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[Incubateur HEC Paris] Marie gives life to jewelry

Meeting with Marie Cabirou, founder of the jewelry brand, Marie Mas, created in 2017. Discover how the entrepreneur, starting from an innovative concept, linked to movement, creates a new relationship with jewelry.

Marie Cabirou, Marie Mas

Marie Cabirou began her studies in fashion and accessory design at the IFM and at Ecole Duperré. After some experience with young brands in accessories and jewelry, she landed an internship at Dior in the jewelry studio, where she designed jewelry for fashion shows and collections. 

After her internship, she launched her career in the same firm, where she realizes the importance of each and every step as well as each department’s implication in the process of creation and marketing. 

Driven by the desire to undertake and create her own brand, she left Dior after 3 years to launch Marie Mas in January 2017.
 

Meeting with Marie

What was your motivation to launch your own venture?

It was a desire I‘d had for a long time. I told myself that it was better to try my luck when I’m young and full of energy (Laughter.) You never know how things will turn out and I'm not sure that you can ever really feel ready. It's all about taking the plunge. I told myself that what I didn't know, I'd find out as I go along.  

Tell us about your Marie Mas brand.

The idea was to make live jewelry. Bringing movement into my creations gives me the feeling that I bring life to them and therefore a soul, by extension. It also creates a relationship to the jewel that is quite different, much more personal and sentimental. This is what I try to do by developing innovative creative techniques, some of which I have been able to patent. I create each new collection through the development of a new innovative, movement technique. The idea is to create jewelry that changes shape or color following the movements of the wearer.

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Jewelry is not a need, it's something more. That's why I find it important to bring joy and magic to my clients.
What I find exciting in luxury is to be able to push design to a very high level to achieve a product that nears perfection. The ability to manage each material and each creation to the smallest detail is fascinating.  

What risks were you willing to take to get started? 

All of them! (Laughs) Leaving a big firm to go it alone, I accepted the idea of leaving behind my comfort and safety. Then, launching a jewelry brand necessarily involved a very significant financial investment in raw materials. Building a luxury brand is a long-term process and requires time and patience to establish a certain credibility in the industry and a quality brand image. The first difficulty was to make the brand known to the right target with a limited advertising budget. We find ourselves faced with brands that are already very established, where clients turn first. 

What did the Incubateur HEC Paris bring you? 

Being part of the incubator's ecosystem helped me considerably because it was great to be with people who were facing the same issues as me and to be able to share and laugh about our problems. The experts also offered a lot of advice and support. 

Mathias Abramovicz helped me greatly on the strategy and client side as did  Erwann Goullin, Monika Esprit and Adeline Leroy. Stéphane Vermorel was also a great help on the graphic side. I also learned a lot about digital marketing thanks to Clément Bourdon who gave me the keys to move forward despite the crisis we are currently experiencing.

But above all the incubator team has been really fantastic with us, they are always available, extremely reactive and attentive to our problems. They have been particularly supportive and present during the lockdown period. 

There is a very friendly group atmosphere at the incubator and as a solo entrepreneur, it helped me to get out of isolation. 

How would you define success?

The greatest success would be for me to have the opportunity to continue doing what I love and to develop my creations. 
For the brand, my goal today is to develop my clientele. Above all, I love the relationship that I have managed to develop with my current clients. The fact of designing unique, custom-made jewelry that will become part of their daily lives. When a client leaves with a smile on her face or the feeling that she has found the piece of her dreams, I think it's great and for me therein lies my definition of success.
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These years of entrepreneurship have also taught me to be patient, tenacious and persevering.

What do you think are the skills of a good CEO? 

Knowing how to question yourself and always trying to improve!

It is important to be flexible and adaptable. Rarely do the scenarios you imagine happen as planned! You have to make do with what you have and whatever happens, make it work anyway. 

These years of entrepreneurship have also taught me to be patient, tenacious and persevering. 

What influences your creations? 

I am very inspired by everything I see around me and I am fascinated by the movement and the way things move; especially on the seabed, which inspires me. 

I learn a lot from my client meetings. It's so interesting to see reactions and how clients can conceive the pieces their own. I think about their feedback a lot and it also inspires me to create new things. I realize that the human side of my work is very important to me.

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Can you present us your latest collection? 

My latest collection "Emerald Wave" is inspired by the oceans and the fascinating movement of the waves. It consists mainly of rings and earrings. 
The Wave rings have a wave movement when worn. Evoking the waves, fine emerald stems rise and fall, taking the natural shape of the finger. What is magical is that their movement is a secret known only to the wearer. 
The ear jewelry, in the image of the foam of the waves, come to rest in different places on the ears and propose new possibilities. 

We are currently preparing the launch of a new collection. After this very special year, I wanted to propose a collection that makes even more sense. Each of the jewels will have a movement that will allow it to personalize a message inside, whether it is a mantra for yourself or a statement for the person you want to offer it to. Some of the models will also revisit the classic wedding rings and engagement rings, I can't wait to introduce them to you! 

What advice would you give to entrepreneurs who want to start a business? 

If you want to do it, go for it. That way, if it works, it's great, and if it doesn't work, at least you'll have really tried and there will be no regrets. Either way, it's a really rich experience that allows you to meet fantastic people!


Zoom

 

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The Marie Mas 2020 campaign is a concentrate of attitudes, gestures and emotions, like so many facets of today's woman. Lively, playful and smiling, she is a mother, a daughter, a sister, an entrepreneur or an artist...

Our muse is her, it's you, it's every woman and her personality, her history, her emotions. At a time when all smiles are masked, we celebrate the simple joy of a burst of laughter! 

«Through these photos, I wanted to capture moments of life. It was important to me that the photos give a feeling of closeness to the model, something we all miss so terribly at the moment. »

Marie Cabirou, Creative Director