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Conversations with Maria Caruso Martin

Today we’d like to introduce you to Maria Caruso Martin.

Hi Maria Caruso, it’s an honor to have you on the platform. Thanks for taking the time to share your story with us – to start, maybe you can share some of your backstory with our readers?

In 2019 while preparing to elope with the love of my life, I was looking for a special bridal handbag. I wanted something other than a flashy designer bag. I was looking for a bespoke and romantic handbag. We have a family tradition of carrying a love letter in our handbag on our wedding day, so I was on the search for a very special bridal clutch. When my search came up empty, I decided to start The Mrs. Clutch brand. In honor of my family’s tradition and to offer brides bespoke quality options for their bridal essentials, The Mrs. Clutch brand was born. The entire collection is hand-made in Italy using the finest materials in collaboration with some of the best craftsmen in Florence.

Two years later, we have added additional essentials to the product line and in January, I will be adding even more designs and romantic gifts for the bride. Inspired by my grandparent’s love story and a 100-year-old love letter The Mrs. Clutch and The Mrs. Collection is bringing romance and keepsakes to the forefront of the bride’s journey from Miss to Mrs.

With every proposal a bride is born, and the journey begins. From ring dishes to Italian leather journals and exquisite fountain pens, each item is designed to become a forever keepsake. A cherished memento from the journey from Miss to Mrs.

Our wedding day love note boxed set of 10 beautiful handmade Italian paper, complete with a floral motif and something blue, these tri-fold love notes are ready for the wedding day love letter to the groom. A keepsake that will stand the test of time and capture the emotions of the wedding day.

Italian handkerchiefs with watercolor floral motif and a touch of blue for extra love and luck. The perfect gift for the bride. Our modern take on this timeless tradition creates a modern heirloom for the bride.

Our signature Envelope clutch was designed specially to carry that treasured wedding day love letter. Italian satin in the perfect shade of bridal blush this romantic clutch is the core of The Mrs. Clutch brand.

2022 will bring additional clutch styles, including a modern yet luxury acrylic clutch and a special collaboration with Joy Proctor, named the top wedding designer by HARPER’S BAZAAR, VOGUE, MARTHA STEWART & BRIDES MAGAZINE.

We are committed to giving back to those in need, our partnership with Vow for Girls is at the core of the brand. With every clutch sale we donate $10 to Vow for Girls Organization.

We honor the LGBTQ community 365 days a year with special savings for LBGTQ brides. The added expense of two brides is something we honor all year long with our love is love program.

Can you talk to us a bit about the challenges and lessons you’ve learned along the way? Looking back would you say it’s been easy or smooth in retrospect?

Starting a bridal brand just as the pandemic hit and nearly every wedding in the world was canceled has been a tough climb for sure. The Italian factories shut down just as we were ready to launch and then the US shut down and the brand launch date was pushed so many times, I have lost count.

As Italy returned to work, I have managed to slowly introduce the brand, but we are on target for a bigger release in 2022.

Fabric delays and factory closing not to mention wedding cancellations and postponements truly tested the brand and my commitment.

Perseverance, determination, and the refusal to give up has kept the brand moving forward during a world pandemic.

Can you tell our readers more about what you do and what you think sets you apart from others?

I have spent over 20 years as an Interior Designer in SW Florida. Known for creating a timeless look for my clients, I have taken my love for design and flair for creating timeless design and incorporated these skills into my new endeavor The Mrs. Clutch brand.

Creating luxury bridal keepsakes with the option to work directly with brides to create a one of kind piece for their wedding day has been one of my most proud moments of my career. Weddings are such a big day in a person’s life. One of the biggest commitments in life. Having the honor to work with a bride to design a special piece for this unforgettable day is something I treasure. To be entrusted to create something so personal is truly an honor.

As a small, female-founded company, I am 100% hands on. I speak with each bride directly. I design and oversee every piece of the design. Our bespoke program allows the brides to speak directly with me and that sets us apart from other larger companies.

Who else deserves credit in your story?

The wedding industry is a very small community of extremely hardworking dedicated people. Joining this elite group in 2019 as a newcomer, I have made some incredible women who have literally cheered and coached and mentored me through the entire journey.

The first incredible woman to offer a helping hand was Ceci Johnson of Ceci New York. She is a legend in the industry and a dear friend. I met Ceci while planning my elopement. She designed our elopement announcements and from that day forward she has been by my side cheering for The Mrs. Clutch brand and lending her platform and exposure any chance she gets.

Heather Trost from Eden Luxe Bridal was the second person to lend a helping hand. I reached out via DM on Instagram and from the moment she answered that DM, she has been here to help any chance she can. Eden Luxe Bridal is also Located in SW Florida (Palm Beach) it was comforting to have a Florida colleague close by for support, especially during the pandemic.

Joy Proctor, one of the most respected women in the wedding industry, working with Joy has been the absolute pinnacle. Named the best of the best by every publication in the industry, our collaboration has truly transformed the brand. Her kindness and willingness to help move The Mrs. Clutch up the luxury ladder has been invaluable. She is one in a million and I am lucky to have met her and now call her a friend.

Amy Mulder of Amy Mulder Photography. I was introduced to Amy by Heather at Eden Luxe Bridal, and I can say without hesitation Amy has been critical in introducing me to so many people in the industry. She created the beautiful photos you see on our website and IG feed. Offering her services and pairing The Mrs. Clutch brand with so endless mega brands in the industry, her introductions and helping hand has been invaluable.

Julianne Smith of The Garter Girl… she is the founder of the amazing Garter Girl Brand. She has offered endless mentoring, coaching phone calls and invaluable introductions. Always willing to lend an ear and offer support, she has introduced me to as many people in the industry as she possibly could. A true mentor and supporter of my brand.

Contact Info:

Image Credits
Amy Mulder Photography Audrey Snow Photography

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