A Day in the Life of... Marion Parke

Meet Marion Parke, a former podiatric surgeon turned founder, designer and CEO of a luxury shoe startup. As a firm believer that women should never have to sacrifice comfort for fashion, Marion created a brand of luxury footwear that’s as walkable as it is beautiful. She has redesigned the interior structure of high heels - and totally guilty of frequently taking our shoes off before the night has ended - we were thrilled to chat with her about her  

Read on for an inside look into the daily life of this inspiring entrepreneur.

Marion - we’re so excited to catch up with you! Let’s get right to it...What’s your official job title?
Founder, CEO, and Creative Director of MARION PARKE.

Where were you born?  Oklahoma City, Oklahoma.

Where are you currently living? Minneapolis.

Where and what did you study in college? This sounds weird, I know... My major was Zoology. It's effectively biology- but with animals. I was a huge nerd in college and graduated Phi Beta Kappa. In fact, many days I would go to the research lab instead of home football games.

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Wow, that sounds like some hard-core dedication. So, what is your favorite part of your job?
It's a tie between designing the collection and meeting women at trunk shows and special events. Speaking directly with clients and hearing them say that they feel the difference in my shoes is a dream come true.

What time do you normally wake up during the week? During the week, I wake up between 5:45-6:00 AM. The day starts with school drop off, early morning meetings, and phone calls to the east coast. I also recently discovered the “Ripples” tone for the alarm clock on my iPhone. If you’re like me and were awoken by the jarring tone of “Harp” for the past 4-5 years, then do yourself a favor and make the change.

Do you exercise?  If so, what’s your favorite workout? I do mental exercises only, including hard-hitting Q&A's :)

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Ha! Well we can promise that this Q&A won’t involve any burpees. So... let’s dive into your daily routine. What does a typical day-in-the-life of Marion look like?
5:45-6:00 AM: Wake up

6:00-7:00 AM: Do my hair, put on makeup, and dress for the day. I recently did a major closet clean-out using the Kondo method. I immediately felt that “inner peace with outer order” and it has been a huge time saver in the mornings.
7:30-8:30 AM: School drop-off

8:30-9:30 AM: I take early phone calls, go to coffee meetings, or head straight to the office.

Noon:  Lunch at my desk. I actually like working straight through my lunch hour- there aren’t enough hours in the day!

11:45 AM - 5:00 PM: A typical day in the office consists mostly of sales meetings, marketing and digital strategy, and responding to emails.

Sounds jam-packed. What fashion designers do you admire? I admire anyone who not only survives but thrives in this industry. Growing an idea, concept, or style into a self-sustaining business takes time, dedication, and a lot of hard work.

Finally, as a super-successful female CEO in the industry, what’s your best advice for other aspiring fashion entrepreneurs? Offer something unique to the market and do it with integrity. I firmly believe that enjoying your work means not only liking what you do, but also liking how you do it.