Originally published February 3, 2017 on Walker’s Legacy.
Walker’s Legacy Profiles recognize unique women of color in business who embody the legacy of Madame C.J. Walker, the first female self-made millionaire. In this installment, meet Marche Robinson.
Marche Robinson is the proud owner of Robinson Style– a life and style blog. On Robinson Style, Marche shares her love of fashion, workwear, chic interior design and great music. Robinson Style has been featured in The New York Times, Ebony, The Fashion Bomb Daily and more. A published author, Marche released her first eBook entitled, Workwear Chic: How to Build and Maximize Your Wardrobe without Spending Your Whole Paycheck, last year. In addition to managing Robinson Style, Marche is a top-notch corporate attorney.
For all of her accomplishments, Marche is one of the brightest and most humble women in the game. How does she do it? Well, we went straight to the source. We thank Marche for taking the time to answer our questions and encouraging us to follow our various passions.
What is Robinson Style?
Robinson Style is my little corner of the internet where I share my love for beauty, style and fashion law.
What makes Robinson Style more than just a fashion blog?
When I initially started the blog, I just shared images I found from around the interest. Now, my site has really evolved. I feature my personal style, beauty secrets and fashion law and business news. Visitors can also shop my closet and favorite looks.
I want to understand how and why you ended up here working as an attorney. What led you to this job? Law is so different from fashion, what inspired you to start Robinson Style?
I think all attorneys will tell you that their work can be very stressful and stifling. I was at a point where I felt like all I did was work and look for beautiful things on the internet. My mom and aunt told me to start sharing what I found online. So, I started a blog one night in 2011 and never looked back. A few years ago I started hearing about Fashion Law emerging as a practice area. That’s when I decided to merge my love of law and fashion and add it to my site.
You grew up in Greensboro, North Carolina, a city that isn’t normally considered a fashion capital. What made you love glamour and fashion?
My love for fashion comes from the women in my family. My grandmother had the most glamorous style of anyone I’ve known. My mother has always been so savvy when it comes to fashion. She took me vintage shopping with her and always wore whatever she wanted to. My mother never followed trends, she marches to the beat of her own drum. It definitely rubbed off on me.
Who are the key mentors or people that deeply influenced who you are and what you’re committed to in your work and life?
My father has been the single most influential person in my life. I get my work ethic and approach to life from him. My dad wasn’t able to finish high school. He came from a large family and his parents did not have very much money. He was able to become a successful businessman through hard work and perseverance. He passed away in June and I often find myself approaching situations how he would have.
You seem to have a strong professional network. How have you built your network? What qualities do you look for in colleagues, advisors etc.?
I’m blessed that my friends happen to be fantastic mentors and act as a sounding board for me. I have an accountability call weekly with one of my friends and constantly bounce ideas off of them. My network has grown organically which is great. I have always shied away from just approaching people only because they can help me. I attend events in my industry and have met so many great people through that. If I am invited to speak at events, I go so that I can meet other people with similar interests.
How do you balance your 9-to-5 job with running Robinson Style?
Staying organized. I still use a paper agenda to write in all my important appointments and deadlines. I also keep daily to-do lists in a notebook. It feels good to get tasks over with and strike them off the list. I also make sure I schedule time for me. I love to box and exercising is the best stress reliever. Recently, I started morning meditation and it has made my mind so much clearer throughout the day.
Much of your business is concentrated online. What advice do you have for women of color interested in starting an online business?
Start now. Stay encouraged. Work hard. Build your community. You will hear a lot of people say oh this is such a saturated market or so and so is already doing this. Everybody might do what you do but they can’t do it like you do. If you put off your dreams you will turn around one day and it will be five years later. You don’t have to know every single thing to get started. You can learn as you go. When I started my blog, I knew very little about coding. I hired this pricey well-known blog designer. She took my deposit and never helped me. So, I made myself code my own site. Now I know how to design my own site and don’t have to depend on a designer. I didn’t let it stop me from pushing forward with my site.
What words do you live by?
“You can never be overdressed or overeducated.” –Oscar Wilde