Marissa Kendrick – Founder and CEO of Deleay Lashay

I’m not completely against multitasking, but being able to really focus on one thing at a time has really made things easier for me.

Entrepreneur, artist, designer, and humanitarian, Marissa Kendrick is the creative force behind Deleay Lashay. Combining her passion for painting and design, Marissa created Deleay Lashay to be a jewelry brand that was set apart from the norm. She has already earned attention from the fashion and entertainment industries through Keri Hilson, Austin Scarlett and Santino Rice (Project Runway), Kenneth Cole, Aubrey Morgan O’Day (Danity Kane, Making the Band 3), among others!

The Essence, and Conversation Piece Collections are the designer’s first offerings for the Deleay Lashay brand. Marissa Kendrick is an inspiring jewelry designer who started her first collection in 2010. She then went on to win a scholarship to Italy in 2012 since then she been working nonstop on her next collection! With an extensive background in Fine Arts, Performance Art, and Fashion Design, her work is a combination of mixed media, bold illustrations, creative writing and visual art.

In addition to using her art to empower others, Marissa has also been active in her community facilitating clothing drive parties and through partnering with various organizations such as the Chicago Abused Women Coalition. She also began a 3-day summer camp for teen girls ages 14-18 (“Deleay LaShay Summer Camp”) empowering young girls through various self-help activities.

Her latest work will be showcased, at the event “When She Became Her” on June 24th from 6pm-9pm at the East Chicago School of Visual and Performing Arts.

What does your typical day look like and how do you make it productive?

I try to wake up between 4:30 a.m. and 5 a.m. The first thing I do is look over my planner and my monthly goals. I check for emails and online sales every day. Then, I am off to the studio to create, design and paint; typically an 8-hour work shift. I might be meeting with clients for custom pieces. At the end of the night, I reflect on how the day went and call it a night.

How do you bring ideas to life?

Everything starts with a vision first. Then I may sketch out a few ideas and begin creating the prototype for the wearable art piece.

What’s one trend that really excites you?

I really love midi rings. I hope this trend will be one to stay.

What is one habit of yours that makes you more productive as an entrepreneur?

I’m not completely against multitasking, but being able to really focus on one thing at a time has really made things easier for me.

What was the worst job you ever had and what did you learn from it?

I have actually enjoyed everywhere I have worked. Although, my least favorite would have to be my first job. I worked as a hostess in a banquet hall in Gary, Indiana at age 15. However, I did learn a lot from that job. I learned how to take direction from someone else, to be very quick on my feet and serve people in a way you would want to be served. That job taught me how to adjust to different personalities as well. Most importantly, I discovered what I did not want to do and that was to work in the food industry.

If you were to start again, what would you do differently?

I would shadow someone in the business and learn from their mistakes.

As an entrepreneur, what is the one thing you do over and over and recommend everyone else do?

I encourage myself to keep going throughout the day. I try my best to stay positive in every situation because as an entrepreneur things do not always go as planned. Therefore, it is important to remind yourself that everything will work out if you just keep pushing for the best.

What is one strategy that has helped you grow your business? Please explain how.

I just really love what I do and I have always wanted to make others see the value in it. The main strategy that allowed for my growth was networking, attending different events and being present where your ideal target audience is. I always market myself as the brand.

What is one failure you had as an entrepreneur, and how did you overcome it?

I would say not asking for help and not being open to change. I overcame these bad habits by analyzing my choices and making sure I was not repeating the same mistakes. Once I overcame those two things everything went smoothly.

What is the best $100 you recently spent? What and why?

I recently spent just about $100 dollars on acrylic paints and brushes. I needed more paint to complete a project I am currently working on. There is no better way to spend your money.

What is the one book that you recommend our community should read and why?

Law of Success by Napoleon Hill. It is very inspiring if you are in the process of doing better for yourself.

What people have influenced your thinking and might be of interest to others?

Eric Williams, National Speaker

Eva Kennedy, Life Coach

Leon Kendrick, Play Writer

Sophia Amoruso, Founder of


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