A pursuer of naturalism in everything, business woman and mother Juliet Souter shares her experiences of taking a leap of faith and starting a luxury fashion brand-the organic way. Her essentials brand Marle, is a bursting accumulation of exclusively natural fabrics, an accomplish sincerely needed within today’s fashion environment. Based at the bottom of the Mount (Mount Maunganui, Tauranga) the mother and designer sees the absolute importance of natural fibres for luxury wear. Empowering women in different chapters of their lives is encouraged through the growth and success of the brand; something you know at Sauce we simply adore. A perfect match for a perfect cause, we indulged ourselves into the world of Juliet, our latest Saucette.
HOW IT ALL STARTED :
After dropping out of high school at the end of sixth form I went on to study fashion design at University, majoring in knitwear for my final year. Once I graduated, I worked in multiple areas of the fashion industry, from fashion PR to buying for one of New Zealand’s largest fast fashion chains. All of these experiences helped shape what I wanted my own brand to look like and stand for.
It sounds so cliché but having a fashion brand was always a dream for me but I wanted to see all sides of the industry and gain as much experience as I could before starting. Starting Marle took a giant leap of faith, I had the security of a corporate job and when I was pregnant with our first baby the intention was to go back to work fairly quickly. Once Vita arrived, all of that changed and I was so determined to start the business and for the foreseeable future, work from home while raising our family.
Fast forward nearly 5 years and today we have a second child, staff, a new head office and I am creating full collections 4 times a year. I have always loved knitwear and that is where I wanted to carve out my little area of the industry. I started my first collection with 10 sweaters and quickly increased the offering to cover all categories. We have now evolved to creating collections made exclusively from natural fibres and fabrics, which I am extremely proud of. It has had its challenges but for the most part has been a reasonably smooth transition. It is a dream come true and I’m loving watching the brand grow.
FAVOURITE PART OF BUILDING THE BRAND:
To me the proudest moment I’ve had with Marle is just starting, it had been a pipe dream for so long. We have created a business where women are given the flexibility to balance family and work life. Hiring amazing women in all stages of their life make Marle what it is, and that’s something I’m really proud of.
The happiness I feel when I see women walking down the street wearing one of my pieces will never wear off!
MARLE HQ IS MOST EXCITED ABOUT:
We’re loving being in our new office space, it is such a lovely and light space to work from. We’re also excited about our new resort samples that are starting to trickle in which includes some new categories for us…
ON DESIGN AND WORKING IN FASHION:
I’ve grown up in a creative family so ever since I can remember, fashion, art, architecture and design have been a large part of my life. As a young child my mum owned a second hand clothing store in Parnell that I would forever be playing in. Seeing that mum owned her own business from a young age made me feel empowered, like it was possible for a woman to follow her career dream. There has never been a time when I have thought just because I’m a woman, I can’t make what I am passionate about into a career. My step mum has also experienced working with large scale fashion brands. Having her by my side encouraging and guiding me has been really helpful and incredibly special.
ON PERSONAL STYLE:
My personal style is always simple, feminine and tonal. I love natural fibres so I always have a mix on that show the different textures in each piece.
My lifestyle lends itself to a more casual wardrobe, but I still like dressing up within that parameter, so I’ll often have a silk dress with a nice pair of flat shoes to tone it down or an oversized jumper, silk pants and sandals.
ON BEAUTY ROUTINE:
I recently found out I have subtype 2 rosacea after thinking it was acne for the past 18 months so I have changed my whole routine and wellbeing to help keep the symptoms at bay. The type of rosacea I have has the appearance of acne but treating it as acne for so long has been really detrimental. In the morning I use Eve Lom Morning Time Cleanser which I pop on and leave on while I shower then wash it off with a muslin cloth or soft flannel in luke warm water (any heat on my skin makes the rosacea so much worse). I follow with Drunk Elephant Marula Oil which is PH balancing and has made the most drastic change to my skin of any product. In December last year I started seeing Jodhy at About Skin in Auckland, she has been doing laser treatments on my face to help get rid of the scar tissue, redness and bumps (a mix of Laser Genesis and ELOS), it’s made such a difference and is mostly gone now, it has also helped with the overall texture of my skin.
She stocks Xcell products, so I use their Vitamin B serum which also works as a day cream and their repair cream for after treatments. Lastly, I use an SPF40 zinc sunscreen which has taken a bit of getting used to, but I love it now. At night, I repeat the same process but change out the sunscreen for Drunk Elephant Lala Whipped Cream, it is so lovely and hydrating. My skin is prone to being dry, so I ensure to keep it hydrated. Each day I use the Le Labo Hanoki body cream, it not only smells incredible but is so hydrating. Last but not least, I never leave the house without a spritz of perfume, I adore fragrances.
ON MAKEUP ROUTINE:
I use Nars Sheer Glow Foundation, I love that I can build it up if I am experiencing a flare up of my skin. I swear by Nars Radiant Creamy Concealer, it’s the most amazing dewy concealer. I use it on any spots or scarring and also under my eyes. I put both of these on with the Mecca Cosmetica Double Ended Perfecting Brush which buffs everything in nicely. I finish off with the Hourglass Arch Brow Sculpting Pencil, I’m definitely more of a brows girl than eyelashes, I also have quite sensitive eyes so only use mascara if I’m going out – I use Dior Show. For days or events where I want to dress up a bit more I will also use MAC Groundwork paint pot on my eyes, Chanel eyeliner on my water line and either Nars Raquel on my lips or for a red I always use MAC Ruby Woo.
I put a little bit of brown sugar into my cleanser as an exfoliator once a week. I have to be careful using anything too abrasive, I find this works well and is gentle enough on my sensitive skin.
Beauty-wise - My mum has always told me to wear sunscreen and keep my face out of the sun, hence the Nonna Hat (my kids call mum, Nonna). In terms of life – Get on with it…
ON KEEPING FIT — MENTALLY AND PHYSICALLY:
At work we have twice weekly Pilates classes with the whole team at Reform which is next door to us. They have a more dynamic approach to Pilates which I love, it is such a good work out and a nice way to spend an hour during the work day. I have also recently taken up boxing – also at Reform – which has been a good challenge for me. I then like to walk up the Mount once or twice a week or if that’s a bit much just a stroll along the beach. Being close to the water is hugely important for my mental wellbeing, it is the best way for me to keep grounded and keep perspective on things, it is also just so uplifting experiencing the sea and the beach in all its forms.
HOW I START MY DAY:
After a cuddle with the kids in bed I make my bed right away, it’s the first task of the day that helps me feel like I have achieved something, so I can go on knowing at least one thing on the daily list has been accomplished. I also drive along the water front to work so I can see the water
FAVOURITE TUNES :
The Greatest, Cat Power
Cranes in the Sky, Solange
Jolene, Dolly Parton
Anything Leonard Cohen
Into My Arms, Nick Cave
THANK YOU JULIET & JULIA OF LOMASKERR