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Los Angeles #FemmeNouvElle: Mary Brennan Reich

Mary Brennan (MB) Reich is the founder of a handmade jewelry company, Bare & Golden (www.BareandGolden.com). With every piece designed and hand-made by MB herself, she started the company as a survival job to pursue other artistic ventures in Los Angeles, CA. Before long the jewelry caught on with some of the top fashion bloggers in the game, and Bare & Golden took a turn that she never expected. Now her full time pursuit, MB is testing the waters as an entrepreneur running a business that has become very successful in a short amount of time entirely by herself. Here's what she has to say.

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The Nouvelle Connection (The NC): How would you define success?

Mary Brennan (MB): I’m not sure yet. But I do know, when I nail it down, it won’t be defined by other’s people’s opinions. It will include being comfortable with failures and having people in my life that I would burn all my material belongings for. I’ve heard too many people at the end of life say something like, “all that matters is loving people and being loved.” It would be stupid to be too caught up in petty things to listen.

The NC: Tell us a few of your daily habits and life hacks.

MB: I can’t go to bed past midnight, I just can’t. I keep a to-do list by my bedside so I can spit out all my thoughts, clear it all out, and lay me down to sleep. I drive a lot for work and listen to about 8 podcast episodes a day…they keep me sane, make me laugh, and fill me up. I am also learning how to take a day off. I am trying to take one day or at least a half-day to not touch work or email. That’s a struggle when you like what you do, and it’s especially hard when you work for yourself.

The NC: What is the first thing you do to start your day?

MB: I call one of my family members to start my day with a smile (whoever answers) and brush my teeth, wash my face, put on lactic acid and moisturize.

The NC: 5 things you recommend for women looking to pursue an entrepreneurial endeavor?

MB:

  • 1. Drop fear.
  • 2. Own your mistakes but don’t let them weigh heavy on you.
  • 3. Keep your current/day job if you can and start building your business in your own time…it’ll help you know how committed you really are. You need to be committed enough to do it when you’re exhausted. Once you feel ready, go all in.
  • 4. Find a mentor. Find someone that will be honest with you and keep you financially accountable.
  • 5. Make it a top priority to give. No matter how much money you are making, give.

The NC: What has been key in your journey to success?

MB: Supportive friends that trust you and put themselves out there for you. Eating well to keep my energy up. Keeping a big perspective and using those 10 minutes here and 10 minutes there to better myself, push myself.

The NC: How has your career/life path changed along the way?

MB: Sometimes you don’t know you’re good at something until you try it. That seems simple and oversaid, but too many people say no for a million reasons even though people are telling them yes. There is so much I want to do, want to be, and I have learned, begrudgingly, that I can’t do it all at one time. But I can do one thing at a time, do well at it, find happiness around me, and experience life fully.

The NC: What advice would you have for young women today?

MB: Be kind to everyone and make your own lane. You’re not the center of the universe, so don’t get obsessed with the worldly definition of success. So much of this world could use your help, and I promise it would bring you joy. Give.

… Can my favorite quote from Roosevelt be my advice? It was good advice for me, so maybe it will be for other women.

“It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.” (Roosevelt, 1910)