What is your name, company name and product you sell?
I design under my namesake, Marissa Bridges. I make and sell women’s Special Occasion Dresses (Clothing).
Where did you grow up? Why do you choose to call Minnesota home?
I grew up in Eden Prairie, Minnesota. I think Minnesota is a great place to live, although I struggle getting through each winter. I love being close to my family and friends and you can’t beat Minnesota summers!
How did your interest in clothing design first begin?
I first got interest in clothing design when I took a sewing class in Junior High and realized I could make things that I couldn’t find at stores. Another influence was my Grandma, who was a talented seamstress herself and taught me a lot about clothing design and construction.
What inspired you to start your own business?
After graduating college with a fashion degree I really missed creating things. I searched out opportunities locally in Minnesota where I could still be creative and expand on my design skills (outside of my full time job). This led me to Counter Couture where I up-cycled old bridesmaid dresses into new dresses. That experience got me connected to MNFashion and the local design industry. After making more connections and seeing an increased interest in my design aesthetic, I decided to branch out and start my own line. I’ve been working on my line for the past five years and I continue to learn, grow and evolve.
Tell us a little about your design process.
I am very inspired by color and fabric. This is where I usually start. The actual silhouettes and clothing designs seem to come after I figure the type of fabrics and prints I want to use. I usually get drawn to a certain fabric pattern and build my collection around that. I will then sketch and drape the silhouettes on my mannequin after doing several fit sessions (on my favorite fit model, Sarah Mraz) to get the fit just right.
When are you the most inspired? What inspires you?
I tend to get inspired many different ways. I think I am most inspired at the beginning of each season. The sky is the limit and it’s so fun playing around with different ideas and directions that the collections could take. I am also really inspired by my clients and figuring out silhouettes, colors and patterns that excite them and make them feel fabulous. Another way I get inspired is by looking back in fashion history and challenging myself to make the old feel new. The last big one is traveling. I am always inspired after getting out and seeing new places and paying attention to the things that usually go unnoticed.
Name 3 things that you absolutely must have in your workplace.
2. Music or movies on my laptop to help the time fly by
3. My dog Scout
Outside of your business as Showroom, do you have any other hobbies?
I love to water ski and wakeboard in the summers. I love practicing yoga and spending quality time with the people I love.
Whats your favorite way to relax and “get away”?
My favorite would be to get away somewhere warm (Puerto Vallarta, Mexico being a favorite). If it’s just a quick weekend getaway I’d be happy going up north to a friend’s cabin and just relaxing with good food, wine and company.
Where do you hope to see your Marissa Bridges brand in 10 years?
I think in 10 years Marissa Bridges will have evolved into something new. As I continue to grow in my professional career, I take the opportunity to learn as much about the business as I can. Whether it is directly related to my career in design or somehow connected in another way such as production, teaching, marketing, product design, textile design etc. At the end of the day, I want all these experiences to come together to create something bigger. With that said, I am not sure where this will bring me in 10 years, but I am open minded and ready for the adventure!