We had the good fortune of connecting with Mark Edge and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Mark, every day, we about how much execution matters, but we think ideas matter as well. How did you come up with the idea for your business?
It was a simple choice between sleeping in or going to work at 6 a.m. In the summer of 8th grade, my father gave me an ultimatum: I could take a three-hour, five-evening jewelry making class-or come to work with him at his lumber company. His start time was 6 a.m. sharp. That choice changed my life. Not only did I get to sleep in, but it launched my career in jewelry design. After the class, I set up a card table in my bedroom and started making jewelry. Quickly, I gained a loyal following and started selling to high-end boutiques in my hometown of Birmingham Alabama and eventually to retailers around the world. After high school i attended the University of Alabama and obtained a degree in Marketing. After graduation, I interviewed with a number of large companies, but realized I was an entrepreneur at heart—and the rest is history. They say it takes more than 10,000 hours to master a craft—so starting in 8th grade got me off to a good start. I think I’m currently around 12,000 hours of doing what I love.
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
My style has evolved approximately six times over the years, but my vision crystalized in 2007 when I took on the challenge to restore a 1909 Craftsman home in Midtown. During that project, it hit me: I could create a distinctive look by mixing old and new materials. By the end of the restoration, I had created both my Eco-Vintage home and jewelry line. Some of my styles feature authentic silver coins—and for those items we use the tagline: “An Investment in Style.” As an avid fan of antiquing and collecting art, the Eco-Vintage line is my signature look. I love taking trips to Scott Antique in Atlanta and make annual treks to Brimfield in Massachusetts looking for materials. If I find something I like, I’ll figure out how to work it into my designs. As they say: “One day you are in and the next day you are out.” I design two collections per year, basically wiping the slate clean each time. My job is to always give my fans something new and exciting to wear. It’s a magical feeling for me to create something unique and timeless that makes people happy.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
What a great question. I would start with a walk down the beltline from my home near Piedmont Park and have breakfast at Pancake Social at Ponce City Market. Their pancakes are amazing! After a tour of the 2 million square foot PCM I would show them all the new properties that have sprung up along the beltline and would then drive them around our intown tree lined neighborhoods to show off the architecture and history of the city. For lunch I would then take them to the new Politan Row food hall at Colony Square, have a glass of wine and a burger at Shaun Doty’s Federal Burger which features the best quality grass fed beef in Georgia from White Oak Pastures. For dinner I would head to Marcel @ White Provision. The interior is so clubby and it reminds me of restaurants in London, Paris or the Meat Packing District in NYC. The food, wine and service are always impeccable. I think it’s the best restaurant in Atlanta but that shrimp po boy at Star Provisions is quite memorable, lol
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
My father was my mentor and I was groomed from a young age to be an entrepreneur. Both of my parents were very supportive and encouraged me to pursue my jewelry design business. I could have gone into the family business but my passion was in design. To me, being a designer was the path of least resistance as it’s always been easy, fun, rewarding. Lastly, I want to give a shout out to my dear friend of 25 years Amy Wikman of Bjork Studio. Amy has been an incredible mentor and advisor about all things in the design world. She’s my go-to when I’m needing a push to make a decision. Talking about design with Amy is like stepping into a warm Jacuzzi!