MRLY is a local children's clothing brand in Columbus, Ohio. They create super comfy yet stylish clothes that kids want to wear. Meet MRLY at our 2017 Ohio Explored Holiday Maker Mart on December 3rd, 2017!
Tell us about your local business.
mrly (pronounced MAHR-lee) is a kidswear brand founded by Trevor Potulski and Kyoko Seki and based in Columbus, Ohio. We stand for high-quality, super comfy, everyday items that allow your kid's personality to do the talking. Our background is in corporate retail at Abercrombie & Fitch- Trevor as a merchant and Kyoko as a designer. We left our positions on the Hollister brand last December to pursue a dream and start our own business. We are both parents of little ones which made our decision to focus on kidswear a pretty easy one. We wanted to help others in the process which is why we partnered with the Ronald McDonald House of Central Ohio to donate a load of laundry to a family in need for every item purchased.
What drew you to your craft?
(Kyoko) I've always liked to sew since I was little and really became interested in fashion design at the end of high school. I love the idea of creating something tangible that somebody else can enjoy on a daily basis and even pass on to others.
What is your favorite thing you have ever made?
(Kyoko) The clothes that I made for my kids when they were very little. These creations are what sparked the thought of starting my own line of kids clothing!
What did you want to be when you grew up?
(Kyoko) As a little girl, a florist. As a made it through high school, a fashion designer.
What is your creative process?
(Kyoko and Trevor) Our process is very fluid. It's start with a brainstorm and, once we have some good ideas, Kyoko will begin sketching. We will both then review the sketches and finalize all details (color, silo, construction, etc.) before we begin sampling. After the sample is ready, we will fit it on various bodies to ensure that it's perfect.
What advice would you give yourself 10 years ago?
(Kyoko and Trevor) Never stop chasing your goals and never give up. If you want to do it, do it!
Why is it important to support local artists & makers?
(Kyoko and Trevor) It's important on so many levels. Local artists and makers bring diversity to the world and are often the ones pushing new innovation and other things that big businesses could never do because it's "too risky"?
Why do you love doing what you do?
(Kyoko and Trevor) The ability to be creative every day and shape the voice/handwriting of a brand. The kind words, sales, etc. are that much more special when it's 100% your own hard work.
What advice do you have for other people who want to start their own businesses?
(Kyoko) Find something you love and believe in yourself. If you want it enough, you will find a way!
What is your favorite thing about Exploring Ohio?
(Kyoko and Trevor) Just finding new places and experiences! There's really so much out there to explore in Ohio!
Meet MRLY at our Ohio Explored Holiday Maker Mart!