Tin Marin’s, Marina Laparte, is passionate about helping women artisans in Mexico. I discovered her brand about six months ago and fell in love with her handbags and her mission. I saw complete alignment with Kuel Life and our commitment to empower women-owned businesses. When you buy a Tin Marin bag from the Kuel Shop, you are directly impacting many many women and you are getting a beautifully crafted, handmade, bag.
Read Marina’s story on why she started and is pursuing Tin Marin and shop her bags on the Kuel Shop.
KUELLIFE: What type of business do you own/run?
MARINA: My business is based on artisan handmade products that bring a unique offering to my customers. It’s an e-commerce business founded in San Diego and inspired by the artisans of the world and their crafts.
KUELLIFE: What prompted you or drove you to become an entrepreneur? When?
MARINA: It all started two years ago when I discovered our original product, the handwoven tote bag, in a small town in Mexico. I was shocked that more people didn’t know about these handbags and even more so that no one was spreading the art of these creative and accomplished communities. I knew I wanted to do something, but it wasn’t until last year that I finally developed the plan and sought out to make a brand focused on spreading the craft of these handmade items while providing something unique and practical for women everywhere.
KUELLIFE: What turns you on most about your gig?
MARINA: The endless cycle of ideas and creative ways we can keep working with artisans. Everyday we’re coming up with new ideas and finding ways to develop them. I love the part of designing a product along with the artisans and adding certain finishes to make it higher end or more versatile for everyone.
KUELLIFE: What’s your biggest struggle?
MARINA: I would say the biggest struggle is for people to truly appreciate and grasp how hard these artisans work and how much their craft is really worth. Often people think of the immediate result world that we live in and that a handbag is made like any other, when in reality one of these bags takes a day to complete. It’s amazing to see them at work because it’s definitely a talent to be able to create crafts like these.
KUELLIFE: What is your biggest fear as an entrepreneur? How do you work through it?
MARINA: I think like most people there’s a fear to not reach your goals, to not fulfill expectations, or to fall short to what others expect from you. As an entrepreneur I think one needs to be prepared for many big failures and small victories and take them all with the same gratitude and learning. It’s the craziest rollercoaster life has to offer and it doesn’t stop.
KUELLIFE: How do you measure your success?
MARINA: Anything that brings joy or a sense of “I DID IT” is success in our office. We encourage small victories, as much as big victories, because they all teach us to keep going and that work pays off. It’s not always about sales or popularity, sometimes a simple compliment or a happy customer make us feel successful.
KUELLIFE: Finally, what advice would you give other women about taking an entrepreneurial path?
MARINA: Be prepared, do the research, jump in the water not when you’re ready but rather when you’re afraid because in all honesty you’ll never be fully ready. Its all a learning curve from day one to day 1000; you will find that you’re always learning something you didn’t know. Don’t think it’s the key to immediate success or happiness because it requires a lot more than you expect. Above all, keep a positive and problem solving attitude. Here at the Tin Marin we don’t encourage the “We have a problem” mentality, but rather encourage that any bump has a solution and it’s all about finding it; otherwise, why even be an entrepreneur? Celebrate your wins and be thankful for your losses and strive to not ever give up if this really is your dream career.