In a year when unexpected furlough and sudden lockdowns have forced us all to adapt our lifestyles, Mary Marshall has risen to the challenge and made the most of an uncertain situation. As manager of Haverstock Hill’s renowned bridal couture and wedding accessory store, Joyce Young, Mary was shortlisted for one of our Covid Champions Awards for her outstanding customer service, constantly rescheduling their diary as weddings were postponed into this year and beyond.
“It was so important to me that they weren’t missing out on their wedding journey”, she says, “so I was reassuring both the bride and mother of the bride that the magic of the build-up was not lost. Usually, you’d have a hen party and different meetings with your dress fitter, and that whole journey of fun things that you do with friends and family. I always rise to a challenge because that’s what life’s about – adapting and understanding how you can utilise a difficult situation. But I understand that’s not the same for everybody, so for me this year was more about thinking of what I can do for others.”
Taking the extra time she had while eventually furloughed as an opportunity to start a positive project of her own, Mary began recording her podcast, Closet Conversations. Since September it has gained over 800 regular listeners, and continues to grow each week.
“I had always wanted to do a podcast of some sort and after the stopping and starting of lockdown during Summer, I thought to myself, it’s either now or never, you never know when life will be in full swing again.”
When listening to Closet Conversations, you immediately feel as though you are catching up with a friend. We have been living in strange times this year, and the show aims to be your weekly pick me up, inspiring you to look deeper; aspire to a new challenge, and celebrate other’s journeys, too.
Each week Mary speaks with a different guest, including some of the locals in the Primrose Hill area, to discuss their journey. Dealing with a wide range of topics from grief to mindfulness, to discussing coffee with a World Barista Champion, and offering dating advice. “It’s a conversation rather than an interview,” she says, “and every time I speak to someone, we’re learning something new and understanding it from another point of view. If my guest is local it helps their business, while also enlightening and inspiring the people listening, so everyone gains something.”
As Mary passionately describes her initial concept, she tells how the idea was to inspire the everyday person, “because ordinary people do lead extraordinary lives. What you might think is mundane about your own life, someone else can think ‘wow I didn’t realise you could do that!’”