Stilettogal has always been a blog with a twist on the modern entrepreneurial woman and in the case of the fabulous lady we're walking a mile in the shoes of, Marleine Pacilio, this twist mixes weddings with firearms! Here in sunny Los Angeles, Marleine owns Paper Olive, a custom wedding invitation design studio, and runs a blog called Full Metal Fabulous that discusses her love for food, fashion, and firearms.
A shoe fanatic, foodie, businesswoman with an incredible wedding company, and military trained? How could I NOT immediately want to interview Marleine and find out more about her amazing self?
Hillary Gadsby: What drew you to starting your business in custom invitation design?
Marleine Pacilio: I was planning a personal event about 8 years ago, well before unexpected color palettes and unusual, eclectic design choices were widely available (at least to me). When I couldn’t find a designer who could give me something chic, modern, and playful, I decided to tackle it myself. I'm an artist at heart, and I was surprised by how much fun I had with the whole project. Soon, friends and event the event planner with whom I was working at the time encouraged me to try my hand at designing professionally. Several months later, Paper Olive was born.
HG: Your blog Full Metal Fabulous has the tagline “A girlie girl’s obsession with food, fashion, and firearms” – please tell me more about your (awesome!) blog.
MP: I am drawn to the unexpected, likely because I myself am unexpected - a girlie girl who truly loves dressing up and getting dirty equally. So, the idea of a blog dedicated to these three unexpectedly-paired passions sounded fabulous - literally. As a woman living in Los Angeles, it's often a surprise that I love to eat. I'm no size four, but I am healthy and fit. This is my goal, and the fitness message of my blog - to be strong, not skinny. All in all, Full Metal Fabulous is about enjoying life, and beauty, and adventure... to not fit any mold someone would have the average girl fit. Every time I take a woman to shoot a gun, they walk away feeling calm, more focused, and empowered. That is the unifying theme of my life, and my blog: that you can be strong and feminine, enjoy food and kicking ass and be beautiful.
HG: What is the worst thing that ever happened to you in business and how did you overcome it?
MP: A cargo ship carrying very expensive supplies for a huge design order was delayed due to overseas turmoil. As a business owner, you always have to be flexible and have a backup plan. Take make up for the lost time, I gave my client additional free services and assumed responsibility for the delivery of her invitations, something she had originally planned to tackle herself. The client never knew of (nor worried about) the delay, and was additionally pleased by the extra level of service she received. Win!
HG: Name one person you look up to that inspires you.
MP: My sister, Allison. If there is one woman who embodies beauty and badass, it's my baby sister. As one of two young girls who used to play with Barbies and hunt for toads and lizards with equal enthusiasm, I've watched my sister blossom into a gorgeous woman and the mother of a brilliant, spirited little girl who has every bit of our adventurous nature, a fierce independent streak, and a beautiful little soul. She will grow up to be Full Metal Fabulous, and I couldn't be more proud!
HG: What kind of shoe are you?
MP: An edgy, colorful, towering peep-toe. Sexy yet sophisticated, and hella fun. 😉
HG: What drives you the most about working in the wedding industry?
MP: The ever-changing nature of what's fashionable and fresh, which keeps me constantly creative. There is no greater compliment that a bride who beams with joy when you show her your finished work. It makes every late night and bead of sweat worth it.