Meet the Moms: Introducing Marissa
Meet Marissa, one of our UpChoose moms from California. Marissa is a first-time mom of Pierce, born in April 2020. She joined UpChoose just before Pierce was born. Marissa is an entrepreneur and prolific writer and content marketer with over 15,000 online articles published under her name. You can learn more about her work and follow her on Instagram @marissa.brassfield
What’s your name? Any nickname?
Marissa, which people tend to shorten to M, Riss, or Brass (my last name is Brassfield).
Live in? Grew up in?
Toluca Lake, California — a lovely neighborhood in the San Fernando Valley in Los Angeles. I've lived here most of my life, except for a 13-year period where I lived in Philadelphia, Atlantic City, San Diego, and Santa Barbara County.
You’re the mom of...
Pierce, born in April 2020, and our 3-year-old Rhodesian Ridgeback Lily.
What made you want to be more careful about the things you buy for yourself or your family? Was there an “aha” moment or a specific event?
In January 2015, my husband and I moved into my tiny 3-bedroom childhood home, which I inherited after my parents' deaths. I remember the house was so cluttered with our moving boxes, closets full of my parents' clothes, and a garage full of boxes of clothing they'd amassed over their 45-year marriage. It took years to sift through what I wanted to keep, donate or discard… and the painful process was a lesson that made us so careful about what we bring into our home.
How did you get started? What were the first few changes you made?
I started by cleaning out my closet and donating every piece I hadn't worn in over two years. Then I went through my closet again the next year and donated everything I hadn't worn since the last time I cleaned it out. This is now an annual practice. In 2017, I enrolled in Rent the Runway's Unlimited membership to see if I could use it for 100% of my personal, professional, and event fashion. This was a game-changer: I leveled up my fashion game, decreased clutter, and even rented my maternity clothing through RTR. As my pregnancy progressed and we started planning for Pierce's arrival, it didn't feel right to buy clothing we knew our son would outgrow in days, weeks, or months. I searched for a service that would let us rent and trade high-quality clothing as he grew, and was delighted to find UpChoose.
Marissa and Pierce
What are some benefits you have seen over time, are there things that worked well for you?
Our primary goal wasn't really saving money — it was about improving our lifestyle by decreasing the hassle and friction involved with shopping and maintaining high-quality clothing. Renting clothing has achieved this for us because we have access without obligation. With Pierce, we felt such a relief knowing we didn't have to buy a thing for him. The UpChoose full set covered all our everyday needs when we came home from the hospital, and it felt so luxurious to send it all back at the three-month mark and unwrap a fresh set of adorable, super-soft clothing.
❝ It's about improving our lifestyle by decreasing the hassle and friction involved with shopping and maintaining high-quality clothing❞
Any tips you'd like to share with other expecting parents who just heard about these issues and trying to figure out their first steps?
Little hinges swing big doors! Regular small changes really do add up over time… and the tiny things that regularly cause you hassle, frustration, or stress also add up over time.
Can you tell us a bit about the set(s) you received from UpChoose? What did you pick and how have you used the platform so far?
We went with the Full Set of New Clothing and Classic option. I love that most of my communication with the UpChoose team has happened via text — very convenient! Overall, this couldn't have been easier.
Do you already have a favorite outfit or item from your UpChoose set?
We have a lot of favorites from the UpChoose sets we've received so far, but my husband and I have a very special place in our hearts for the orange blanket we got in the newborn set, which kept Pierce warm through 3 weeks in the NICU.
Pierce spent 3 weeks in the NICU
What’s most exciting to you about being part of the UpChoose community and what are the most important things we can help you achieve?
It's great to be part of a network of moms who are sharing gently used clothing. So much love and so many happy memories are embedded in the fabric of these tiny clothes. It's very powerful. Right now, I'm very excited and energized by the idea of receiving adorable, well-made, seasonally appropriate clothes for Pierce. One less thing for us to worry about!
If you could have any superpower what would it be?
The ability to manipulate time — particularly to stop it when I have time for a nap, slow it down when Pierce is in a playful or cuddly mood.
Favorite activities or games you play with the kid(s)?
We love improvising silly songs based on what's going on around us, and Pierce seems to love it, too!
Dream place for a vacation?
A grand tour of French Polynesia.
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