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Conversations with Marseille Larkin

Today we’d like to introduce you to Marseille Larkin.

Hi Marseille, thanks for joining us today. We’d love for you to start by introducing yourself.
Dino Rawr clothing started in 2013 in my previous home in South City. I worked at our beat up old dining room table making Dino Hoodies for my eight months old son. When he was a baby, I really struggled finding unique dinosaur items. Everything lacked style. I started to see that it was hard for all my friends especially ones with girls to find dinosaur clothing items. I had friends asking me to make dinosaur hoodies. I wanted every little girl and boy to enjoy dinosaurs as much as I do. This is when Dino Rawr was born. I spent the next few years creating handmade animal-themed hoodies, Dino dog hoodies, and Halloween costumes. I did it all on Facebook. I sold quite a few. I did lots of craft fairs and festivals to get my name out there.

In 2016 when I had my daughter, a childhood friend convinced me that I needed to open a shop on Etsy. I laughed pretty hard and I was like there is no way anyone would buy my things. I started adding dinosaur skirts and appliqué style shirts. My business was thriving and I decided maybe I should listen to my friend and I opened up an Etsy shop. I had so many fears but within an hour, I had my first sale. I remember crying thinking, is this really happening?

In 2019, I had surgery and decided to take a break from my shop. I wasn’t sure what was going to happen. Most people that shop Etsy don’t realize that most of the sellers are balancing Etsy, home life, and a full-time job. I was working 50

Hours a week, coming home to put my kids to bed and working on my shop until 1am. It took a toll for a while and I know I needed to a break to figure out what I was going to do. Then, covid hit. I was a nanny 21 years and I loved it. There were so many tough choices we all had to make and with my kid’s doing virtual learning, I couldn’t return to my job. I sat with my husband and told him I wanted my dream of Dino Rawr to come true. I wanted to do it full-time and grow my shop now that I had the time.

Most people don’t know I am self-taught and I struggled with self-confidence. I loved my brand and believed in it but I always questioned myself. During COVID, I really worked on those things and I was able to grow my shop and learned so many new skills. I now have a shop full of clothing and new costumes. Halloween is my biggest season. My orders start coming July 1st and I have to shut them down around the 1st week of October. I get around 500 costume orders. I don’t get much sleep and I have to say it’s worth it every minute of sleep lost. The support through the years has my heart full. When I look back, I am still in disbelief that I created this.

I always get asked, why dinosaurs? I had a teacher in 2nd grade that really was my inspiration and shared her love of dinosaurs with me. She showed that girls could love dinosaurs too. It’s one of things when you shop in my Etsy shop. You will see items are for everyone. I want customers to picture their child in my brand. I have amazing obsession with my brand and you will see that while shopping at Dino Rawr Clothing On Etsy.

Can you talk to us a bit about the challenges and lessons you’ve learned along the way. Looking back would you say it’s been easy or smooth in retrospect?
Like anything in life, there are always bumps in the road. I think my biggest struggle was balancing my full-time job, family, and my Etsy shop. I don’t think it’s something you can fully ever do but I did make a lot of changes.

I think another struggle I had and this was more when I started. Not everyone is your customer and that’s ok. You want people that love your brand and support you.

Can you tell our readers more about what you do and what you think sets you apart from others?
I started as a Dinosaur-based business and I think that is what I will always be known for. I am most known now for all my unique costumes and beautiful dresses. I think having a dinosaur themed shop and the first on Etsy is what set me apart. I like to think I opened the doors for so many. I try to create unique pieces. The fabric I purchase is created by other artists. I always tell my customers your supporting two small shops when you buy from me. I’m proud that I created Dino Rawr Clothing and I get to share it with everyone.

The crisis has affected us all in different ways. How has it affected you and any important lessons or epiphanies you can share with us?
I’m not going to lie, I was scared that my shop wouldn’t make it. Everything was so unknown. Trying to balance my shop and virtual learning was an adventure. Customers were so kind and patient. Things were going a lot slower because of shipping delays and the lack of supplies. I think my biggest lesson was if your unhappy with what you’re doing, change it. No one can make those changes but yourself. Change is ok and fear Is normal.

Contact Info:

Image Credits
Stephanie McGee Jennifer Jones Amber Dixon Kristina Mohler (These we’re my amazing reps that took the pictures)

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