(Source: Marrin Costello; marrincostello.com)
“I don’t wear earrings,” Missy declares one morning last month, seemingly out of the blue. “But I want to have an ear-piercing party, after meeting Marrin Costello.” She continues to gush over the jewelry designer, whose line we will soon be carrying, for the rest of our morning meeting. After speaking with Costello, who got a major sign from the Universe when her pieces were unexpectedly featured on American Idol, it’s clear to see what Missy sees in the inspiring entrepreneur. Her spiritually-inspired accessories boast a luxurious aesthetic (she even manufactures alongside designers like Chanel) with an affordable price tag. Meanwhile, her advice on fashion and fearlessness is just as thoughtful as the stunning pieces she creates—and has been creating since childhood, when her aunt fatefully gave her a bead kit. Read on to find out why the PRIM babes have fallen in love with her—and her designs!—plus why she’s the perfect Girl Crush of the Month to kick-off our month of living fearlessly. —Katie Davidson
KD: How would you describe your personal style?
MC: “My style ranges. I could do athleisure all day long, goodness gracious. I could also do a Canadian tuxedo. I also love a glam moment, a floor-length gown and vintage fur, I’m in heaven. But in my everyday life, I try and keep it to neutrals and then jazz it up with a bunch of jewelry and accessories. That way, I can switch out a jacket and a pair of shoes and go from day to night. Most women, nowadays, we wear so many hats—especially working moms, holy cow. So I try to keep my wardrobe as malleable as possible to allow for as many things in one day.”
KD: Who are your style crushes?
MC: “I think that if Sarah Jessica Parker, Gwen Stefani, Leandra Medine from Man Repeller and the Olsen twins had a love child, that would be me—with a sprinkle of Rachel Zoe. I just love women who dress for, quintessentially, themselves. All the women that I mentioned have their own distinct style, and to me that is so attractive and a reflection of a woman’s confidence in her expression of her herself.”
KD: What does your self-care routine look like?
MC: “This has been a journey to find out what works for me. Being in the fashion industry and being the face of my brand, it is important that I feel like I’m presenting myself in a good way, whether it’s going to the gym or going to a black tie event. I take pride in putting myself together in a very simple way. I’m constantly evaluating everything that I’m doing in my life to ask myself if it’s serving me and taking up the least amount of time as possible. How can I create the largest band width of this? I always make my bed. I drink a ton of water. I started juicing celery in the mornings—it’s like the elixir of life, it helps me so much. I love love coffee, but I try not to drink it past the afternoon, depending upon what time i’m going to bed. I’ve learned that my body does really well on 6 hours of sleep.
I can truly get ready—I’m talking full hair, makeup, the whole thing—in probably 20 minutes because I know what works for my body makeup routine is very simple, purposefully, but also effective. I don’t wear much makeup, but when I do it’s very simple. And then my hair, I mean, I’m a natural brunette. I used to have long, wavy, boho-surfer, beach-prom hair. Now, I have a platinum bob. I don’t wash my hair that often. I use a lot of dry shampoo; it cuts my time to get ready in half. Occasionally, I’ll take a curling iron to it to kind of mess it up a little bit. But I like the bedhead, messy, teased look. It’s interesting, people don’t forget it.”
KD: How do you approach your wardrobe?
MC: “I’m constantly going over my wardrobe, and I’ve learned how to how to dress my body. In terms of my wardrobe color palette: a lot of black and white, a hint of denim, a little bit of nudes. I keep things very neutral, unless I’m committing to a crazy Escada or Gucci print. And I’m owning it; in that case, I’ll do like a head to toe print. I pretty much live in neutrals, and I allow the jewelry to be the focus, which makes sense for my brand. It also makes my life really easy, when I’m getting ready in the morning.
I’m constantly purging. It’s different because, in LA, it’s summer all year round. If I’m not wearing something, it doesn’t matter what time of the year it is, it means that I’m probably not going to pick it out. For people who have seasonal wardrobes, it’s different. But for me, if I’m not wearing something, I can it. I’ll either give it to someone who will use it, donate it or give it to a consignment store. I often go through my closet, and I’ll try on every single piece in my closet. And when I try it on I’ll ask myself, In this moment, do I feel like a bazillion dollars? And if I don’t in any one piece, it doesn’t matter how expensive it is or how cheap it is or where I got it from or what the emotional connection is, if in that moment, I don’t feel good or fantastic, then I get rid of it. It’s served its place and time in my life. And that time is the longer and so I remove it from my wardrobe because the chances of reaching for it are slim because I don’t feel good in it. So why would I keep anything in my life—people, things, experiences—that don’t make me feel good? I don’t, I eliminate them.”
MC: “I have a multi-faceted answer to this. In terms of pieces from my collection, the Bowzer bracelet is so quintessential to the Marrin Costello brand, and I owe so much of the brand recognition to that one piece. Not that I could ever pick a favorite child, but to me that one sticks out because it really is a huge part and root of the brand: having it be very sexy and sophisticated but also edgy, having the masculine and feminine meet in the middle. In terms of jewelry that I would wear every day, I always wear a piece of my grandmothers’ jewelry from both sides of my family. I also recently started wearing a ring that my dad had made for my mom from a coin that they found when they were on vacation in Mexico together—before I was even a thought—to have my family with me. Jewelry is so special in that we connect emotions and points in time and people in our lives to jewelry. So my family heirlooms are so precious to me. If there was a fire or earthquake, I would reach for those things first to keep them with me.”
KD: Working in fashion and such a competitive industry, how do you stay true to yourself and your brand without getting influenced by everything and everyone else around?
MC: “I find that the more I do my own thing, the better everything ends up being. Again, because I’m constantly asking myself, Is this a hot experience? Does it feel good? Do I feel icky? Even if it’s an interaction with a person, I don’t work with anyone that I don’t live for—I don’t. There’s enough to go around, there [are] seven billion people on the planet. From models to manufacturers to assistants to store owners to anyone, if I don’t get good vibes then I don’t bother. Because then I’m not going to perform at my best level, and they’re not going to be getting the best of me.
In terms of social media, I have learned to give myself grace. Everyone’s posting the highlight reel. I also don’t follow people that don’t make me feel good about myself. I have a system in terms of social media and marketing. My social media is not purely just for social; it’s for my business. It’s a platform through which I can connect with customers and network with people in the industry and beyond, with my business at the forefront. For people who use it specifically for personal means, that is when it’s so easy to go down the rabbit hole, and then the self-esteem can plummet in seconds. But for me, the why and the reason behind it is very clear. Occasionally, I’ll look at other companies or brands, and the comparison game is real and it’s true. But when I start feeling those things, I quickly check myself and do something that can boost my self-confidence again. And I move on because it serves no one.”
KD: What advice do you have on fashion and/or fearlessness?
MC: “I think in both categories, do what makes you happy, regardless of other people’s opinions—so long as it’s not dangerous, you’re not hurting yourself or anyone. Being fearless, to me, is not thinking about the negative or over-thinking, And just going and doing and learning and pivoting as you go. Oftentimes, people overthink things, and they like to pick things apart. And while someone is doing that, another person with a similar idea is already executing on the idea. So for me, fearlessness is continuing to be your best self and do good work, regardless of the outcome. There’s no right or wrong road.
In terms of fashion, wear what makes you feel fabulous, and freaking get rid of anything—physical things, even people in your life—that doesn’t that make you feel good. Distance yourself or remove those things from your life, if possible, because they’re taking up space for something else that could make you feel like the best version of yourself.”