IAM667- Founder Pursues Her Passion of Fashion and Design

Podcast Interview with Marcia Maxwell

Marcia Maxwell left the corporate world to pursue her passion for fashion and design. She founded her brand under her namesake, but it is also known as MBM Swim. Her first swimwear collection was in January 2019 and has already gotten the attention of Victoria’s Secret, Sports Illustrated, Forbes, and many others. Through faith and grit, Maxwell is working to grow her brand to be the next big name in swim and resort wear.

  • CEO Hack: (1) Writing a to-do list to help me be more intentional (2) Two books – The One Thing by Gary W. Keller & Jay Papasan and Be Obsessed or Be Average
  • CEO Nugget: Focus and don't spread yourself too thin
  • CEO Defined: Being a visionary and executing the vision to get it to light



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Intro 0:02

Do you want to learn effective ways to build relationships, generate sales, and grow your business from successful entrepreneurs, startups, and CEOs without listening to a long, long, long interview? If so, you've come to the right place. Gresham Harkless values your time and is ready to share with you precisely the information you're in search of. This is the I AM CEO Podcast.

Gresham Harkless 0:29

Hello. Hello. Hello, this is Gresh from the I AM CEO podcast and I have a very special guest on the show today. I have Marcia Maxwell of Marcia, it's awesome to have you on the show.

Marcia Maxwell 0:40

Oh, yes. So nice. For you to have me. Thanks so much.

Gresham Harkless 0:44

No problem. Super excited to have you on and glad you could be a guest. And what I want to do is read a little bit more about Marcia, as you can hear about all the awesome things that she's doing. And Marcia left the corporate world to pursue her passion for fashion and design. She founded her brand and her namesake, but it is also known as MBM Swim, her first swimwear collection was in January 2019. And it has already gotten the attention of Victoria's Secret Sports Illustrated Forbes and many others. Through faith and grit. Marcia is working to grow her brand to be the next big name and swim and resort. Marcia, are you ready to speak to the I AM CEO community?

[restrict paid=”true”]

Marcia Maxwell 1:18

Yes, I'm ready.

Gresham Harkless 1:19

Awesome. So to kick everything off, I wanted to hear a little bit more about the beginning. Can you take us through your CEO story? And what led you to start your business?

Marcia Maxwell 1:28

Yes, definitely. So like I said, I was in the corporate world before and was kind of miserable. It was really hard going to work every day when I knew that I was just meant to be creative. So you know, the desk job and everything, it kind of got old really quick. And I've always been interested in fashion. But to be honest, I didn't really pursue it because I thought that it was a long shot, you know, like, Oh, I thought, you know, no one makes it in fashion, I'm just gonna go the safe route and do business management and get a business management degree and work in the government or having a regular job.

Like most people in my area and in the DC area. So, so that's what I did, but kind of a roundabout story, but fashion found me again, once we moved to Korea for work, and my husband picked up photography. So from there, I picked up sewing again. And that's when I just started getting back into fashion and in making things and so kind of in a roundabout way, I kind of settled on swimwear, because that was the thing that I love to do the most and it brought me the most pleasure so I decided to just go all in on that. And that's how I got started.

Gresham Harkless 2:52

Nice, I definitely appreciate that and I'm a big believer in you know, having your calling and you know, having talents and gifts given to you to kind of you know give to the world and I think so many times that we may not necessarily go to our column we know sometimes what they are we have an idea. But those things are kind of like you know, those old school popup blockers that pop up, you know, every time trying to get you to do something, it's kind of like your gifts are the exact same thing where they never leave you and they show up in so many different ways telling you you need to follow her.

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Marcia Maxwell 3:19

Exactly, yeah.

Gresham Harkless 3:22

So I wanted to drill down a little bit deeper Could you take us through MBM swimwear, take us through exactly like what you're providing what we can find there?

Marcia Maxwell 3:30

So my swimwear it's, it's really unique, sexy, elegant swimwear. And I think that what kind of makes it unique is that I am doing it from the eye of a person who's married to a photographer. So I like to create really beautiful things, things that are unique and photograph well. So I think that really kind of is what I can or what, you know, MBM swim provides, you know, it's just something just unique and that kind of teeters on that line between sexy and split, still elegant, you know, a swimwear.

Gresham Harkless 4:15

Absolutely. No, I love that perspective. And I think you know so many times that when we have different businesses we kind of sometimes forget like the different perspectives that we have in terms of creating stuff and so that's why I love you know everything about it. I like art, you know, and I know people a lot of times say that as far as fashion and a lot of overlaps because you have a different perspective because of your learning experience for the people you're around like your husband as well. That gives you that unique kind of flavour to whatever you're doing.

Marcia Maxwell 4:41

Right. Yeah, I agree.

Gresham Harkless 4:45

Awesome. And so I wanted to ask you now for what I call your secret sauce and I don't know if you already touched on this, but this could be for yourself or your business but what do you feel kind of sets you apart and makes you unique?

