Attorney Marche Robinson on designing her work and her world
Marche Robinson is a jack-of-all-trades powerhouse that can negotiate your contracts as your attorney, style you for the perfect night out, guide you on your next vacation getaway, and inspire your long-overdue chic interior redesign. She is an attorney and content creator who focuses on fashion, beauty, travel, and lifestyle. Robinson started blogging in the fashion world at a time when magazines were not diverse and didn’t reflect women who looked like her. So she created a space and community that resonated with other women who shared her passion for fashion.
We interviewed Robinson about the passions in her world that have blossomed into a brand and growing business.
How did your career path get started and evolve from an attorney to a fashion content creator?
It’s funny because as a kid, I wanted to be a therapist. I went to college and majored in psychology. Then I took a constitutional law class my sophomore year. The professor was an attorney, and everyone knew that this was the hardest, most challenging class at our school. People were like, ‘You're taking con law with him? He's crazy!’ I loved it so much and loved the advice he would give. I was like, ‘What are y'all saying? This is great.’ It inspired me to change my career completely.
When I graduated from law school, I worked in health care. I negotiated clinical research agreements for pharmaceutical companies, and then last year, I decided to leave corporate America to work for myself full-time. I started not having time to do both, and I could not give my full attention to both. So, I decided to quit and give myself a year to see how it works out. I figured I could always go back because I have ten years of experience.
I started my blog when I started working. There’s never been a time where I had the job, and I didn't have the blog and vice versa. When I started my blog, I would post certain trends I saw on the runway and make similar posts as collages. Then maybe a year into it, I started posting my real outfits. Today it’s evolved into Robinson Style — which encompasses everything I’m passionate about — fashion, style, beauty, travel, food, interior design, and lifestyle.
So now you have taken the plunge, and you work as an entrepreneur full time. Were there any insecurities you had to get over in order to start your blog and side hustles?
So, starting the blog, I will say I didn't really have insecurities. However, I was so afraid to leave my company. My family, friends, and husband encouraged me. I knew I needed to leave my job because we were starting this venue project. I wanted to launch this beauty brand, and I didn't have the time. So, I had to be pushed and I had to push myself out of the nest. I really didn't have a choice: I'm going to be a terrible employee, and I'm going to be a terrible entrepreneur? I decided it was time.
What is one reason why you feel your blog was so successful, even during the early stages?
It's funny because no one really blogged then. It was 2011, and there were only a handful of blogs. I was able to build up a really good community at the time because there weren't that many blogs, and magazines weren't diverse at all. So, I feel like it was easy to build a community of women who were like, ‘Oh, I want to see someone who looks like me, wearing clothes that I can afford — sharing trends and beauty with me and just different things.’ In the beginning, I was able to build a genuine community, and many of those people still follow me on Instagram.
Consistency is key to have success as a content creator. How did you stay consistent and not get discouraged even while working to get to where you are now?
For a long time, my aunt was the only person who read my blog, and she would comment on every post. I love it so much, and I tell her all the time that she was my only reader. When I started blogging, ‘content creator’ wasn’t even a thing. Obviously, consistent content is essential. However, I talk about things I really like. I just blog from a true place — this is what I'm passionate about, and these are things I like. I understand why people say if you do something you love, you never work a day in your life. I see that with my blogging.
I don't plan out content because I like to spark an idea and post about it. If I don't have that spark, it's not going to be authentic. When you’re on my Instagram or blog, and you see something, it's really what was on my heart to share at that time. I feel like that's what helps me be consistent, too, because I don't force myself to be like, ‘Okay, today, I need to share a career tip.’ I think being able to do something I truly love is how I've maintained consistency.
You wear so many different hats as a lifestyle blogger and entrepreneur. How do you stay organized and balance everything?
So, one helpful thing is having a huge desk calendar that I keep in front of me. I’ve been using the PDF kit I created to maintain an electronic calendar and organize everything I have to do. Also, making lists, keeping charts, prioritizing, and constantly just checking and adjusting are essential. Knowing how to prioritize is crucial because you can't get everything done, and that's okay. Tackling the most important things first is vital for me.
What tools do you utilize in business and your everyday life?
I had to make a brand deck, and I used Acrobat to put it together. I use Adobe for contracts, combining PDFs, and moving things around for certain brand documents that I make. Mainly, using it to edit PDFs. I use a lot of PDFs just for everything. So, for instance, I'm creating a little magazine to put in the PR for the brand that I'm working on. I needed to combine all these PDFs and make sure they were okay. So, I sent proofs back and forth to the printer and realized I needed to combine all the PDFs. I was able to combine them in Acrobat, continue editing, and then send them that way. It helps me be more organized.
Are there any Adobe Acrobat tools that you use in your day-to-day life and that you think all business entrepreneurs should use?
Yes, reviewing contracts, marking them up, and signing them has been a complete game-changer for me. Because I work with so many agreements, just having one place to consolidate all the contracts is very helpful. I used to print contracts, mark them up, pull up the contract, and mark it up in Word. Having the ability to mark up a PDF contract and sign it is great for me because it limits the number of times I have to save and send it. It's just in one place where it can track the changes, and then I can get it signed. I feel like you’re going to look at several contracts a month for any business owner, and it’s good to have it all organized.
You're launching a beauty brand and opening a wedding venue. What's been the most challenging thing about both?
The unknown — like are we doing what we need to do? Does the house look good? Are the choices we're making something people would want in the venue?
The Newell House and the beauty brand are new territories for me. I've never remodeled a house, and I've never remodeled a venue. It's completely new territory, and it's just so different. Also, we are just trying to figure out the voice we want to have for the Newell House because we genuinely want to connect with people and build a community.
What has been the most challenging and rewarding aspect of building something new (The Newell House) while still maintaining other projects like your blog?
Learning to figure something out that you don’t know how to do. For example, I was having trouble creating the boxes I wanted for the brand, and I just played around with Illustrator for like an hour and figured it out. For me, it’s super rewarding to not know anything about something and just figure it out. I love putting puzzles together.
What advice would you give to novice entrepreneurs?
When you're an entrepreneur, you have to be everybody. You have to be the graphic designer, the photographer, everybody. You’re not always going to have a team around you, and that’s okay because you can figure it out along the way.
Robinson takes pride in the fact that she works harder now than she has ever done before. As an entrepreneur, she believes that you must “stay on top of yourself because no one cares more about your company than you.” To stay organized and to maximize productivity, Robinson utilized Abode tools and even created one of her own: The Passion, Purpose, Progress PDF Kit, which is now available for download. Robinson created this guide because she believes pursuing a dream or launching a business requires strategic planning and targeted action steps. She encourages entrepreneurs and brand builders to get anchored and establish a foundation before taking flight. Most importantly, designing a process that caters to their needs and strengths. She advises,” people just have to really quiet the noise and figure out what works best for them.”