At Home in Venice Beach with Designer Marysia Dobrzanska Reeves
I’ve been a fan of designer Marysia Dobrzanska Reeves’ swimwear line, MARYSIA, for years now. We carry her minimalist but feminine suits at Jenni Kayne and I even co-designed a capsule collection with the brand last summer, which was lots of fun. In addition to loving Marysia’s scalloped creations, I really admire her sense of community as a designer. She is quick to champion other creative women in Los Angeles, whether through events, collaborations, or features on her website. That same spirit extends to her personal life, too. When Marysia and her family moved from New York to Venice Beach she and interior designer Martha Mulholland relied entirely on local designers and stores to appoint the sleek David Hertz-designed house. The inviting space is earthy and beach-y while still nodding to the contemporary architectural details.
Marysia was kind enough to give us a tour of her home recently and sit down with us to talk about interior design, the growth of her line, and more. I hope you enjoy getting to know this incredible woman today. Stay tuned tomorrow for some fall styling advice from the eternally chic Marysia. XXJKE
Rip & Tan: Tell us about your home. What drew you to it or what do you love about it?
Marysia Reeves: The super modern architecture and all the amazing features, like the outlets and the steam shower and the sound system. The finishing of walls, floors, stairs; the small details that count in my eyes were all superb. We only added a bath to the second bathroom. Other than that, the house was move-in ready and that was key. I was so stressed with our renovations to the office so there was no way that at the time I was going to do the same with a house!
Rip & Tan: How would you describe the décor?
MR: Beachy and earthy without being too rustic.
Rip & Tan: What’s your favorite room or corner in your house? Where do you spend the most time?
MR: My favorite room is the deck. I love sitting near the fireplace surrounded by the palm trees. In California we are lucky to be able to use our deck pretty much year-round.
Rip & Tan: How do you tend to entertain at home? What kind of gatherings do you host?
MR: I love dinner parties and my husband is a trained chef so those are always a hit. In this home I really wanted to make sure we have a big enough table for 12. I think 12 is the perfect amount of people for a dinner party.
Rip & Tan: What do you love about your community? What are some of your favorite spots?
MR: I like that Venice Beach is a walkable community. We can take our daughter to school, work across the street and shop and eat within a close walk. Moving from SoHo in Manhattan I really wanted a similar feel but with warm weather.
Rip & Tan: Tell us about your career path. How did your experience lead you to where you are now?
MR: It’s been a long and trying road but we have learned from all the past mistakes and struggles and are in a great place now. I had a quick internship and job out of design school and then became pregnant at 25 and that really motivated me to do something for my child to look back on and be proud. I didn’t have much knowledge nor experience but I had the work ethic and determination. I won Charleston Fashion week in 2009—it’s where I started my business—and from there I had an added confidence to go the distance. After a few years we moved to New York city to take the business to the next level and make some connections. It worked! We signed with a showroom in NYC, Sydney, and in London and our sales started to grow. About three years ago to came to California as our youngest daughter was sick and needed a little cleaner air to breath. I was afraid not to be seen as a serious fashion brand not being based in NYC but that didn’t happen and we have been able to keep growing on an international level since.
Rip & Tan: Why did you launch Marysia Swim? What is your vision for the brand?
MR: I started as I saw a void in the market and I believed I could create something women can relate to but with fashion at the helm. My vision has always been the same; quality and aesthetic above all else. I don’t cut corners; I strive to deliver the best vacation lifestyle pieces.
Rip & Tan: How has the business evolved since you launched in 2009?
MR: I started without my knowledge, money or experience and did my own sales and PR for a while. Now we have sales and PR on three continents, and the MARYSIA brand is sold in over 200 boutiques all over the world. We have a great team of eight and I have more free time to be with my children.
Rip & Tan: What new collections or special projects are you excited about right now?
MR: I designed a special capsule collection for the Dunmore, in Harbour Island, Bahamas. We are here now for the opening of the boutique. I’m also working on a hat collaboration with a special milliner. We also plan to open our first standalone boutique this summer!
Rip & Tan: How do you collaborate with or support other female designers and leaders in your community?
MR: I love other female designers and have met many along the way. I collaborate with other women on collections, events, charity work as much as I can. I’m drawn to other female entrepreneurs as I relate to them and have lots in common. I mostly buy product from other women designers who I know and respect. I would rather spend more money to support the women I know then look for a cheaper item on Amazon or at Marshall’s. That’s one of the ways I give back to my peers.
Rip & Tan: What is your everyday uniform?
MR: I don’t really have one but when in doubt high-waist jeans and a blouse.
Rip & Tan: What do you wear when you want to feel a bit glamorous?
MR: My gold cuff from my friend Jane Pope.
Rip & Tan: What’s your personal favorite swimwear cut or style?
MR: The Antibes is our best seller for a reason!
Rip & Tan: What beauty or wellness ritual do you cherish? How do you stay healthy?
MR: I love a candlelit bath with some amazing mask on the face. I try to exercise regularly and eat organic and remain stress-free.
Rip & Tan: What you listening to, watching, or reading right now?
MR: “The Goldbergs”.
Photos: Nicki Sebastian