This month, as the world celebrates women, Klarna is spotlighting a selection of female business owners and industry leaders within the Klarna network to share their stories of entrepreneurship, challenges and growth.
Marisa Hordern is the Founder and Creative Director of Missoma.
Hi Marisa! Tell us your story. How did you get to where you are today?
Having quit my job in the corporate world to go after something I loved, I was always all about the jewellery. Collecting gems as a young girl, it wasn’t until a kitchen table chat with my mother and sister that I felt compelled to start Missoma and we were one of the first jewellery brands to establish the ‘demi-fine’ category. I’m a strong believer that jewellery is all about decorating life and bringing those small moments of happiness to your every day.
As a brand, our mission has evolved to be about inspiring confidence, sparking creativity and fuelling collaboration. Our incredible and ever-growing community around the world knows us as a brand that stands for something, and that still has a ‘homegrown’ feel over ten years on from its inception. Whether it’s working with our environmental charity partner TreeSisters or honing our 12-year working relationship with our factories and suppliers, we never want to stand on our laurels but continue to challenge the status quo, becoming the most responsible version of ourselves.
Has being a woman empowered you to make any bold decisions in your career?
I would say there’s a lot of power in saying ‘no’ to things and turning down opportunities that don’t sit well in your gut when it comes to your business, especially as a woman. You’ll hopefully have lots of different voices around you to turn to and lean on, and having a mentor in each area that you don’t personally have strengths in will really help to guide you in the long run.
How does your brand empower women? How does this compare to where your industry is in terms of gender diversity and inclusion?
I think we’ve seen incredible strides in more access to opportunities and protection within the professional environment for all kinds of people, from women to non-binary to LGBTQ+. There’s more inclusivity across the board now, although I know there is certainly still work to be done. An area in which I’m personally keen to champion empowerment is with regards to childcare and IVF that particularly affect females when it comes to balancing your work with your personal life. At Missoma we’re definitely a family-first business and are always sensitive to everyone’s needs, whether it’s maternity or paternity leave. We hope to continue to create a space where everyone feels free to express their individuality and celebrate who they are, no matter the gender they identify with.
What is a challenge you’ve experienced as a woman in a leadership position?
I was definitely held back by my own confidence. I wish I had found it sooner and overcame my nerves quicker than I did. It’s why instilling and inspiring confidence in our community is so close to my heart because I know what it’s like to feel unsure of yourself and how that can hold you back in both your personal and professional growth.
Do you have any advice for aspiring young women or other female business owners?
It takes a lot of perseverance and self-confidence; getting back up when you fail is really the best advice, I could give anyone because another door always opens, and you actually learn more from your mistakes than you do from your successes.
Share one business tool, tip or trick that has changed your life.
Learn to delegate in order to grow—which I know can feel really tough to do at first!
What are two products that have helped you be creative and productive this year?
It’s got to be Microsoft Teams! From helping me go through design feedback with my team to sharing our weekly company updates with the whole business it’s been fascinating to watch Missoma grow digitally and how everyone has come together to collaborate creatively online. The other product would be my AirPods, I’m never seen without them! It means I can listen to podcasts while I work out, take calls outside on a sunny day to get some fresh air and just gives you a bit more flexibility instead of being sat at your desk all day.
What was the biggest lesson you learned in 2020?
That team culture is everything. Missoma is truly my family and I’m so proud to have built a team of individuals that work together collaboratively and are passionate about the product and end goal, even when times are challenging, and motivation can be hard to keep up. We’ve cultivated an internal culture where no idea is too big, everyone has a voice and each team member gets to contribute to the overall picture, and 2020 really solidified this more than ever.
What about your business or industry are you most excited about in 2021?
Our move into a more gender-neutral and diverse space last year sees us continue that mission for 2021 and beyond. There are so many exciting partnerships and launches coming up, so watch this space!