Marcia Maxwell 4:56

I feel like it's me, you know, no one is Unique well, everyone is unique. I feel like in everyone starting their business, their secret sauce is kind of themselves. But, for me, because I'm the one doing the designs, I put a lot of effort and detail and everything into my designs, and I feel like I have a unique perspective. In that aspect, there are a lot of people who have swimwear lines or start swimwear lines. And, you know, they kind of offer the same basic styles or just, you know, wholesale from, from a Chinese website or something like that. But my designs are 100% me, they're 100%, you know, unique, and I really take the time to make sure that every detail is perfect. So it's me, I feel like I'm the secret sauce.

Gresham Harkless 5:49

Yeah, then it makes so much sense. And I find that a lot with you know, especially founders, because I think that the thing that they produce, or the thing that they create, kind of has their, their stamp on it for lack of a better term. And I think so many times when we forget the fact and not even just forget the fact we all are unique as you kind of spoke on it. But I don't think a lot of us walk through that uniqueness and are running our own races, I like to say, and I think when you do that in so many different ways, whether it be swimming or so many different ways that we have for our talents and our gifts. That's when things start to go to another level because your truth is true and authentic to yourself and how you carry yourself but also what you produce.

Marcia Maxwell 6:26

Right? Yeah, exactly.

Gresham Harkless 6:28

Awesome. Awesome. Awesome. I wanted to switch gears a little bit. And I want to ask you for what I call a CEO hack. So that could be like an app or book or a habit that you have, or what's something that makes you more effective and efficient.

Marcia Maxwell 6:42

I feel like for me, I can definitely tell a big difference. And the days that I make intentionally, like, by writing down a to-do list. So to do this makes me a lot more intentional with my time and with how I spend it. So. So for instance, like, if I wake up, I write a note, I mean, I write down my, my list of things that I have to get done, then I prioritise it as far as what is the most important and for me, right now, as a new business, the most important things to me are increasing revenue, you know, increasing sales and awareness. So I try to really knock out those things first, and then everything else, you know, it's like a bonus if I get done, or it just moves to the next day. But if I don't write a list down, or you know, or write that out, literally the day just gets away from me. So yeah, that's just a little productivity hack that I found works really well for me.

Gresham Harkless 7:51

Yeah, that makes so much sense. And I find the exact same thing where you know, you kind of want to be intentional in a best way to be intentional is to write things out. Because, as you said, I think at a certain time in the day, it seems like everything starts pulling at you, whether it be emails or social media notifications, or phone calls, whatever that might be, that if you aren't intentional, you have you haven't said this is what I need to do. And furthermore, this is what my priorities are those things don't get done. And you don't really get to move that needle forward as much as you wish you would.

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Marcia Maxwell 8:21

Yeah, yeah, that's the big difference.

Gresham Harkless 8:23

Yeah, absolutely. So I definitely appreciate that. And so I want to ask you now for what I call a CEO nugget, so that could be like a word of wisdom or a piece of advice. Or if you could happen to be a time machine, what would you tell your younger self?

Marcia Maxwell 8:38

I would tell myself to focus and not to spread myself too thin. When I first realised like, you know what, I need to be an entrepreneur, I want to be an entrepreneur, I dibble the dabble into everything. I tried to do a little bit of real estate a little bit of, you know, the fashion thing, a little bit of this, a little bit of that, like it was literally all over the place. Even with my efforts with the fashion design stuff. I was making, you know, onesie twosie pieces of everything from suits to avantgarde pieces to gowns, to casual wear, like, you name it, I was creating it and making it and it was literally like just a hodgepodge of things all over the place. As well as other business ventures that I was trying to do all at one time. Things changed for me when I read Well, there were two books that I read around the same time one of them was The One Thing and the other one was Be Obsessed or Be Average Grant Cardone's one of my favourites to get, you know, pumped and motivated. But those two books the other one The one thing I think is two authors, I can't remember.

Gresham Harkless 9:58

Gary Keller is one of them.

Marcia Maxwell 9:59

I think yeah, Gary Keller in I think, Jay something. But yeah, so I think once I read those books, and I said, You know what I'm gonna go all in on one thing, I'm gonna be obsessed on one thing and just do that in narrow my focus, then everything changed. I felt like I got so much further. I am, I'm lucky enough to have a husband, who was working while I tried to figure out this entrepreneurial thing. So I had the time to do pretty much whatever I wanted and try to figure it out. But for a few years, I literally had all the time in the world getting nothing done. And I think it was a lot because I was just spreading myself too thin doing too much. And my focus, I didn't have a focus, you know, but once I narrowed my focus, I got a lot farther, a lot faster, because I was going in a straight line instead of zigzag, I feel.

