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Meet Mary Campbell of Mare Modern Goods in Virginia Highlands and Morningside

Today we’d like to introduce you to Mary Campbell.

Thanks for sharing your story with us Mary. So, let’s start at the beginning and we can move on from there.
Mare was started in September, 2017 so we are a very new brand! It was born from my love for horses and my desire to share more stories of the amazing power of horses to change our lives. I also noticed a gap in the market for well designed, modern products that were living more in the J. Crew/Boden/Marimeko space from both an aesthetic and cost perspective. My background is in graphic design/fine art so I want to bring fresh, modern illustrations/patterns to my products and offer people another option for gift and lifestyle products. The stories and the brand come together through patterns and illustrations I’ve created that are inspired by horses who have touched our lives—the first being the Lovey Pattern which was inspired by my first horse, Lovey.

Great, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
I think, like most small business owners, the challenges lie in managing all of the different responsibilities–some are within your natural skill set and others are not. There are days when I think to myself, “man, this is a LOT of work…it would be so much easier to go back to the corporate world and have a ‘normal’ job”–but that is not who I am. I’ve always been someone who wanted to create and build their own thing; that’s where I feel most alive.

The greatest challenge is to stay focused on the bigger picture–to stay connected to what inspired me to create this in the first place and to trust the process. I’ve always had a good and strong intuition about things and the key is to not lose faith in that or get derailed by “failures” but rather see them as things designed to teach me and lead me to the next thing. The same is true of my successes. Learning to be unattached to failure and success is the greatest lesson in all of this.

I hate clichés but the cliché of “trust the journey, it’s the best part” is especially true for people starting their own business…because that’s all there is and that’s what makes it so exciting!

Alright – so let’s talk business. Tell us about Mare Modern Goods – what should we know?
Mare is what’s considered “lifestyle brand”–we do not (currently) design or manufacture technical apparel or products for horse and rider but rather create the things that appeal to both equestrians and anyone who loves horses. We design and make tee shirts, caps, tote bags, jewelry, coffee mugs, etc…and strive to use as many local/small business makers as possible.

We are known for our bold patterns and modern, graphic approach to equestrian products. So much of the horse world has been defined by the Ralph Lauren aesthetic–while beautiful and elegant, it is not the only way to interpret the category. We bring a fresh, bright modern sensibility to our products at a moderate price point.

We are also focused on creating more of a conversation around the power of horses and the relationship between horse and human. All of our patterns and products are inspired by horses we have known and loved…horses who changed our lives in some cases. This is something we are working on creating more of a conversation around as a brand and will continue to develop as we grow.

Is there a characteristic or quality that you feel is essential to success?
Having a combination of passion for your product/category, joy in the process of doing the work and an “all-in” commitment are critical for success. The last one being super important because that tenacity will get you through the times when you feel like you want to give up and throw in the towel.

Contact Info:

Image Credit:

Photo Credit: DJ VanCronkhite

Getting in touch: VoyageATL is built on recommendations from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you know someone who deserves recognition please let us know here.

1 Comment

  1. Helen Campbell

    March 21, 2018 at 4:54 pm

    Great interview and great products. I love my Giddy Up coffee/soup mug. I use it every day!

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