Today we’d like to introduce you to Sepi Danosian Bahadori.
Thanks for sharing your story with us Sepi. So, let’s start at the beginning and we can move on from there.
In 2013, when I was pregnant with my first-born and planning my baby shower, I started playing around with tulle fabric. One tulle pom pom turned into a tulle tablecloth and eventually a whole tutu skirt. I had no background in fashion but I did have a knack for learning how things were constructed. I’ve always loved taking things apart and putting them back together thanks to my degree in Civil Engineering.
Of course, it helped that I have a passion for fashion, art, and music. Having been born and raised in Vienna, Austria (pretty much the mecca for art and music) raised by my father (an artist) and my mother (a pianist), the arts have always been in my blood.
After a few years of creating skirts and dresses for friends and family through word of mouth and on Etsy, in 2018, I officially launched my brand, Marais Sky named after my daughters Valentina Marais (6) and Juliette Sky (3). Valentina’s middle name Marais (pronounced ma-ray) comes from the historic art and fashion district in Paris, one of the memorable stops on my honeymoon.
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?
Entrepreneurship is a rollercoaster of emotions. You’re dealing with ups and downs and “blood, sweat and tears” on a weekly basis. (Literally, for me, because I’m constantly pricking myself with a sewing needle!) But in all seriousness, it is your passion that gets you through the downs… and the ups are so incredibly amazing.
My degree in Engineering did not come easy. I was one of two females in my graduating class and I will always be proud of that. But my passion eventually led me down a different path. I am fortunate to have parents who also followed their passions, therefore, they always encouraged me to follow mine.
My advice to anyone thinking of starting their own business is: If you can’t stop thinking about it, don’t stop working for it.
Please tell us about Marais Sky.
Marais Sky specializes in ballet-inspired couture and ready-to-wear clothing for girls 0-12 years old. Our specialties include dresses and tutu skirts made using the finest tulle and most exquisite embellishments that are also comfortable to twirl in. With my daughters as my muses and models, I always say if my daughters are not comfortable in it, I won’t sell it.
Our couture pieces are all hand-finished by myself right here in Newport Beach, CA and fully customizable in over 30 colors.
One of the highlights in our first year was creating a custom Minnie Mouse dress for Nicky Hilton’s daughter’s 3rd birthday. And in October 2018, we were the first local children’s clothing brand to do a series of pop up shops at four Nordstrom locations throughout Southern California, with another round coming up this spring at Nordstrom Irvine Spectrum and Nordstrom at The Grove.
It is so special to me that I am in the business of making confections for the happiest, one-of-a-kind occasions in life. I live for the opportunities I have to become a part of people’s memories, their family photos, birthdays, and weddings. And I truly believe that I leave a part of myself in every piece I make, just as an artist would with a piece of his/her original art. This is my art.
There’s a wealth of academic research that suggests that lack of mentors and networking opportunities for women has materially affected the number of women in leadership roles. Smart organizations and industry leaders are working to change this, but in the meantime, do you have any advice for finding a mentor and building a network?
Social media has been amazing for us. We have met so many knowledgeable people in the industry who we have connected with and influencers we have collaborated with. From photographers to stylists to boutique owners who became wholesale clients.
Depending on what industry you are in, social media is a huge asset to helping you grow your business.
- Website: www.maraissky.com
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Instagram: www.instagram.com/shopmaraissky
- Facebook: www.facebook.com/maraissky
- Other: www.pinterest.com/maraissky