Out Of Office

Holly, founder and creator behind New Zealand brand Mars spent two weeks of summer road tripping around Karikari Peninsula camping on beaches, olive groves, swimming with dolphins and exploring the East Cape and Gisborne, only to end on a high in Hawkes Bay for Nest Fest. 

Scroll on for the postcard of Holly's Summer, accompanied by a few words around the Mars brand and her beautiful hand made pieces. And when you're done reading, head over to CC Radio to tune into everything Holly has been listening to lately.

Words & Imagery - Holly Marbeck of Mars Official


This year I started working more with precious metals, I had previously been working with more unconventional materials ie. waxes, clay silicone and resin. I wanted to learn more about lost wax and I had some of the foundations from my precious seasons so I did lots of playing around and trial and error and taught myself (am still teaching myself) how to work with metal. I’m in a real love affair with silver at the moment I just love how with a bit of heat you can turn a chunk of metal into practically anything and if that doesn’t work out you can melt it down and start again. Clothes don’t have that, once a t-shirt it’s a t-shirt but metal just feels so fluid.

Working for yourself is a real rollercoaster. It can be tough because when things go wrong (and they always do) there’s no one to blame but you and when you’re learning how to do 20 things at once and trying to balance working ‘on the business’ with ‘working in the business’ it can be a lot. But I love that I can say that I’ve made every piece of Mars jewellery myself, it just makes it so special seeing people wear it.

When it comes to being a brand I believe that there is no such thing as sustainability. There are just levels to it, it’s a process, not a real goal you can just work towards it. (Yvon Chounaird – Patagonia founder said that not me haha). So with Mars every piece of jewellery is made to order because being a small business it’s more cost efficient for me to operate that way and it also generates less waste and less need for sales. I think it’s important for consumers to understand how long something takes to make, we’re all so detached from our purchases. We chase that instant gratification but we just need to slow down and consume more consciously.

My sunglasses are made in China but I make sure I travel there each production cycle so I can be in with the workers and visiting every factory. That’s why this season I haven’t produced a new range of sunglasses as I obviously couldn’t visit the factory. It didn't feel right to produce something when I can’t be there to ensure the working conditions and the product itself are up to standard.

When I started Mars I had no expectation of how successful it would be whatsoever and I wasn’t even thinking of it as being a brand or anything I could even hope to do full time. I guess when I started big earrings were becoming a thing and the clay earrings just really took off. I think there was a childlike naivety to the pieces that people were drawn to and I guess I’ve kind of kept that as something inherent to the brand as its grown, its morphed and evolved and grown with me. But I think there’s always that sense of playfulness.

Now you're done reading, head over to CC Radio and enjoy a list of Holly's favourite grooves.