Updated: Mar 11, 2019
We recently had the opportunity to speak with the woman of many talents, Marisa Truitt - founder of her newest brand Au + Ag.
Who is Marisa Truitt?
I’m Marisa Truitt, I’m a #Chicago native. I’m a Virgo, which I think speaks a lot to my work ethic. I’ve worked for several magazines on their video team and have directed a couple music videos. Sometimes I’m a stylist and now, I’m a #designer for my brand Au + Ag.
On What Goes Into Being an Entrepreneur
My business is still young so everyday looks different. At least three times a week, sometimes more if I’m bored, I look for vintage pieces to add to my collection. Orders go out within 2 days of being received. I try to shoot product on a model and chop it up with my jeweler at least once a week. I spend a lot of time researching inspiration, opportunities, funding, etc. I’m sure as the brand develops so will my routine.
On The Creative Process of Au + Ag
Au + Ag is a jewelry based brand. The name is actually the chemical symbols for gold and silver, so I like to play up the lab aspect. My jewelry boxes are petri dishes with custom lab labels. Right now, I sell a selection of curated earrings and vintage designer #jewelry, and will be taking appointments for tooth gems soon. I chose to start up this way so I could get the brand’s name circulating and use the revenue to create my own original pieces.
When She Knew It Was Time To Pursue Her Dream
I always knew I wanted to be a filmmaker, I majored in film in college, but being a designer was something I thought of passively, especially as it pertained to having my own brand. I think I just didn’t want everything that comes with having a brand, so that’s why I wanted to consult and design for other brands. I started putting that plan in motion, while I was working at Allure Magazine. Fast forward to the end of last year, my team was laid off right before Xmas and I was trying to find a new full time job, but after about 3 or 4 months of interviews and nothing coming of them, I was like f*ck that I need my own hustle. I already had the name Au + Ag in mind because I wanted to make tees under a name that wasn’t my own, but that’s when the jewelry aspect came in; which is funny because the name speaks directly to that and has become my brand’s primary focus.
On Who Inspires Her
I’m inspired by a lot of different people for different reasons. Being a multi-hyphenate nowadays isn’t uncommon, but doing it at a certain level is. I’ve been able to intern for DJ Venus X and photographer, Elizabeth de la Piedra; working with women that I look up to has made my dreams tangible. Seeing how they work and what they have done to get to where they are is humbling.
On Balancing It All
At the end of each day I ask myself what have I done to work towards my goals of being a director and designer, and if I haven’t done anything I try to do something before I go to sleep.
I’m very routine/schedule oriented and when I lived in NYC full time it was a lot harder to find that balance. Chicago has a totally different energy, so I’m not as easily distracted. If I’m not on a production assistant job, I start my day at the gym then head home or to a coffee shop to do work and go out at night with friends depending on what’s happening. My hobbies and career overlap, so maybe I need to find some new ones haha.
We know that not only are you an entrepreneur, but you’re an all-around creative with your fashion blog and video production endeavors as well. How do you make sure all of your dreams and goals stay afloat?
I’m still trying to figure that out, but I know what I want so I have tunnel vision when it comes to those things. I have a planner, a month to month list of goals, a long term and short term list of goals; these lists are posted on my wall. I’m constantly looking for opportunities, but I’m also particular about the opportunities I take. At the end of each day I ask myself what have I done to work towards my goals of being a director and designer, and if I haven’t done anything I try to do something before I go to sleep.
Advice For Aspiring Entrepreneurs
Focus on the process, not the outcome. That alone will take a lot of pressure off yourself.
Favorite Fall Trend
Like I said earlier, I’ve wanted to design for other brands and one of the ideas I have been sitting on for a while is a dog tag. Now that I have my own brand, I have one in production. I’ve seen its resurgence in underground fashion within the past few months, which means by now it has caught on and will be a trend. It’s minimal, unisex, and easy to layer; so it’s become a staple piece for me.
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