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Q&A with Marley Brownlow


Why did you choose to attend the University of Texas at Austin?


“My name is Marley Brownlow and I am a freshman Class of 2027 in McCombs School of Business at UT Austin. I applied to McCombs, got accepted. I also wanted to stay in the Austin area because it is close to home and I enjoy the area’s liveliness.”


What are some of your daily habits?


“An organizational habit that I incorporate into my daily routine is keeping a clean space. A clean environment equals a clear mind, and as a student and business owner this is key. Another aspect I keep in my life is movement. As a former competitive dancer, stretching in the morning helps me clear my mind to start the day fresh.”


Why did you join KS WELI?


“I wanted to be part of an organization that empowers young women because I am an entrepreneur myself. KS WELI’s mission of contributing to the female generation of leaders and entrepreneurs aligns with my values and helps enrich my purpose at UT. I decided to take a leadership role as a committee member in the Professional Development Committee. I also am part of FoundHer, a program designed for female entrepreneurs to gain mentorship and skills to further their business.”


What have you learned as a committee member of professional development?


“The Professional Development Committee has helped me improve my public speaking skills. This Committee hosted a couple of events throughout the year, where I had the opportunity to give an introduction and to guide the audience through the agenda of the Professional Development Events. I also learn from introducing someone to different professional development skills, such as resume writing or public pitching practice for a business idea, because I reinforce what I know and acquire more knowledge as well. This also ties into my passion to help the following generation of ladies the importance of professional development.”


What is your favorite memory from KS WELI this year?


“The FoundHer Panel I was one of the panelist speakers on January 24th, 2024 was definitely one of my favorite memories. This was an event out of my comfort zone that I took a chance on because I knew that it would help me with my public speaking skills. As an entrepreneur, public speaking skills are an important part of that career. I had a chance to perform and practice at this panel. I also enjoyed being able to share my story of creativity with OneLove Beads, hopefully being able to inspire others to step out of their comfort zone to pursue their passions.”



How did you come up with the idea for your business?


“I wanted to build a philanthropy based business to help families who have a loved one who suffered breast cancer. My mother passed away from breast cancer, so I was inspired to give back to the families affected by this illness. I strive to create ocean themed jewelry that makes women feel beautiful and empowered. I have a passion for water that makes ‘One Love Beads’ my business unique to me as snorkeling is a hobby that brings me joy. My goal is that with the jewelry I make women battling cancer are able to feel empowered and beautiful.”


What are the values of your business?


“The name of the business is One Love Beads which ties into my mission to create a community for families who have been affected by cancer. The optimism of finding a spin to my mom’s passing by giving back to her community is my endeavor, a model of kindness and selflessness. I find myself loving my business because I am able to incorporate my mother’s bubbly and happy personality who loved the ocean with an entrepreneurial stand point with One Love Beads.”




What are some of the top things you have learned so far? 


“I have learned in KS WELI to build my confidence in not only my career at McCombs but as a business owner as well. The confidence comes with the ‘just do it’ mentality. If I had not launched One Love Beads all those years ago, who knows where I would be today. “


What are some skills the FoundHer program has provided you with?


“The FoundHer Program helped me embrace my personality with myself and the brand of my business. Shana Rehwald, is the director of FoundHer who hosts the core groups that have helped me be comfortable to share the progress of my business and what the next steps are to further One Love Beads. Also reflecting on Kendra Scott, she is a great example of what an entrepreneur is. Scott is an entrepreneur that is identifiable by her jewelry and her mission to bring women together. In the FounderHer program, seeing entrepreneurs such as Shana Rehwald, Kendra Scott, and my mentor Ashley Bender have helped me see a projection of how they were able to incorporate their values into their business to help achieve a mission.”


How has having a mentor helped you as an entrepreneur?


“My mentor is Ashley Bender, co-founder of CosmosLab who has helped me understand how to expand my network and open to asking questions about her business journey. She has expanded my understanding of what launching a female owned business can look like. The mentorship from Bender has also contributed to me becoming more familiar with what my values are in my business by communicating what One Love Beads is about.”


Any advice for female entrepreneurs moving forward?


“The first thing when starting your business is to be yourself! I recommend being authentic to you to start your brand. When you have the values for your business it leads to your mission, which is going to empower you to keep going. The values and mission should be unique to you and your business so your passion can be present in your entrepreneurial journey. And of course have fun with your business! The idea of expanding your passions to a business that can contribute to a specific audience is a positive effect your personal brand will contribute to.”



 

About the Author:


Alejandra Acosta '26

Art History & Nutrition Major

Web Communications Committee

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