Merchant spotlight
Mar 8, 20203 min read

Interview with Marisa Hordern, Founder & Creative Director at Missoma.

Emily Thomas

by Emily Thomas

Marisa Hordern, Founder & Creative Director at Missoma.

How did you start your own business?

I was working in the Corporate world and really missing something Creative. After having a conversation with my mother and sister around the kitchen table, I decided to put my love for gemstones and demi-fine jewellery into creating Missoma. It was a huge leap of faith, and I worked on it on the side for a while before quitting my full-time job – as they say, it takes 12 years to become an overnight success! But I’m proud to say that together with my team we’ve built a business that champions self-expression and women in a way that I hadn’t seen done in our industry before.

Who is a woman who inspires you?

Journalist and Podcaster Elizabeth Day has taught me the importance of embracing failure. Her message is all about embracing those moments where you get knocked down, and how those ‘fail’ moments can actually make you stronger when you find your way again. This resonates with me as I’ve of course felt like I’ve ‘failed’ over the years, but what made me stronger is how I dealt with these challenges or ‘failures’ and built myself back up to continue. I think perseverance is a super important business and life lesson; and Elizabeth manages to navigate everything while keeping a great sense of humour too which is key.

What’s the riskiest move you’ve taken in your business?

Traditionally, jewellery has always been about men buying jewels for women. We wanted to come and shake that up, inspiring our consumers with everyday styling tips and the pieces to buy for themselves to celebrate small wins – we call them ‘successories’. Removing wholesale and going direct-to-consumer early on was a bit of a risk. However, we spent a lot of time getting our digital marketing right and putting our product where the consumer is: social media and online. Along with some incredible influencer collaborations, I’m happy to say the risk has paid off in the end!

What has been the most difficult part of growing your business?

I think finding the right team that have a wide variety of experience and skill sets to bring with them to the table. Getting that Senior Leadership team is so important to your overall – not only business – success. You’re only as good as your team, and it’s important to remember that whatever happens at the top also filters down to your office culture. Ensuring that each employee’s personal growth and trajectory is invested in and finding that sweet spot between work/life quality is what will help your business flourish.

What 3 traits do you think are most important when running a successful business?

Creativity, confidence and collaboration

What’s the best business advice you have ever received?

The customer is the hero of your story
Stay nimble and agile – i.e. get sh*t done!
Good karma will come back to you if you treat everyone with kindness
And at the end of the day have fun; we’re decorating lives, not saving them!