Feminist Icons and Cake: An Interview With Marcie Irving

Marcie Irving is a baker and a business woman. If you mentioned this concept fifty years ago it would be laughable. Irving represents better than anybody how it is possible to enjoy and excel in traditional aspects of the feminine gender role while also running her very own, very successful Etsy business, Miss Marcie Online – for which she has great plans for.

Marcie relocated from Fife to Glasgow last year and has since has become more involved in women’s issues in the city. The sales from her recent collection called “Feminist Killjoy”went towards Glasgow Women’s Aid, a project that helps women and their families suffering domestic abuse. Marcie represents glamour, charity, creativity and independence, and shows exactly what it means to be a feminist in the 21st century.

marcie

How did you discover your love of crafting?

I’ve always been creative and my mum loves telling the story of my nursery teacher at parents evening saying that I had such developed scissor skills, I had to be given a pair of adult scissors at craft time. At school I did a little bit of crafting for fundraisers, making handmade Christmas cards and bookmarks etc. I love paper and stationary and I have a slight obsession with product packaging too. The idea to start Miss Marcie Online came to me almost accidentally, I started off making stickers for myself and when it worked I decided to try selling on Etsy. I sold my first set the day I opened my shop!

Many of your items feature people like Lana Del Rey and Marina and The Diamonds – which other women inspire you and why?

Women like Nicki Minaj, Charli XCX, Taylor Swift and Kesha are a few of my role models – and not just because of their incredible music! Kesha’s recent battles with her abusive manager being publicised in the media, and the fact that not everyone sides with her or even believes her really shocked me. But the way she has handled it is inspiring and it’s amazing to see other women in media come out to show support and spark discussion. Nicki has spoken confidently about how important it is for girls and women to educate themselves and to never compromise for a man or for anyone else. She is her own boss and I love that she is so unapologetically herself.

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A lot of your designs have a retro look to them and feature pin up girls. What attracts you to that old fashioned glamour?

My mum used to run a vintage clothes shop back in the 90s, and even though I hadn’t even been conceived when she eventually shut her doors I think I caught the vintage bug from her! I once took a picture of Marilyn Monroe into the hairdressers when I was 11 and said, “I want to look like that”. I was obsessed with her from a young age and had posters all over my room. I love pin up art too and I have a fascination with retro style lingerie, my stocking collection is getting a little ridiculous!

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How do you manage running an etsy shop with over 2000 sales and balance your life on the side?

Running my shop is only a part time job for me and I really enjoy spending time working on it. It’s a hobby for me and sometimes a good way to escape for a few hours each day. Since opening in October 2013 I’ve experienced a lot of changes in my life personally but my shop has always been a constant for me. I’m really proud of myself that I’ve managed to develop it to the stage it’s at today. It’s one of the few things in my life that I’ve done all on my own and that spurs me on to keep it balanced with my personal life.

Do you have any plans to make new products or sell your work anywhere else, online or in person?

I’m always designing new sticker sets and hip flasks and trying to appeal to a wider market. I’ve been looking into making my own printed mugs too and whether it would be a worthwhile idea! My mum is actually opening another shop soon and I’ll be selling my designs there, and am possibly looking into stocking a few gift shops in the West End of Glasgow.

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What more do you want to achieve with Miss Marcie online?

I would love to expand Miss Marcie Online further, I’m going to be studying business at college after the summer so I’m looking forward to learn more about the industry and how I can achieve even bigger things in the future! However I’m very happy with how the business is doing at the moment and how it fits into my life and my daily routine, more of the same would do me just fine.

Check out Marcie’s shop at https://www.etsy.com/uk/shop/MissMarcieOnline

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