Today we’d like to introduce you to Marcia Purdy.
Marcia, can you briefly walk us through your story – how you started and how you got to where you are today.
Born and raised in the Midwest, St. Louis, Missouri to be exact. I always get the question, “how did you end up in Miami?” and my response is always “school brought me here, love kept me here”. Miami is where I found my life partner, learned to love myself and started my accessory label, A Gem & I. Miami is like my true love story!
My love for fashion started very early on and at 12 years old, I was gifted my first sewing machine from my grandmother. I started by sewing everything under the sun from doll clothes to denim bikinis from old jeans. I knew my passion for style would lead me to the fashion industry and although it did, It was not on the side I envisioned. While I was in college, I landed my first retail job, which was the start to my love-hate relationship with the retail industry. I worked my way up within multiple companies, and after five years of being a store manager, I felt like something was missing. I had grown a love for managing the business but I was lacking creativity in my life. I decided to go a different route in my retail career and took a chance as a Visual Merchandiser and I loved it. The experience definitely helped me find my personal style and it relit my creative fire.
However, going this route also meant I’d eventually need to get a second job. I worked tirelessly seven days a week until eventually that creative fire went out yet again. My life became a routine of get up, work, sleep, and repeat. When Covid-19 made landfall it instantly changed so many of our lives. I was one of the millions that lost their job, in my case jobs, due to my positions being “non-essential”. All of a sudden my life went from always on the go to going absolutely nowhere, and as crazy as it sounds it was exactly what I needed. Covid-19 put so much in perspective for me that I got the chance to ask myself what I wanted, had the time to make a plan and execute it. I had no idea what I was doing or even where to start, so I did tons of research in the early mornings and late nights until everything came together. On June 1, 2020 in the midst of a worldwide pandemic, A Gem & I was born.
Overall, has it been relatively smooth? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way?
What’s a journey if you don’t have the bumps along the way? It’ll never be smooth but as long as you keep going, it’ll always be worth it!
For a very long time, I struggled with finding my place as a creator. I was in such a creative rut, but I never stopped looking for inspiration. Now looking back, I think it’s important to understand that there’s purpose in every hurdle. All of my successes and mistakes helped me to grow and gave me the blueprint to who I am and what I want to accomplish as a creator and entrepreneur. The moral of the story is, embrace all of the struggles and trust the process.
Please tell us about A GEM & I.
I have a contemporary accessory label called A Gem & I, that launched in June of 2020. The name of my brand means a lot to me because it’s a play on words being that my birthday starts the Gemini Season. A Gem & I specialize in minimalist jewelry made from quality metals, so they’re made to last! The designs are unique yet modern and easy to layer for any occasion.
If you had to go back in time and start over, would you have done anything differently?
I have two major lessons that I constantly remind myself of. The first is understanding that there’s no such thing as perfection, which is a big one for me. There will never be the perfect time, so you will have to start, learn as you go and that’s OK. Secondly, celebrate the small victories because small accomplishments are just as meaningful and important as the big wins.
- Website: www.agemandi.com
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Instagram: @shop.agemandi @marcia.purdy
- Facebook: @shop.agemandi