Gresham Harkless 11:01

Yeah, that makes so much sense. And, you know, I'm emphatically not in my head because I was doing the exact same thing. And it's so funny that you said that book, changes your perspective, because it changed mine too, because I have a lot of different interests. And I like to work in a lot of different, you know, fields and things. But it was that book, the one thing specifically for me, that made me look at doing one thing in a different way than I had ever thought about I always heard you should focus, you always should, you know, have one thing that you're doing, but I felt like I was working hard to in order to do that to try to find a way all these different ideas, but it was when you're able to kind of focus on one thing that by doing it everything else is easier, unnecessary, and allow those kinds of dominoes to start to set up and then eventually to fall because you have that that's that linear focus.

Marcia Maxwell 11:46

Right. Yeah, that book is definitely a game-changer, I would recommend it. I do recommend it to so many people and to everyone, especially entrepreneurs because I feel like entrepreneurs are such passionate people, you know, we have a lot of different avenues that we might want to go or whatever. But what if you want to go far, you know, faster and get things done, then you just have to focus on one thing and kind of narrow, you know, narrow your focus.

Gresham Harkless 12:14

Yeah, absolutely. You're absolutely right. Because I think once you have that entrepreneurial switch, or whatever starts to open up or flick on, not only do you see the opportunity you're currently pursuing, but you start to see opportunities everywhere, and you have that singular focus, or you really won't start to move that needle as you kind of spoke to, and I've experienced myself as well to where you're doing so much that in a day, you're not having the impact that you could if you were to just really focus on that one thing.

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Marcia Maxwell 12:41

Exactly, yeah.

Gresham Harkless 12:43

Awesome. So now I wanted to ask you my absolute favourite question, which is the definition of what it means to be a CEO. And we're hoping to have different, quote-unquote, CEOs on this show. So Marcia, what does being a CEO mean to you?

Marcia Maxwell 12:53

Well, to me, being, it just means being a visionary, you know, because I see the potential in my business very vividly. And I can see how big it can grow, what areas I want to expand it into the culture of the business, and how successful it'll be. And I feel like I only have that vision, I believe God gave me that vision. My parents, my friends, relatives, and all that stuff, they, and even other CEOs that I really respect, they all have their opinion on what I should do with the direction, and what direction I should go into, and what I wear, what I should do with my business, but no one else has my vision, and no one else has seen how great my company, my brand will be like I have. So to me, being a CEO means that it's my job to execute that vision that God gave me my God-given vision and to bring it to life.

Gresham Harkless 13:58

Absolutely, I definitely, you know, love that perspective in the vision piece. And I think I'm a big believer, and I referenced this a lot like a parable of the talents. And I feel like we're all given talents, to give them out to the world. And I think that, you know, we're all given them individually to fulfil them in our lives and for you know, not just our world, but also you know, God's name, and all the awesome things that he's been able to do. So, I definitely appreciate that reminder because I think that vision that we have and that we've been given, you know, it's important for us to, to remind ourselves of and to see that so that we know that we're going we know what we're able to achieve because it's really hard to hit a vision if you don't actually see it. So being given that definitely a gift.

Marcia Maxwell 14:36

Yes. Yeah, definitely. I agree. it's a big part of of being CEO, you know, your head you're steering the ship, you know, of being able to get this vision to life that you see like you can I can see it so vividly of how my business is going to impact the world, you know, but yeah, so that's it the CEO it's that's my mission that's what it means. You know being a CEO is getting that vision into fruition.

Gresham Harkless 15:12

Absolutely. So definitely a beautiful thing and Marcia truly appreciates that definition. I appreciate your time even more. What I wanted to do is pass the mic so to speak, just to see if there's anything additional. You want to let our readers and listeners know and then of course how best they can get a hold of you and find out about all those and things you're working on.

Marcia Maxwell 15:30

Yeah, so well to get in contact with me you can find me on MBM swim on all social media, that's M B as in boy M swim on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, and yeah, all that I'm even on TikTok now. Yeah, so and then is my website. So if you could go check it out and support you know, small businesses like mine that'd be great. I really appreciate it.

Gresham Harkless 16:06

No problem, I definitely appreciate you as well. And what we'll do is we'll have the links and information in the show notes so that everybody can follow up with you. But Marcia, truly appreciate your time and appreciate you living you know, through that faith and grid as I referenced when I read your bio, and I hope you have a phenomenal rest of the day.

Outro 16:21

Thank you for listening to the I AM CEO Podcast powered by Blue 16 Media. Tune in next time and visit us at I AM CEO is not just a phrase, it's a community. Be sure to follow us on social media and subscribe to our podcast on iTunes Google Play and everywhere you listen to podcasts, SUBSCRIBE, and leave us a five-star rating grab CEO gear at This has been the I AM CEO Podcast with Gresham Harkless. Thank you for listening.

[fusebox transcript]


Mercy - CBNation Team

This is a post from a CBNation team member. CBNation is a Business to Business (B2B) Brand. We are focused on increasing the success rate. We create content and information focusing on increasing the visibility of and providing resources for CEOs, entrepreneurs and business owners. CBNation consists of blogs(, podcasts, ( and videos ( CBNation is proudly powered by Blue16 Media.

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