Dear MM Family,

Happy Holidays! We made it! We all made it to the end of a year that undoubtedly changed us all. Writing has become a form of therapy for me this year. I started journaling and found comfort and healing in allowing my thoughts to flow onto paper. As I write to you for the last time this year, I hope to share some behind the curtain insights into mine and team MM’s year. In a word, this year for me has been about ‘community’. You, our MM whanau, have been my lighthouse, continuing to guide me in the harshest of storms. I have found so much strength in our incredible community.
 

The first community event in our Britomart Home with the lovely Madeleine Walker and Stacey O Gorman

Our community event in Takutai Square hosted by our wonderful Alisha Wheeler, Communications Director turned Yoga Instructor

Nick Morrison our sustainability consultant turned pilates instructor taking a class at our New Market Headquarters

 

 When I wrote to you all in April, the entire world was in some form of lockdown. I spoke to you about vulnerability being one of the most extraordinary acts of courage and the key to living a truly authentic life. And honestly, one of my biggest learnings from this year has been how powerful is that of the collective strength that comes from vulnerability. We have seen this come to light in our community events. Dr Prathima graciously shared her time and knowledge with us around the life-altering disease that affects 176 million women worldwide; endometriosis. The brave women who shared their stories and the female camaraderie felt in the room that night, still gives me goosebumps. After this we hosted a roundtable discussion with some of our long-standing manufactures and suppliers here in New Zealand. They all candidly shared the challenges of working in fashion, whilst finding comfort in their collective passion and dedication to building a kinder and more equitable industry. Another community highlight, was an evening hosted by the beautiful Madeleine Walker from The Twenties Club and women’s wellbeing coach, Stacey O’Gorman. Maddy interviewed Stacy on the effects of burnout in the modern world and how this affects our sex lives and ultimately, the relationships that we hold closest. Stacey, through her openness and vulnerability shared with the MM community her tools to building a life, where we don’t just survive, we truly thrive.

Kate and George working in between appointments in our New York Showroom (hard to believe we were in America in February!)

George carrying samples down 5th Ave after visiting one of our stores for a sales training

Sight seeing in an uber to the airport. The only chance I get to see the sights when travelling!

 

The courage to be vulnerable gives us the ability to connect, and as humans, we crave this the most - connection. Belonging. Being a part of something greater. We are instinctively social animals, we are not created to roam solo, and the key to our success as humans has always been our collective strength. I believe this to be true with the change we wish to make at Maggie Marilyn. My dream for MM since I started in my parent’s garage, was not to build a fashion brand that made beautiful clothes but to build a community of changemakers. That no matter your background, where you come from, Maggie Marilyn is a community that invites you in with warm and open arms.
In the wise words of Rupi Kaur, this year “I learnt vulnerability is always the right choice because it is easy to be cold in a world that makes it so very difficult to remain soft”.

My home Somewhere, Ker Keri

Summer sunsets. I plan on much more of this over summer.

 

Looking out over the sunset at Somewhere

 

Whilst this is the ultimate oxymoron, 2020 has been one of the greatest and most difficult years of my life. I have had the raw heartbreak that hits you like a series of tidal waves; there is no truer saying than nothing hurts like a broken heart. It has been the year for making strangers out of friends and friends out of strangers. I have found unimaginable strength in the warm energy of friendship. I read recently that a soul mate doesn’t necessarily come in the form of a romantic lover, it can come in the form of friendships, a mother, father, sister, brother or friend and I believe this to be true. I feel blessed knowing that I have found not one but a group of soul mates in my life.

Freezing day in Piha shooting our ‘Now is the time to be brave’ series with the wonderful Motion Sickness team

Olive and George on set with Motion Sickness shooting our Somewhere Series

The incredible Motion Sickness team working hard to get the shot

 

Then there is my MM team, Rod, Megan, Olive, George, Ella, Georgia, Grace, Sarah, Kate, Alisha, Charissa, Noelene, Annie, Milly, Anna, Jane, Jess, Jesse, Louise, Ross, Annalise and Georgina. The most incredible group of talented individuals I have had the honour of working with. Some of whoms time at MM has come to an end as they fly to their next adventure, but this is the team, which has allowed MM to not only survive but to sore like an eagle in 2020, our best year yet. We have led with the team mantra of “Now is the time to be brave”, and I am in awe of the strength and dedication my team has shown this year. For those who know me well, they know MM is my life, and this team is my family.

Katie Lockhart's team working hard to get our Britomart Home ready for its opening

Our sliding doors being installed moments before the opening. We got there!

Xanthe’s team installing our wayfinder fauna in the wee hours of the morning, the day before the opening.

 

Some of the team celebrating after the opening of our Britomart home! Olive, Georgia, Alisha, Jesse, Louise, Maggie, Milly and Ella.

Ella and George enjoying a well earned celebration.

 

2020 was a test in grit and resilience that is for sure. I am often asked in interviews what my greatest leanings have been in my 4-year journey of building MM. I think what I have learnt is that you have to be relentless in your pursuit, while having courage and conviction in everything that you do. Put your heart into this world. Love deeply, care deeply. Have the courage to let it HURT. Be passionate. Fight for what is right, what is good, no matter what. Chase the things that make you want to get out of bed in the morning.
So, as I look ahead to 2021, I feel more optimistic than ever. We will be opening more MM homes next year, with more fire in our bellies than ever to use fashion to create a better world. Stay tuned as we release our 2022 Sustainability Strategy early next year.
In the wise words of Brene Brown, “It is the brave and the brokenhearted who will change the world” so with skinned knees and bruised hearts, take this holiday to rest and regain your strength, we will see you in 2021.
Sending you all my love and warm hugs,
xxx
Maggie

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