An experienced brand strategist with a love for nature: Marissa Mooiman is a freelance brand consultant embracing a slow living lifestyle. As a hands-on creative thinker, she helps clients develop plans across all disciplines to bring out their full potential. Most recently, she joined forced with Wil + The People as a brand & sales coach. In her spare time, Marissa contributes to the online platform “April & May” to share personal experiences through her favorite creative outlets, writing and photography.
- How do you work?
As a brand consultant I work creatively with fashion and lifestyle businesses to support the process of taking brands to the next level. I enjoy working with clients to provide long-term structure and clarity for their businesses, listening to the needs and aspirations of every individual client. I can provide that one-on-one personalized support but also give objective “helicopter view” feedback to position each brand for optimal success. Sometimes this entails sharing insight for inspirational team management, like sensitively motivating colleagues to achieve business goals. And other times, we are sitting on the floor together, laying out styles, swatches and discussing fabrics and color set ups.
I can get super excited about a strong brand experience, it doesn’t matter if it’s about kids, garments, objects, interior, or books. It’s this special synergy that I love and I believe you can find it in all aspects: refined aesthetics, thoughtful product design, a personal story, and most important to me: sustainable consciousness.
Freelancing was a very conscious decision, but it can also feel lonely from time to time. Joining forces or working together with like-minded people can give you lots of energy and learning opportunities. For this magazine assignment I teamed up with the talented Elisabeth (@elisabetva) to create a series of images and we had so much fun! Because to be honest, modeling is not my greatest asset ;)
- What’s your background?
I have worked in the fashion industry for over 10 years now. I had many different roles across different companies. From retail store management, visual merchandising and buying, to wholesale sales, product and collection development. I ended up working almost six years for a Danish company as a brand manager. I have always loved combining the creative side of this industry with the commercial side; I believe this has always been my greatest personal asset. Being a translator across divisions.
- Why did you move towards a more slow living lifestyle? What does that mean to you?
It happened when I decided to quit my job as a brand manager, after giving birth to my second baby. Sometimes big things need to happen in your life before you realize you want to change things around. Loss in this case made me realize even more that time spent with your loved ones is never ever wasted. So yes, I started aiming for a slower life – sometimes easy, sometimes a big challenge with those little ones running around. This journey also gave me a chance to slowly grow my own business, find out where I wanted to go and to do even more of what I love.
I don’t believe you can ever find that perfect balance though! My life really is not always slow and it often feels chaotic too. Slow living for me has a lot more to do with being conscious in the choices you make; in your daily life, your home, and while being with friends or family. And definitely to focus even more on those moments you want to remember.
- What has this made you realize?
The following I repeat often, but if there is one thing that I have learned these past years it truly is that:
“ Authenticity is the constant letting go of who you think you should be, and instead embracing who you truly are!”
- What is your relationship with nature?
Being in nature, especially in a forest or near the sea (no matter the weather), clears my mind - it really is something I can’t live without for too long. It’s something that also came naturally with “less working - more living” and with having kids; the love they have for nature and the details they see make me experience this feeling even more. Coming from a pro-camping and hiking family it’s fun to acknowledge how you can appreciate some of those things better when looking back on your own childhood. One day, I will have that farmhouse were our (grand) kids can run around freely in the orchard. Now is not the right timing, so we try to find nature and be outside as often as we can. And appreciate all the perks the city offers too.
- How did your childhood influence where you are today?
I do believe that your birth order can influence our personalities in many ways. That being said, I’m the oldest of five. ;)
- What art do you most identify with?
There is not one form of art or artist I most identify with. I think one of the most beautiful things about art is that it can resonate with you in so many ways in different phases of your life. When I was in my very early teens, I absolutely loved the work of Degas and was very much into classical music, ballet and modern dance. Later, I could appreciate the works of the old famous painters much more, I even wanted to study art history for a while. When I got older, fashion, textile art, modern art (installations), interior design objects and photography is what got me excited too. I do have a highlight story called musea love on my feed.
Currently on the art wall in our home I have more minimalistic photographs and prints from different artists, “Hein studio” being one of my current favorites. And my kids’ art of course, very modern ;)
- What do you most enjoy doing?
I really do love to create, in many ways! I enjoy cooking very much -vegetarian comfort food is my favorite- and cooking as plant-based as possible has been a great new challenge lately. But it feels like “too many things, too little time” sometimes... It’s why I made a bucket list of things I still want to learn or do, especially with my hands. So recently I learned how to dye fabrics with botanical or natural ingredients and making my own ceramics is next on the list! Oh, and reading! Books, but...oh, I can really enjoy a crisp new beautifully designed magazine too.
- Who is your favorite poet?
I think this is one of those things I do like a lot about Instagram nowadays, the inspiration you get from “today’s modern poets”. Although I ended up buying printed books from two of them (I still have such a weak spot for print!), I discovered these favorite ladies through Instagram: Margon Harper Nichols, Rupi Kaur, and Tess Guinery.