It was a Saturday morning when I entered Foundry Provisions coffee shop in Indy. I sat at a wooden table and took out my notebook and pen. Marie Smed walked through the door wearing a white and black striped top, frayed jeans and grey booties. As we introduced ourselves and ordered our coffee, we sat down and began to chat.
Smed is one of the coolest people I have ever met (and I meet a lot of people). She was born and raised in Denmark and moved to the United States in 2013 to study fashion design at the Art Institute of Indianapolis. Because fashion design is not a common college major in Denmark, Smed looked to opportunities abroad to pursue her love of fashion.
“I make antler wedding rings for men and clothing inspired by athletics,” Smed said. “My designs aren’t sportswear, but sportswear inspired.”
After graduation, Smed accepted a position at LegendBorne Sportswear. Her responsibilities entail everything from production management to customer service and quality control. She travels all over the country for her job and loves that every day gives her a chance to learn something new.
Along with her job at LegendBorne, Smed channels her creativity through her jewelry, accessory and clothing designs. Her Etsy shop, The Birch Shoppe, carries intricate jewelry made from Birch tree bark. She learned how to work with Birch bark from her grandmother.
“When it comes to jewelry, my grandmother inspires me,” Smed said. “I love her craft and persistent attitude. For sportswear, I’m inspired by meeting athletes, seeing what they do and seeing them in action. That whole community is very inspiring. Indy is not a place that you would associate with fashion and people really work for it. They work for their craft. They are so passionate.”
Not only is Smed a designer, she also models! I first met her on the set of our Goodwill fashion shoot back in July. She has been locally modeling since 2013 when she first moved to America. Smed said the market was hard to get into because of her body shape. When she accepted that she had curves and stopped trying to change her body, her life changed. She finally booked jobs that she enjoyed and liked.
This triple threat has accomplished a lot in her life. Going forward, Smed wants to focus on growing her Etsy business, visiting her family and traveling the world.
“Right now I am really happy where I am,” Smed said. “In the future, I want to branch out and do more jewelry.”