We had the good fortune of connecting with Carlie Ring and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Carlie, can you share the most important lesson you’ve learned over the course of your career?
I’m sure that we all have our own quirky anecdotes on life lessons. Whether personal or career related, one lesson has always stuck with me… share your story and be authentic.
Combining my longtime love for opal (my birthstone) and growing up at the beach were the natural inspiration for MPD. Those two factors really laid the groundwork for what I would create through jewelry. It’s easy for me now to say that finding myself in this sea-inspired jewelry niche feels like coming home. Early on, I designed and carved just about anything that came through as a custom request. I thought it was important to be open to those (financial) opportunities even if they didn’t quite fit within the MPD aesthetic and brand I knew in my heart. It took some time for me to realize that the opportunities that matched the MPD dream were always there, I just had to be more assertive in sharing my authentic story with my audience.
Slowly but surely the time I was putting in while working on MPD part time, late at night, and over weekends was beginning to click. I would excitedly tell the story about the name “Morgan Patricia” and how that sailboat story paired with my beachside childhood jumpstarted the authenticity of each of my ocean-hued capsule collections. Pair that with the years I spent working in luxury/high end jewelry PR and for a variety of jewelry and clothing designers, and I knew that I would give it my all when it came to sharing my story full time. Looking back, nearly all of the jobs I’ve held in the past were run by women who are really knocking it out of the park with their passion, creativity, knowledge, and desire to share their story. I owe so much of my determination to those experiences, and the biggest was the takeaway I knew of all along… “share your story and be authentic.” It was what drew me to each of those companies to begin with, and led my heart to building my own. Now, my story is no secret and it’s become a motto of sorts when discussing a purchase or connecting with a client over a custom design… The first thing you’ll see on the homepage of my website is a photo of mine from Costa Rica with the words “Collect your own sea inspired story.”
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
Calling all ocean lovers! Morgan Patricia Designs is a hand crafted line of fine jewelry endlessly inspired by my memories of growing up on the sunny beaches of New Jersey and South Florida, discovering cliffside beaches and caves along the California coastline, treasured trips to the Hawaiian Islands, and dreams of faraway tropical lands. These tiny wearable sculptures escape reality and float in an ethereal world of seashells, sharks, and mermaids… crafted from a lively blend of joyful gemstones, nostalgic shapes, and the sweetest hand carved details.
As a child, the ocean held me in a trance. I was both terrified of and obsessed with what could be found beneath the surface of the crashing waves. I spent the better part of my childhood searching the shoreline for ocean treasures, and when I became brave enough, I’d join my siblings swimming out past the surf to explore the colorful sea life around the reefs at our local beach. Looking back, I can see now how overcoming that immense fear (of sharks, strength of the currents and waves, and the wild unknown), helped shape me into the woman I am today. 15 years ago I started out with a vision to build a business and brand I feel deeply connected to in the hopes that these treasures bring you joy, and that feeling hasn’t wavered. Whether you are a fellow mermaid, ocean lover, deep sea diver, wave rider, seashell hunter, or sun bather… I believe personal style is an expression of your imagination. Jewelry invokes feelings and memories, and I aim for MPD to feel like small sculpted pieces of paradise every time you wear them.
The ocean has always been my muse and caring for it is my passion. I am endlessly grateful to be able to tie together my love for sparkling adornment and gifts from the sea… And each MPD capsule collection of 14k gold, fossilized sea life, and a rainbow assortment of opals and gemstones feels like a natural step in the process of creating from my heart. Most recently I’ve been releasing capsule collections featuring the childlike wonder of naturally found seashells, the glow of the moon, the strength of the rising sun, and folklore surrounding aquamarine through history. I get so excited when I see clients mixing and matching various elements and styles from their personal treasure trove of MPD. They’re choosing the strength of an amulet or joy of a rainbow to start their day, and I can’t help but wonder if these pieces are worn to soothe the soul or push them with the energy of the crashing waves.
I’m so proud of each wearable spark of sunshine that leaves my hands for my clients’ homes. I spent years honing in on what it meant to create and share MPD while working full and part time jobs, and if self-doubt or the dreaded “imposter syndrome” ever crept in, my thoughts always returned to the little girl collecting seashells. I remind myself return to your roots and you’ll find growth. Those memories have helped me create a home for MPD in the present (and future!), and I’m so excited for what were once sea-inspired designs strung on cord and wrapped in wire and now set in hand carved gold are to become next! For those reading along, I have a “Treasure Trove” series releasing this Fall in two parts. From there I plan on expanding on some favored styles and elements from past collections! This includes the 100% one of a kind Shark Tooth and Seashell amulets and creative spins on the Tidal Moon and Coral Reef series. I offer early sketches, gemstone availability, and first dibs on completed designs to my MPD Insiders, so signing up for my 1-2 times per month newsletter is your best bet on learning more!
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
This one is tough! We’ve definitely scrambled to try and fit all of our favorite things into trips with friends visiting Long Beach. Here’s a taste!
Need some comfort food? The Jersey girl-Italian in me can never get enough of Ellie’s, La Parolaccia, and the surprising amount of delicious pizza to be found in Long Beach. Current favs include Milana’s, 4th Horseman, and Speak Cheezy.
Need to wake up? Our go-to’s for coffee are Wood Coffee Co., Good Time, Rose Park Roasters, and our favorite donation-based traveling coffee cart Cafablanca. I’m probably missing a few as we’re always on the lookout for a new coffee shop to try out!
Need to unwind? There are countless plant shops in Long Beach filled with beautiful, interesting, and exotic plants. I could spend hours looking for the next additions to our home, and if you go to All Time plants you can do so with a coffee in hand from their neighbor Good Time coffee!
No matter the day, there’s at least one Farmers Market you can swing by. I’m a sucker for farmers market eggs and fresh baked sourdough bread.
We love early morning or golden hour walks along the beach path. We stop at Hot Java for a cold brew and a pup cup for Moh, and then create our own adventure by shopping 4th Street/Retro Row or wandering a side street on our way home to enjoy beautiful craftsman houses and our community’s gorgeous original tile work.
Is it any surprise that I love a good tiki bar or ocean-themed pub? The Bamboo Club hosts the coolest tiki-inspired pop up events every month, and The Pike restaurant is a crowd favorite on 4th Street with plenty of live music to enjoy.
My local favorites list wouldn’t be complete without walking along the gorgeous bluffs, spending an afternoon on a stand up paddle board, and long bike rides on the beach path.
Last but not least… Rosie’s Dog Beach is the happiest place in town, hands (or paws) down.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
I want to dedicate this Shoutout to my husband. To know Bob is to love him and his endless support sprinkled in with food puns and “dad jokes”. His encouragement has never wavered even/especially when I’ve battled with my own self doubt. When we met I was still working for others part time while pushing myself around the clock to make sure my jewelry line didn’t miss a step. Meeting him changed my perspective and was the beginning of my understanding of a work/life balance, and I’m pretty sure that saved me from some impending massive burnout. Another important career lesson? Find your balance!
To highlight how Bob has supported my dream and make him blush when he reads this… His initial words of encouragement have grown to having endless patience when I ask him to proof read website updates and MPD Insider newsletters, pushing me to create the statement pieces I used to think were “too much,” and has most recently picked up photography! He now takes and edits nearly all of MPD’s photos, and it has been so heartwarming to see him dive into and enjoy this creative endeavor.
photos by Bob Ring