The Elle Olivia brand turns 1 tomorrow and we couldn’t be more excited! To celebrate our 1 Year Anniversary, we are thrilled to introduce our readers to the founder of Elle Olivia, Marty Mcdonald, an amazing and inspiring boss mama empowering other moms to make their dreams a reality.
Marty is a black mompreneur who is passionate about providing stylish and trendy clothing for young black women, while also inspiring them to have confidence and succeed in whatever they set their minds to. She believes that young girls should be able to express their creativity and individuality through what they wear, and Elle Olivia is her way of helping them to do so.
Learn more about Marty’s inspiring journey, balancing being a mom and running a business and the amazing things to come for the brand down below!
EO: Please tell us a little bit about yourself and what inspired you to start the Elle Olivia brand?
MM: In 2021, I became a first time mom of a beautiful , fearless and ambitious lil mama. Our birth experience wasn't what was expected and it placed an imprint on my life that placed in me the dedication to solve some systematic issues Black parents face bringing new life into this world.
Before I share what happened let me share a little bit more about myself, Marty McDonald. I am a former Corporate Queen of 10+ years and Dynamic Entrepreneur of a successful multi-million dollar media company focused on propelling Black Women's stories forward in their career endeavors. I share this so you can know my focus has been Black women for over 5 years and I am not unfamiliar with our challenges and our power of impact.
When I was 24 weeks pregnant, my daughter was diagnosed with Congenital Dyaphranic Hernia that would cause her lungs to be covered by her liver, spleen and intestines. This disease would cause her to have immediate surgery when she was born and she would be placed in the NICU for 35 days to heal. During our time in the NICU I quickly realized that advocacy and representation are two key ingredients that my daughter will need to navigate this world, as we didn't have anyone to advocate for us as Black parents and we didn't see anyone that looked like us.
In 2022, Elle Olivia LLC was launched to show Black Girls big possibilities through the clothes they wear and the books they read.
EO: What role does being a mother play in your business and what do you do to help balance work and motherhood?
MM: Being a Mama has forever changed my life. Starting a business is no easy goal but my lil mama gives me the inspiration and motivation to keep going. I witnessed her strength first hand as a NICU baby and that warrior I saw motivated me to keep going for her and her future every single day!
EO: What has been your greatest success in motherhood and in business?
MM: To bring my daughter along for the ride. Although she may be small, she is very mature and mighty and one day she will be able to reflect on the experiences we have created to expose her in ways that I could never imagine. She gets to see me grind, build, create, cry and be happy on creating a legacy that matters for her.
EO: Where are you now on your entrepreneurial journey? What are you most proud of and what's next for you and Elle Olivia?
MM: I’m just getting started and the future's so bright. We have some amazing announcements coming soon and I cannot wait to be a household name for Elle Olivia. I am proud of starting and executing. There are alot of ppl with a lot of ideas but they cannot say they actually started and placed it in the marketplace.
I have so many lessons under my belt that I will be able to implement to reshape the brand's future. We are building a brand from scratch and it is not easy but it will be worth it in the long run! My motto is just keep swimming!
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