Mary Young, the founder of Toronto’s lingerie brand, MARY YOUNG, shared her experience in starting up an ethical lifestyle lingerie business that allows women to celebrate their natural shape. Check out what led her to start her business, her perspective on self-love, and her morning routine!
What inspired you to start MARY YOUNG?
The concept behind my line was developed during my fourth year at Ryerson while I was working on my thesis. I began studying the lingerie industry, a category I previously could care less about and after months of research I realized the reason I didn't care much for lingerie is because I felt alienated by the industry and media. I never saw myself in ads and I was constantly told I wasn't sexy unless I looked like what I saw and wore what those women wore. I knew I couldn't be the only woman who felt this way and decided to do something about it. This concept behind encouraging all women to feel worthy of their bodies in their natural shape is the fuel to keep me going.
"To focus on the path and the 'now' makes the journey of self-love more beautiful and fruitful."
MARY YOUNG promotes self-love (as seen in Self Love Club) - what piece of advice would you give to those who are on the road to self-love?
The journey of self-love is just that, a journey. As humans we want to feel accomplished and like we've achieved something, but with self-love it is a constant journey that is changing. For me, knowing I will never truly accomplish self-love has helped me a lot in the process, by showing myself more kindness for the process and embracing the journey. To focus on the path and the 'now' makes the journey of self-love more beautiful and fruitful.
What does your typical day look like?
My every day varies so much which is exciting but can get to be chaotic. Some very typical things are starting my day at Tokyo Smoke for a matcha latte - always great to start the day on a high note. When I'm in the studio I can be working on anything from designing next season, reviewing wholesale accounts, strategizing our marketing goals, planning social media content and so on. The great thing about having your own company is having your hands involved in almost every area, but it can be a bit taxing switching through so many different areas. Overall I enjoy how everyday feels a little different and keeps me on my toes.
What was the worst piece of advice you’ve ever received?
I don't think there has been a specific piece of bad advice but I have had a lot of advice around how I should grow and scale my business - I'm sure most of it coming from a good place - but I've had to learn how to trust my intuition. Just because someone is sharing their advice with you does not mean you have to take it.
Do you have any morning routines or evening rituals to help you stay balanced?
Yes! I'm a huge fan of routines. I often wake up within the same 30 minutes each day - unless I'm doing an early morning workout - and make sure to have a good breakfast before starting the day. If I start my day rushed and unorganized the rest of my day will follow suit. I make sure to take time for myself in the morning and on my way into the studio I grab a matcha latte at Tokyo Smoke around the corner. This small thing helps me shift into gear of a working mindset and helps me feel motivated to get things going. At the end of the day if I feel myself running over to-do's or work related problems I write out a list. I'm very tactile so actually hand write the to-do list for the next day and any other lingering thoughts. This helps me get it out of my mind and ease myself into relaxing and eventually sleep.
If you liked this interview, you might like our recent interview with Nana Agyemang, founder of EveryStylishGirl.