WOW: Marissa of grl & co.
I’ve never met Marissa Baca in person, but I feel like I’ve known her for years. I discovered her brand grl & co. on Instagram in 2018 and was so enamored with her Resist The Bullshit Pin that it ended up being the first product I ever carried from a brand other than my own. Unsurprisingly, grl & co. was one of the first brands that popped into my head for our curated marketplace; not only because Marissa’s products are incredible and deserve to be seen, but also because I trust and respect her as a maker.
grl & co. is one of those brands that doesn’t come along very often. As a customer, you can literally feel the love and attention that goes into every banner, card, pin and tote. grl & co.'s products are the ones that make your home feel like home. They're the ones you reach for every day. The ones that make you smile and feel seen. For our very first Women-Owned Wednesday, I interviewed Marissa about the inspiration behind her brand, her advice to aspiring entrepreneurs and most importantly, her cats.
BC: Tell us a little bit about the vision and idea behind your brand.
MB: I created grl & co. because I felt unheard and not taken seriously at my, then, day job. I needed a space where I could be emotionally open and vulnerable while in a position of authority, and I thought other women might need to see that as well. As women, I think the most amazing thing about us is we can run a business, love and support everyone around us, feel sad sometimes, and then pick ourselves up and go for a run all in one day. I needed to celebrate that, so I created the world of grl!
BC: Why the name Grl & Co?
MB: I always knew I didn't want to release work or products under my own name because it's long and I didn't feel it could carry the weight of a brand. I am also very impulsive so if I were going to start something, it's because I decided the day before and I looked at all three of my cats and it just *clicked.* Gatsby came first and I didn't name him, Rae came second and I co-named her, and Lola came last and I named her on my own. There was "grl," waking me up every morning before my alarm because they were hungry.
BC: What message do you hope your designs sends to your customers?
MB: I hope my designs show customers that they can feel everything and still get shit done.
BC: Tell us about your studio space and neighborhood. How does it influence your work?
MB: My studio is inside of my apartment in a second bedroom turned design haven. Located in Ridgewood, Queens, the studio windows look out onto a busy street and the subway train platform. The mix of coziness that is working from home and the constant hustle of the NYC commute outside makes for a contrast in vibes that I rarely think about. I think it’s a perfect pair for keeping me moving and grooving throughout the day. My studio cat also helps! She will remind me a couple times a day to take a screen break and calms my small business owner anxiety.
BC: Do you have any advice for aspiring entrepreneurs?
MB: My advice would be to make sure you have enough savings that you could go a couple months without making money. After you have that down, just do it. And don’t compare yourself to anyone else!!