Marta Miller is the Co-Founder and CEO of Lefty Production, a one-stop US apparel manufacturer with 40-time full employees, that helps companies like Walmart, Target, Free People, Splendid, Ella Moss, and Urban Outfitters grow.
Where did you grow up and what was your childhood like? Did you have any particular experiences/stories that shaped your adult life?
I grew up in Houston Texas in a small tight-knit community. I have to say I had a very wholesome life and was raised by parents that wanted the world for me and worked day and night to provide me with so many amazing opportunities. I also lived with my grandma as she got older which made life and our home feel real and rich.
My parents both grew up very poor and were extremely driven to raise kids that wanted for nothing. But at the same time, they really instilled in me the value of a dollar. We all went to private schools so we were always around kids that were way wealthier than we were – but I felt like the richest person in the world because I came from a home filled with love.
My parents are super sweet and welcoming and were always entertaining and people were constantly in and out of our home. My dad’s dad died when he was two and he was raised by a single mom. He built a successful law practice from scratch and was constantly working. My mom was always by his side, typing, paying employees, doing the accounting, and keeping the ship sailing. They worked so hard for everything they had and were proud of what they built. My dad was a bankruptcy attorney so I would often come home to a boat in the driveway that he had repossessed. My parents spent their careers watching people live beyond their means and refused to live like that. Instead, they would drive their cars till they died. They are not materialistic people at all, I am lucky if my mom treats herself to a top from Target.
I remember always being so embarrassed by our old station wagon but then that finally died and they bought a brand new jaguar car in cash which they drove for another 15 years. They believed in zero debt. And really worked hard to teach us the same. They would always explain that you can never judge a book by the cover and that you never know what goes on behind closed doors. Just care about yourself and be good to your family and be authentic. They modestly enjoyed the finer things in life and loved to travel but to this day are super frugal and humble. They truly only care about their family and providing for us.
When I met Bryan, my husband I remember feeling like he was immediately family. We were cut from the exact same cloth and were raised the same. With parents that are still in love and family, is truly all that matters. We are currently working hard to build on all that our parents gave us so we can give to our kids! Maybe we will just add a little bit more of a flare for fashion while still living modestly!
What is one thing that you do that you feel has been the biggest contributor to your success so far?
My parents treated their employees like family. I remember Theresa, my dad’s assistant at all our life celebrations. Lola, who was hired on as my nanny when my mom was pregnant with me 41 years ago still spends two days a week with my mom. They love each other and our family.
I look at my team as family. In today’s world, you cannot say you love your team, but I truly do. I care about the people I work with from the bottom of my heart. My team is everything to me and they are the reason I hustle. I started my career wanting to be a fashion designer and I love being creative. Now, nothing I do is that creative. But what keeps me going is just the people I am surrounded by. Curating amazing humans is pretty much my only creative outlet these days, but I will proudly take it. Life doesn’t always go the way you plan – my career is literally nothing I set out to do. But I could not be happier spending my days with these humans!
What is your morning routine?
I allow my two boys to be my alarm clock. I love waking up to their cute voices and one of them always comes in around 6:30 AM with a wake-up call. I let my husband sleep in a tad later so I quietly run to the bathroom and get ready.
I love showering in the mornings but had to give that up when I first became a mom. So now I always shower at night so in the morning I can be super speedy. I brush my teeth, wash my face, and put on my face creams. I love face cream. It makes me so happy. I love the ritual and the massage I give myself while putting it on.
I also am a big believer that people that do not wear makeup have better skin and age more gracefully, so I only allow myself to wear makeup maybe once or twice a week. The rest of the week I am just moisturized and sun screened!
I quickly get dressed and while I do so I sing a prayer or two in my head thanking G-d for the day ahead. Then it is go time with the boys – shoes, lunches, filling water bottles, etc. We drive to school and always comment about how beautiful the sunrise is or we sing a song. Currently, they love singing I want to Be a billionaire by Bruno Mars. And I kinda love that too!
Once they are settled in school the day is mine till around 3 and I can plug into work and all my duties as a mom and wife! Right now, I am 38 weeks pregnant so I got kicked out of my pilates class. But as soon as I can I will be working out every morning. It is my favorite way to start the day!
What habit or behavior that you have pursued for a few years has most improved your life?
My husband jokes that I am too ADHD to remember to be sad or depressed. I think he is right. Believe me, my life is not perfect.
Currently, I am dealing with a dad who is very sick. But I just always try to focus on being happy and appreciative and staying busy and being there for the little people that need me. I have a 9-year-old, and a five and half-year-old and I am 38 weeks pregnant as I type. So no matter what is going on, I do not have the ability to go down because my people need me to be the best version of myself, and as my husband says – I would probably forget to be sad as I can barely keep track of my phone.
What are your strategies for being productive and using your time most efficiently?
Yikes. I am a lot of things – but I am not the most efficient. I love to take my time with people and give them all the love I have. Whether it is a handyman or an employee, I always try to be present with the people around me. But that does not make me efficient. I do believe though that because I am present with people it does allow for my business and life to flourish because the people I work with know that they are truly loved and adored by me. So maybe that is productive but definitely not efficient. But that is ok. We do not need to spend our lives being robotic and efficient.
What book(s) have influenced your life the most? Why?
This book really honed in on how to manifest the life you want. I have always believed in the law of attraction and manifesting and this book just really shed light on manifesting and inspired me to truly believe that all is meant to be.
Do you have any quotes you live by or think of often?
My grandma always made me do this when I was a little girl – “Pretend, I came home with a bad grade on a test.”
I was always a little dramatic and would be super hard on myself. She would say. Relax. Think about how important this is going to feel tomorrow. Now think about how much this grade will matter next week, next month, next year. Ok. Now, what happens in two years? It would always relax me just imagining that my anxiety or feeling of sadness or disappointment would not last long. I do that exercise in my head multiple times a day. I did it just this morning as I rushed to the school and didn’t get my nine-year-old tardy with literally 20 seconds to spare. I played that game in my head and just gave myself the perspective that as bad as it feels to be tardy it really is not a big deal in the grand picture of life so let’s not let that energy affect my day. And guess what, we weren’t tardy! But even if we were – who cares, we truly have to enjoy our moments and not get lost in the minutia.
Another great quote that has carried me through is “the harder you are thrown the higher you bounce”
Whenever I am challenged I always think about this. It makes me think that whatever I am going through, in the end, it will be bright and I will be stronger.