Hey there Marri Mavens. Today I'm kicking off a new series on the blog -- Meet a Maven -- where you'll get to meet the Married & Bright Models, some brand superfans, and inspiring women of all kinds. I thought we'd start out with a quick introduction to yours truly. 
I'm Annika. I'm the one woman show who designs, snips and sews, packs and ships, and handles any, all, and everything Married & Bright. If you want to read a bit more about how I got started making lingerie, selling it on the internet, and sending golden packages of underwear through the US mail, you can check out this interview on the Lucky Break Consulting website, or listen to this podcast episode on She Percolates.

A little about me:
I was born and raised in Palo Alto, CA where I enjoyed long summers of running in the sprinklers, fighting with my two sisters over the ownership of a black gap body tank top, making orange peel candy during the holidays, and creating costumes for my high school's plays. I went to college in Boston where I honed my garment design and construction skills at MassArt, met and fell in love with my now-husband Alex, and got my first and only tattoo. After graduation, I boomeranged back to the West Coast, this time making Los Angeles my home. After five years of the LA grind, the hus, our pup Bucket, and I set out in hopes of greener pastures, which landed us in Nashville, TN. I love binge baking, attempting to catch fireflies, sewing with the windows open, and seeking to make the world a better place by uplifting and encouraging women to love themselves more deeply.

When did you get your first bra? What kind was it? Who helped you shop for it?
I got my first bra in fourth of fifth grade. I'm the youngest of three girls and I remember feeling jealous of my sisters + slightly self conscious about what was happening with my chest area. I read an article in Girls Life about how to ask your mom to go shopping for a bra with you. One piece of advice was to write her a note if you were too shy to say it out loud. I wrote down my request and reasons why on a piece of printer paper with pink pen and left it on the cutting board she used to make our lunches on. I hid in the stairwell while I watched her read it, and she kindly agreed. We went to gap kids after school that day and got a charcoal grey ribbed training bra that looked like a cut off tank top. It wasn't the most fashionable garment of all time, but I was proud to own it.

What's the best part about being a woman?
There are so many best parts, but my favorite part right now is being able to be so creative with how I dress myself. The freedom to wear pants or skirts, bright colors or all black, show my skin or keep it hidden is endlessly inspiring to me.
If you're married, share the story of how you got engaged, some marriage advice, or funny story about being married.
Every single day of marriage is funnier than the last. I think the weirdest thing about my marriage is the way we communicate through the dog. Bucket has his own voice/accent that a enables a single person to have a full on conversation with. He kind of sounds like this: "Hewwo mommo! I wewwy missed you all day wong! Pwease don't ever weave me awone again because actuwewwy wewwy wuve you a lot!" It's so dumb but Alex and I could go on for HOURS talking in the voice/POV of Bucket.

Where do you see yourself in ten years?
One of my long term goals for business has been to open a brick and mortar shop, so I'd really love to see that happen within that time frame. Personally, I'd love to have 1-2 kids and be living a little bit out in the countryside with goats and chickens.

If you could have a different job besides the one you have, what would it be?
I've always had a secret desire to become a food stylist or a midwife/OBGYN. I have sort of an unhealthy obsession with trays, flatware, tablescape design (and eating yummy, pretty food), and I've always been fascinated by the si-fi-ish miracle of birth!

If you could give the 15 year old version of yourself advice, what would you say?
It's okay to make mistakes. I'm one of the few people I know who actually really enjoyed high school while I was in it and would totally go back and re-do it, but I remember always kind of having analysis paralysis because I was scared of making the wrong choice of embarrassing myself by messing up. I would have encouraged myself to be a bit more free and worry less about what others thought of me.

How does wearing Married & Bright make you feel?
Wearing M&B makes me feel incredibly empowered. Creating lingerie that is designed to please the wearer makes me feel so unburdened. I think many women buy lingerie to impress someone else, but putting on a Married & Bright set means that you get to feel good about yourself without having to wonder what anyone else thinks!

I hope you've enjoyed learning a little bit more about me and what goes ob behind the scenes here at M&B HQ. Stay tuned next week for another feature on one of my favorite Mavens.

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