feel safe to pitch in “crazy ideas”. Create an environment of collaboration. Be honest. Be open. Be vulnerable. Be boundaried and ask that your team is the same. Be an example. Allow people to be who they are, do what they are best at and to learn along the way. Always be growing individually and your team will too. And delegate, delegate, delegate.

As a part of my series about strong female leaders, I had the pleasure of interviewing Marnie Quinn. When Marnie was a child she always dreamed of living in NYC and working in Fashion. She fulfilled that dream above and beyond any expectations working in Design & Merchandising for big well known brands and running large portions of their businesses. But the further up she climbed the ladder and the deeper she got into some of these companies she realized they did not align with her core values. She was disappointed in some of the decisions being made and while being very vocal about it internally she realized that she wasn’t able to create the change she longed for from the inside. She left her career in January of 2015 and never looked back. She felt if she ever worked with a brand again they would have to be conscious, intentional and be creating good for this world and others. She started on a path of living a conscious life opening up a healing center in her grandfather’s old pharmacy in Westminster, Colorado offering yoga, meditation, reiki and classes rooted in ancient wisdom; healing our bodies, minds, energies using what the earth and spirit provides us. Along this path of deep intention she was presented an opportunity to partner on a concept that checked all the boxes and realized the period she placed at the end of her career in fashion was in fact a comma. Marnie is honored to work with the team to make TheOne08 come to life. She lives a life of passion, intention, and integrity. She has been a life-long vegetarian and always had her heart strings plucked by Mother Earth and the animals. Pairing her two worlds together TheOne08 is a dream beyond a dream. You can find Marnie talking ancient esoteric wisdom, hiking in the mountains of Colorado, exploring the world and human nature or doing yoga in the most unlikely places. Marnie finds ways to be silly and childlike in most of her life but some things she takes very seriously. She is grateful to live in her passions.

Thank you so much for doing this with us! Can you tell us a story about what brought you to this specific career path?

This path was marked for me as I entered into this life. There is nothing that I wanted to do more when I was a child. Living in New York and working in Fashion was never a “dream”, it was the Me I was learning to be, not yet realized. My wings outstretched into the fullness of my creative self as I was allowed to have more influence with the brands I was working with. I changed brands, learned a lot, was able to grow in some places and was very much stifled in others. As I went along my way I found some discomfort in what some brands were doing. My older, and very wise, sister said to me: “If you work for a place that does not align with your integrity, you will never fit in.” And that was my message that integrity was everything to me, to my family, to my ancestors. We live and speak and fight for the truth. I always needed to be in an environment that was authentic, creative and most of all had integrity. Eventually that meant I had to co-create that environment. I’m lucky enough to be part of a team at TheOne08 where those words are part of our core foundation.

Can you share the most interesting story that happened to you since you began leading your company?

My favorite story is a story that has happened to me repeatedly being a vegetarian who has traveled all over the world but this one ends with a lot of heart.

The first time I went to Vietnam to work with our manufacturing partner I had stayed late on a Friday night going over every design & detail one by one with the owner of the facility. We do not speak a common language but I quickly learned that was only with speaking. We both had a very clear common design understanding and I knew right away he was going to be fun to work with. We looked at the time and decided it was best to take a break and go out to dinner. So he, his wife, me and the front office team all went to a new restaurant in town. It was a new Korean BBQ place and after many times of trying to communicate that I was a vegetarian (and allergic to shellfish) I had to get out a translation app on my phone and typed in “I eat only plants”. He jumped up from the table, went across the street to a Vietnamese Restaurant and ordered me everything off the menu I could eat.

The next time I went over to Vietnam to visit his wife made me a “European Salad” with freshly picked herbs and a dressing she made herself. And tons and tons of local fruits to snack on all day long. She made sure I felt comfortable, nourish, supported and welcome every time I was visiting. We couldn’t speak a common language between us but the love, generosity and kindness we shared with each other was beyond words. I’ve never made a big deal of my diet, probably because I made the choice so young. I try to stay as low maintenance as possible while traveling to not create difficulties for anyone. I have found no matter where I go, there are people who make me feel so comfortable and taken care of that I will always believe in the beauty of humanity. I will always believe that we are really all one family. And I will always return & pay forward that kindness and generosity I have received in my travels.

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?

I don’t believe in mistakes. I believe everything is a lesson, and happens for us, a way for us to get to know each other, a way to build a stronger team, a way to think on our feet and creatively collaborate. Everything that has happened has made each of us stronger, better and brought us together more.

What do you think makes your company stand out? Can you share a story?

We have heart. We are compassionate. We are authentic. We have integrity. We came together because we wanted to help. We not only wanted to shift an industry that felt near impossible to shift but we wanted to take care of as many people as we could, we wanted to save animals and we wanted to be the change on this planet. There is a lot of talk out there. We are DOers. We are passionate. We are brave. We are unstoppable.

Being entrepreneurs you get a lot of challenges and “Nos”. My business partner, Amir, sent me a meme once that said “you tell me I can’t. I’ll do it twice and take pictures.” That is TheOne08 in a meme.

Are you working on any exciting new projects now? How do you think that will help people?

