The Creatives: Marina Guergova from MARINA London
Celebrating the month of WOMEN. Creative, ambitious, inspiring, vibrant, real, power women.
We are thrilled to present you this incredible woman who inspire us tremendously each and every single day. She is the creative force and founder of her brand MARINA London, focusing on minimal women's clothing made of 100% silk, and the lifestyle concept store 'The Basics Store' where you can find everyday essentials from aspiring artists and brands like Alexa Coe, K'SSARA, Blake LDN, ByFar and many others.
Hi, Marina, we have to admit we're obsessed with your Instagram! Why is it your favourite social media and how aspiring designers and young brands can make the best of it?
That’s a very kind comment! I feel it’s important that we all try to have healthy relationship with Instagram. When I started Instagram it was a very cute way to share your inspirations and work. Nowadays it’s such a big machine that holds so much commercial power that it actually scares me sometimes. I do love it, but I try to love it in moderation. It’s very easy to become addicted to it and to realising that you have spent several hours a day on it. If I can give one piece of advice to brands it would be to always use it authentically and with purpose. Make sure that what you post is true to your brand and you can’t go wrong.
What is your favourite aspect of your job? What makes it so exciting?
My favourite aspect is making our customers happy and designing pieces that really serve a purpose in their lives. A happy customer is the biggest reward of all. I obviously love the design side and picking new colours is one of my favourite things.
London is part of your brand’s name and identity. What make it a great city to live in and why is it an extra special place for people that want to work in the creative fields?
London has a place for everyone that comes here and being a young creative you feel like there is a tidal wave that is gathering power right now. There is SO much creative entrepreneurship going on right now. It’s kind of amazing to be a part of it and it’s so infectious. The best thing is that everyone is from a different background and you are never bored. There is never an opportunity to feel like you don’t belong. You always find your crew.
Can you share absolute favourite places in London that you would recommend to a friend?Shoreditch is my favourite. Redchurch Street, Broadway Market and Columbia Flower Market are the best. Best coffee in London for me is The Watch House in Bermondsey. Pizza East for amazing pizza. Gelupo for amazing gelato.
Starting your own brand is not as easy as it looks (and even harder in reality). What is the best advice you can give to young people who are just starting out?
I would say figure out if you want to really be a wholesale brand. It’s very easy to lose yourself in the belief that you have to do what everyone else is doing and actually you could be a successful brand without doing wholesale. Just build your business model in the right way. Another thing is to have a realistic customer and make sure your prices reflect that. Don’t imagine your customer has £1000 the whole time. She is a real person with real-life struggles.
What is the most valuable thing you've learned in the past few years since starting MARINA London?
Probably to stop doing wholesale. It was the best decision I’ve ever made and I am so happy that I never have to think about that side of the business anymore. It was way too stressful and cost too much money, that was not worth it.
What is the latest design work or item (digital or tangible) that made a lasting impression on you and truly inspired you?
I think the work of Paloma Wool is so amazing, original and has so much purpose. And the work of Carlota Guerrero.
Who is the ultimate MARINA London woman?
She has a good sense of humour, does not take herself too seriously and has aspirations to do great things. Be it in her personal or professional life. She is a mother, a daughter and a colleague - someone who loves to travel and is positive.