Martha Cristina Garza caught the jewelry design bug when she was just eleven-years-old. Still, it would take more than a decade to build up the courage to launch her own jewelry collection, MC Jewelry. The Mexican beauty tells us about her incredible journey – and the important part her faith played in getting her to take the big leap.
HER EARLY DAYS
Growing up in Mexico, my mom used to go to church. However, when she married my dad he was a non-believer. For a while, my parents separated and I attended a Catholic school, but didn’t understand much of what they were teaching. Eventually one of my dad’s friends invited him to church and he ended up giving his heart to the Lord. To this day, he loves God so much. My parents got back together and we went back to being a family. My dad also made us go to church each week, but I was so rebellious about it at first. I didn’t understand why everything had to change. We went reluctantly to Sunday School, but it always felt like my dad’s God. He never felt like mine. Then when I was around 14 or 15-years-old, there was a youth group retreat, similar to a summer camp for three or four days. One of the youth leaders who later became a mentor to me, was one of the organizers and said needed my help at the event. My dad encouraged me to go to the camp – and he never asked me for anything. He was always very kind, loving and giving, so I figured ‘why not?’. That ended up being my first real encounter with God. It was powerful. I realised how incredible God is and found my own relationship with Him.
HER PASSION FOR JEWELRY DESIGN
When I was a kid, my parents were adamant for us to go and see little towns in Mexico. One of my favorites is called Taxco, it’s near a mountain in Mexico City. The people there are known for making beautiful silver jewelry. I was eleven-years-old the first time I went there. Before that, I would make chocolate or candles – pretty much anything creative I tried, but would get bored and stop. With jewelry design, however, it stayed. The closest thing to jewelry design at my college was industrial design, so I studied that. Later, I discovered
Fashion Institute of Technology (FIT) in New York. My university offered an exchange program at FIT, but the acceptance rate was only 27%. God opened the door and I got in to study jewelry design and get an additional degree as well. My dream was to stay in New York and find a job, but after the exchange program finished I went back to Mexico to complete my bachelors degree. By the time I finished I already had a business plan for MC Martha Cristina Jewelry. But I was so afraid of failing, I didn’t launch it. I shelved it for 10 years. I thought: I’m not good enough for this, even though I knew how to melt and solder the metals, draw the designs and create patterns. I have one of the most robust educational backgrounds for jewelry, but didn’t feel I was good enough to be a designer.
HER NEXT STEPS
My next step was to go to business school in Milan, Italy to study marketing. I got a scholarship that covered 70% of the tuition cost. One thing I have always loved about jewelry is the storytelling behind it. I think it’s a beautiful way to tell where we come from and to remember special moments. And when I was studying marketing, I found the same purpose. I thought: ‘This is seriously the best way of storytelling in the world’. I realised I was really good at the concept building side of marketing. Plus, I loved it and it was fun. It felt more relatable like I could actually make a career of this and make money, compared to being a jewelry designer. I ended up working for Cartier in Italy for a year and planned to stay longer, but everything that could go wrong with my visa went wrong. I was like ‘God, if this is you closing this door, I will trust you no matter what’. I ended up back in New York and started working in retail marketing and then moved to food marketing.
BUILDING THE CONFIDENCE TO CHASE HER DREAMS
Two things happened in the last 12 months that encouraged me to chase my dreams. First off, in December I decided I would launch my jewelry collection, after 10 years of stalling. I realised I had to trust God and understand that the worst thing that could happen wasn’t really that bad. It might not work out, but then I just try again and do something different.
Then this year Covid-19 happened and I ended up being let go from my full time job in marketing. It’s interesting because I honestly wasn’t enjoying it anymore. The environment at some of my workplaces was really toxic, and marketing is known for an overextending and demanding job. I’ll never forget one of my friends said, ‘Don’t get angry at me, but I am so thankful you got let go. It’s such a gift, Martha, you finally can do what you’re meant to do’. I was scared to launch my own business and at times felt so abandoned by God, but eventually I saw it was absolutely the opposite. I think God was really preparing and paving the way for this all along.
In May, I decided I was finally going to start my own marketing agency. In my first month working for myself I had a 10k month. Then the second month things started getting rocky and I was like, ‘What have I done?’ That’s when I really had to learn to lean on God and trust that everything is going to be okay – and that God’s got me.
Follow Martha @marthacristina or visit www.marthacgarza.com. For her jewelry follow @marthacristinajewelry or visit marthacristina.com