I am currently nose deep in creating a Brand Book that is quickly morphing into something really special. It started out as a small idea, a look book, but having storytellers, creatives, photographers, yogis and people who love connecting to others on our team means we could actually write a book. We already have so many stories to tell from why TheOne08 exists, to the trials and tribulations of getting the brand off its feet, to the people we’ve met along the way and the lives they’ve shared with us, to some insanely creative and magical content. We just have so much we want to share, so much wisdom shared with us, that we feel compelled to contain the stories in one location which will be visual paired with the written word.

What advice would you give to other female leaders to help their team to thrive?

What I’ve learned along the way is that good leaders are actually support staff. Their prime directive is to inspire passion and creativity out of their team, finding out what each individual needs to excel in their role. Being open, having strength and balancing that with softness, compassion and empathy. Good management isn’t telling people what to do, its presenting a challenge, giving guardrails and letting creativity fly! I’ve found the best ideas were things I would’ve never thought of myself, they were so far out of left field and immediately they were a “YES”! This collaboration creates a cycle of support and Blue Sky creativity. What is better than that?

What advice would you give to other female leaders about the best way to manage a large team?

Know yourself. Know your weaknesses, know your strengths. Know your team, their strengths and their weaknesses. Create an environment of empowerment. Create an environment that people feel safe to pitch in “crazy ideas”. Create an environment of collaboration. Be honest. Be open. Be vulnerable. Be boundaried and ask that your team is the same. Be an example. Allow people to be who they are, do what they are best at and to learn along the way. Always be growing individually and your team will too. And delegate, delegate, delegate.

None of us are able to achieve success without some help along the way. Is there a particular person who you are grateful towards who helped get you to where you are? Can you share a story about that?

Funny enough the example I always want to share which catapulted my life into aligned authenticity I actually can’t share because of an NDA that follows me throughout my life. It’s the events that all conspired to get me to Wake Up and step into my truth. Without this particular person I definitely wouldn’t be where I am today. So to her, I am profoundly grateful.

I hate to say this outloud but maybe some of the readers will relate… The people that fundamentally created change in my life were the ones that became the Voices in my head.

You can’t.

You’ll never last in that world.

Only dumb girls choose that career.

New York will eat you alive.

Fashion is pointless.

You are worthless.

I don’t know why I ever hired you.

I can’t believe you made it this far in this industry.

You could never be a real artist, you don’t have what it takes.

Without these words said to me, I wouldn’t be who I am today. Maybe its because I’m a capricorn and you just can’t stop a goat or maybe its because their doubt made my faith that much more powerful. Each one of these things that were said to me I knew the opposite to be true. And as I got older I realized I didn’t need anyone else validating me, my work or my worth. I’ve always known why I was here and what I can contribute. It’s those times when people want to tear me down that I realize who I really am. And honestly I am really grateful to be her.

How have you used your success to bring goodness to the world?

I define success by the good I do in the world. Nothing else matters to me anymore. Success to me is defined by the embodiment of Goodness. My morning mantra, prayer and meditation all surround letting Source work through me and being in service to this world and every being on it.

What are your “5 Things I Wish Someone Told Me Before I Started” and why? (Please share a story or example for each.)

I am a person who probably wouldn’t do things if I knew what was going to happen beforehand. I love adventure. I love challenges. I love taking risks. I’m glad I could jump into entrepreneurship with both feet and eyes closed. I don’t overly prepare or research. I make decisions based on feeling. My body tells me when to move forward, when to pause and when to stop. I may not understand. I may resist. I may pout about it but I am always getting those intuitive receptors activating in my body on how to proceed. No one would have been able to tell me about that before I experienced it. And there is no other solution to a problem that is more appropriate than the one gifted when you most need it.

You are a person of great influence. 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. 🙂

I want to inspire people to wake up. To pay attention. To quit playing small. To stop with the separation and to come together in unity. To assist our brothers and sisters. To help people of all kinds. To be the good in the world. To clean up our thoughts, actions and words. To be kind, honest, authentic, vulnerable. To be who they really are. To start finding their truth and find their individual aligned action. To enjoy this beautiful life and to not be distracted by the nonsense that is so “easy” in front of us. The world is filled with beauty, abundance and harmony. Its right there. Hidden in plain sight. We all get to be who we came here to be, the world needs all of us, each individual piece to this great puzzle. The world needs all of us to step in and step up.

Can you please give us your favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Can you share how that was relevant to you in your life?

My father used to tell us when we were kids the story of the moment he knew he needed to take the leap from working at a big corporation to opening his own business.

He was in his mid thirties, a wife and 3 kids at home, walking down the Pearl Street Mall in Boulder, Colorado. He was coming from work in his suit and tie and a homeless person said to him:

“I’d rather be a free man in my grave, than a puppet or a slave.”

That created a spark of awakening in my father to one of his many life purposes. He couldn’t shake that moment and the change in his life had commenced its momentum. And not only did those words change the trajectory of my father’s life but the story my father passed along changed the lives of my sisters and I as well. It became the foundation of the family. Speak the truth. Have integrity. Fight for injustices. Be authentic.

We are 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 🙂

Living : Elon Musk. He’s inspiring. He’s confusing. He’s intelligent. Breakfast outdoors, no electronics, safe container. I want to know what’s really going on over there.

Passed : Mary Magdalene. I would love to hear from her about her life, her wisdom, her gospel and understand the truth of what was happening during her time.

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