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Meet Trailblazer Marian Barker

Today we’d like to introduce you to Marian Barker.

Marian, let’s start with your story. We’d love to hear how you got started and how the journey has been so far.
My story begins as a young girl who grew up French Canadian (Paquette is my maiden name). As a child, my family immigrated to the United States to pursue a new way of life. I began my creative journey working in retail, manufacturing and later in visual merchandising. Once I got married and started having children, I decided to start my own interior design business which gave me the flexibility to work out of the house and still be home with my family.

I’ve always nurtured my creative side and enjoy searching flea markets for vintage costume jewelry. As a hobby, I would take apart my jewelry and re-purpose them into one of a kind bracelets and then sold them.

About five years ago, I started researching and becoming aware of what was happening to our landfills due to the issues that decomposing textiles were having on our environment. Curious about what my vendors were doing with their remaining samples, I called them up and asked if I could have them. I was soon finding myself making weekly pick-ups and storing them with the idea that I would find a purpose for them. After experimenting in different ways with the fabric I had collected, I came up with the idea to make evening bags and then one thing led to another. After two years of staying home and self-teaching myself how to make handbags, I knew it was time to do more than just sell bags to my friends. I found a warehouse in Laguna Canyon and began to hire a staff and teach them how to make handbags from reclaimed textiles. As the business has grown, I have since opened a production studio in Los Angeles and now, in Laguna Beach with a retail store attached. Our bags are currently sold all over the world and we still make one of a kind handbags in our Laguna Beach studio. Due to the demand in growth, I have also decided to purchase fabric by the yard but the creative side of me still loves the “hunt” of searching the world over for fabric that is not only rare and unexpected but of exceptional quality and detail.

Has it been a smooth road?
My road hasn’t always been easy but I do believe that the opportunity to grow from our failures and mistakes is what makes us successful. I have worked tirelessly and sacrificed much of my free time these past four years to grow and establish my company Marian Paquette as a luxury brand in handbag design, but I am living my dream of doing what I love and in return I am able to share that joy and inspiration with others.. and that is the greatest reward.

If I could offer any advice to someone wanting to pursue their passion and start their own company, it would be to work hard, believe in yourself and to never give up.

We’d love to hear more about Marian Paquette Handbags.
Marian Paquette handbags are released in limited collections. We have designed our travel collection to have multiple functions, so whether you prefer a handle, cross-body strap or chain the options are available and designed for ease of travel. Soft to the touch, classic in design its the difference between purchasing a purse and having a handbag among your treasures.

Contact Info:

Image Credit:
Marian Paquette

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