Designer and boutique owner C. Mar always knew she wanted to create a career in the fashion industry. After graduating from the University of South Carolina with a degree in business administration and retail, she went back to school for fashion design. From there, C. Mar began her entrepreneurial journey as a multi-talented, artistic, and passionate designer. Today, C. Mar is living in Atlanta, Georgia, where she recently opened The Audacity, her high-fashion boutique in Edgewood, Atlanta’s diverse neighborhood known for its historically Black culture.
TRW: So, what attracted you to the fashion industry?
C. Mar: I’ve always had a “passion for fashion!” After graduating college and working a retail gig at the mall that I hated, I realized I wanted to work in the fashion industry by creating new “waves” of looks.
TRW: Nice! What types of designs do you specialize in?
C. Mar: I design mostly evening wear such as wedding gowns and prom dresses, as well as “ready to wear” styles. My boutique, The Audacity, is filled with statement pieces such as cute sets, tees, accessories, and more. We’re located in off of Edgewood Avenue in Atlanta at 12 Jackson St SE. Come in and visit us!
TRW: Yessss! You’ve been putting in work to get your boutique up and running. Congratulations!
C. Mar: Thank you! The highest point in my career thus far is RIGHT NOW! Even in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic and the fight against social injustice, weirdly, I’m finally in a place where I feel that everything is coming together. I have the storefront that I’ve been longing for along with a beautiful creative space.
TRW: That’s amazing. Watching part of your entrepreneurial journey, I know you’ve made a lot of sacrifices for your career.
C. Mar: For sure. My journey in the fashion industry is interesting. It’s definitely a love/ hate relationship! Being an entrepreneur is not for the faint of heart!
TRW: What are some of challenges you’ve experienced while building your business?
C. Mar: One of the biggest challenges is making an income at all times. Working when you’re not feeling your best, or you’re not in a space to create new designs is hard. As a designer, I always have to push myself to create new and fresh looks to keep my audience engaged. Being an entrepreneur definitely requires a lot of sacrifices.
TRW: How do you stay inspired?
C. Mar: My gift brings me joy because I love seeing others happy. I love seeing my brides, prom dolls, and clients glow when they slip on what I’ve created for them! When I see the final product, I appreciate my hard work even more. My gift continuously reminds me that I’m a special person.
TRW: I personally love supporting Black-owned businesses and seeing your journey flourish. Tell me what your experience as a Black creative and entrepreneur has been like?
C. Mar: My overall African American experience as an entrepreneur has been a positive one. It helps to be a Black female business owner living in Atlanta. People want to support you simply because you’re Black!
TRW: I know that’s right! What do you enjoy the most about the skin you’re in?
C. Mar: I love everything about being Black! My skin tone, hair, demeanor, my assertiveness, my lingo, my athleticism, social experiences, my mindset, my ability to laugh at anything…being Black is literally beautiful!
TRW: How would you help educate someone who wishes to learn more about the Black culture, and help end systemic racism?
C. Mar: If I could educate someone about systemic racism, I would ask them to first acknowledge that it’s real – that’s the first step. I’d also encourage them to explore and expand their mindset by experiencing activities and things with Black people. Shopping, joining a club, or attending an event that has a primarily Black demographic would definitely help. Also, I’d recommend they educate themselves on our deeply-rooted history, and not just our history around slavery.
TRW: I love the idea of having someone take a walk in our shoes to see what the Black community is like. You know, spend the day doing things we love. Speaking of which, what do you like doing when you’re not designing?
C. Mar: My number #1 hobby is EATING! I love finding new restaurants and bars, and finding a good deal or trying new foods. I also love to cook and try new recipes!
TRW: Girl! I love a good restaurant, too! And I loved talking about your creative abilities and journey. As we wrap up our chat, what’s one thing you want our readers to know about you and your creativity?
C. Mar: I want readers to know that I hope to impact young girls that don’t want to take the normal route in life. I want to show them that with hard work and discipline, they, too can create the life and career that they dream of.
Thank you, C. Mar, for sharing your flowers with us.
Website: square up.com/store/TheRealCMar