We had the good fortune of connecting with Marisa Sarto and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Marisa, can you tell us more about your background and the role it’s played in shaping who you are today?
I’m a native LA creative, and come from a family of creatives. I’m also a person living with a disability. My parents create magic in the garden; my mom is a painter; my father is the family’s interior designer; and my older brother is an art director, focusing on film posters. So, I like to think I was born to create beautiful things. I was born with a severe hearing loss and was fitted with hearing aids at the age of one. While my hearing loss had a big impact in my life and came with a lot of challenges, it also came with many positives too. It taught me to advocate for myself very early on. To be comfortable saying things like: “I need you to speak slower and louder”, or “Can we turn on captions?” I became very comfortable asking for help, as most of us are not. I believe this confidence allowed me to pursue the things I actually wanted to do, and become the kind of creative that isn’t afraid of taking risks or asking for support. Which is why, my current company, AurisMade Design is not my first business endeavor but my third. This time I work with my hands, creating one of a kind, handcrafted polymer clay earrings. I’ve built a brand around creating fun, colorful, geometric and abstract shaped art for your ears. The inspiration for my work came from the “auris,” which means “the ear” in Latin. “EarMade” is who I am, and what I create.
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
What are the lessons you’ve learned along the way:
When you start something new and you might see the potential for turning it into a business; don’t get ahead of yourself. Give yourself time to master the craft and make mistakes. Put in the time and do the research to find your own message/brand/look/style/tools/equipment, etc. But as most people say, don’t be afraid to start even when you don’t have the answers to everything. There’s a balance to feeling confident to start something new, while still figuring it out.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
That’s easy. Before the pandemic, I use to give walking photo tours of Downtown LA for tourists from all over the world. For a day itinerary, we would walk around the Historic Core, one of the most vibrant & eclectic districts in LA. I’ll share insider knowledge as we’ll visit some of my favorite photo spots. You’ll have DTLA as your background for a series of pictures that I’ll shoot. I’ll help you capture instagram worthy photos on my camera, so you’ll have your LA experience ready to share with your friends and family.
We meet at picturesque Pershing square, we’ll walk through the gorgeous interior of Millennium Biltmore Hotel, then taste our way through the Historic Downtown Farmers Market (on SUNDAYS). Next, we’ll see the iconic Last Bookstore and browse through the Broadway-Spring Arcade and Grand Central Market. Last, we’ll take the Angel flight railway to California Plaza. We’ll visit the Broad Museum and pose in all the nooks of the Disney Concert Hall. Then we’ll check out the fun water fountain at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion.
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
Of course, I have to thank my parents, they never pushed me in a direction I didn’t want to go in. My friends and design advisers: Amberine, Stella, Hastee and Vierra. My fiancé, who always saw the importance of me pursuing creative work. Lastly, Ginger Davis Allman at The Blue Bottle Tree, who created an amazing resource for polymer clay artists.
Other: Tiktok: @aurismade
Marisa Sarto Max Imbert Stella Massachi