SO Jannelle!: Fashion is where the heart is

Marjorie Carlet Edmonds: ‘I didn’t fall in love with the glamour side of fashion’

Marjorie Carlet Edmonds: ‘I didn’t fall in love with the glamour side of fashion’

By Jannelle So

Hers was a fashion start-up with an initial capital of $200 to buy pieces of fabric. In less than a year, her clothing store has grown to $10,000!

Marjorie Carlet Edmonds is now the proud owner of Carlet Edmonds scarves and swimsuit manufacturing company located in Central Valley, an agricultural area where California sources its almonds, grapes, and apricots.

“I grew my company without any fashion background nor connection,” said Edmonds in an interview. “I have been debunking myths about the fashion business since I started, and I’m proud of that.”

Not knowing the pins and needles of the fashion industry, Edmonds set out to learn as much as she could from the Internet. She spent about six months researching online, dedicating three hours at night in front of the computer. She read everything, from fashion show blogs, designers’ success stories, sewing, merchandising her products, and all about the business side of fashion.

“All I had was heart, also drive and tenacity,” said the Hawaii-born Filipina.

“I wouldn’t let anyone tell me ‘no.’ I’ve always liked fashion and I knew I couldn’t just give it up just because I did not go to school for it,” she said.

In her research, Edmonds came across Mercedes Gonzalez of Global Purchasing Companies, a New York-based strategic planning company that offers consulting, training and workshops to individuals looking to break into the fashion business.

“That was my big break,” said Edmonds.

Her email to Gonzalez was honest and candid. “I opened up my heart,” she said.

She was not disheartened when she didn’t get any reply at first. She kept trying until she found out that Gonzalez was going to visit Los Angeles.

Gonzalez agreed to a meeting, but was upfront about charging $5,000 for consultation. Edmonds said she would not be able to pay, and Gonzalez, to Edmonds’s surprise, waived her fee, saying, “I will not charge you.”

“She then became my fashion mentor. I would consult her about everything,” shared Edmonds who partly credits her mentor for the rapid success of her business, which now has a factory in downtown L.A.

There are other people Edmonds credits for her success. Her parents, Virgilio and Melinda Carlet, are both retired, and offered to move from Honolulu to Fresno when they learned their daughter was starting a business. They took it upon themselves to look after Edmonds’s 4-year old daughter so that her mom could concentrate on her business venture.

“We don’t have money to give you. But we have time,” her parents told her.

Carlet Edmonds is currently preparing to distribute its products all over Napa Valley, Bay Area and Los Angeles in California; Hawaii, and New York.

Edmonds said she did not let the myths discourage her. “You can be anything you want to be. It’s not the money that will make a business successful but the heart behind it.”

Ultimately, she said, “I didn’t fall in love with the glamour side of fashion. I fell in love with my master seamstress, my cutter. I would hang out at the factory, more than I would in fashion events. Without them, I would not be here.”

Jannelle So is credited for creating, hosting and producing America’s first and only locally-produced daily talk show for Filipinos. ‘Kababayan L.A.’ ran for 8 ½ years under her leadership, making it the longest-running Filipino talk show outside of the Philippines. Connect with her on Facebook: Twitter –; Instagram –; or email her at

Marjorie’s wraps and scarves: ‘Always fun and full of color’

Marjorie’s wraps and scarves: ‘Always fun and full of color’

A bright yellow scarf from her designer collection

A bright yellow scarf from her designer collection

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