Today we’d like to introduce you to Maggie Blair Dietrick.
Thanks for sharing your story with us Maggie. So, let’s start at the beginning and we can move on from there.
I started my business in the fall of 2014. This was not the plan; I had always wanted to start my own business but not while I was newly married and still figuring out what I wanted to do with my life. If you want God to laugh tell him your plans, right?
So, there I was at 24 trying to figure out what I was going to do, I had quit my job, my husband was in college, and we needed to have an income. What was I going to do? My husband encouraged me to start my own business, so I started to make jewelry. The plan was to make jewelry in order to make money to live off of, but also to then by clothes, gifts, and accessories for my business. But the jewelry really took off and that it what I decided to do, I became a jewelry designer.
There were definitely a few flops along the way. When I look at my old work, I get embarrassed because some of the pieces were pretty bad in the beginning. It wasn’t until my second year in business I started to lean towards a certain style that involved glass, and this is where I started to get some traction and recognition for my work and designs. It became Margrit Co.’s official collection. It was different; it was fun, it was recycled glass. It was Margrit Co.
My business is mobile, so I can travel anywhere. I got my start actually at the Waco Farmer’s Market and grew more by attending art shows and different markets all over Texas and surrounding states. In February of 2015 I launched my website, www.margritco.com.
In 2017, I invited my younger brother, Matthew, to come work with me and help me package up orders for Margrit Co.’s website. Matthew is 17 years old and has Down syndrome; he is also my shipping manager. I love having my brother with me when things get stressful. He has a way of making things better. He is the best little brother around, and I’m thankful I can provide a job for him.
We just celebrated four years in business October 31st. This was no easy task, there were some definite ups and downs and “Oh, my God, are we going to make it?” times. But God has been good to us. I felt it was time to share what God had given us and find a way to give back to my community.
After a lot of thought and prayer, I felt God calling me to give back. 15% of Margrit Co. sales will go to a special fund called the “Down with Business” fund.
15% of our retail sales will be donated to this fund to provide personal business mentorship, and business start-up funds to young men and women with Down syndrome who want to start their own business! Matthew has made such an incredible impact on my life and I wanted to make a difference and share awareness about the Down syndrome community.
Overall, has it been relatively smooth? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way?
Starting a business is not for the faint of heart. It is hard; there are going to be times when you seriously just want to give up. I have had those moments, but after I look at where I have come from and where I am now, I know in my heart that I can’t throw in the towel. Not yet, there is still so much for me to do.
I named my business after my middle name, Margrit. My grandmother was Czech, and it was supposed to be spelled differently than how it is now. Long story short, my grandmother was not happy, but my mom felt like she had made the right choice. She told me a few years back she spelled it wrong because she felt “grit” suited me better. She knew I would need “grit” to make it in this big world. You’ve got to have some “grit” and perseverance to make it as a small business owner.
I learned the importance of having a team behind me that supports my dreams. I could not and would not be where I am today without my friends and family.
I also learned how important it is to surround yourself with women who are hustling hard and chasing after their dreams too. These women support and challenge me every day to be a better boss babe. We mourn the losses and we celebrate the wins and we do life together. We’re all in this together to pursue and achieve our dreams.
What should we know about Margrit Co.? What do you guys do best? What sets you apart from the competition?
All the jewelry sold at Margrit Co. is designed and made by me. I personally hand-wrap each piece of jewelry that is made and sold on my website and at markets. Every piece is wrapped differently each time, it is a one of a kind.
Personalized customer service is my number one priority. When I started my business, I really wanted to focus on personalized service. That’s why I chose my logo to be a pineapple, a symbolism of hospitality. When my customers shop with Margrit Co., they are personally buying from me at markets and shows. I am always representing my business.
My brother Matthew is also a huge part of what makes Margrit Co. so special; it’s now a family business. Matthew works to ensure that each order is packed with tender, love, and care, and arrives at the post office in a timely manner.
Matthew’s heart and hard work is what inspired me to do more with my business. He is the reason I started the Down with Business fund. When customers shop with Margrit Co. they now get to be a part of something bigger and make a difference with their purchase.
Looking back on your childhood, what experiences do you feel played an important role in shaping the person you grew up to be?
My parents always taught me to work hard, and if I wanted my dreams to happen, I needed to chase after them myself. They were my dreams, nobody else’s!
My Dad definitely shaped my work ethic; he’s been a huge role model to me. We are very similar in personality, so we get each other but we can also frustrate each other too. No matter what though, my dad has always been there for me. I’m thankful for him and all his hard work and encouraging me to do the same.
- Our Designer Jewelry ranges from $25-75
- %15 of our retail sales are donated to the Down with Business Scholarship
- Address: Margrit Co. Office & Studio
2551 W. Villa Maria
Bryan, TX 77807
- Website: www.margritco.com
- Phone: 253.855.7368
- Email: email@example.com
- Instagram: instagram.com/margritco
- Facebook: facebook.com/margritco
Be Known Photography, Jason & Melaina Hagerup