A Pentire with Harriet Baylis, Founder of Marazul Clothing

Harriet Baylis is a producer, stylist and founder of Marazul clothing. Her design practice is focused on the idea of a well-lived life and a deep connection with people and place. 

We began the day with a swim in the sea and then visited her at home to talk about the draw of the ocean, her clothes company Marazul and our shared love of coastal living. 


What’s the the path that’s brought you here and what have been the stand-out moments?

So in my 20s, I was running big events for companies all over the world. I would travel to all these amazing places. Whether it was taking over a restaurant in Paris, or an art gallery in New York, or setting up a gig in the middle of the wilderness in California.

I lived in New York on and off for five years. Upstate New York is probably one of the other places I could live. I think it's very similar to Cornwall, in the way that the people are very connected to the land and its produce. It’s a deeply creative place with a real sense of isolation.

Alongside hugely exciting career moments, I felt like everything wasn’t quite aligning, I was really quite unhappy and needed a complete change. I moved to Central America for a year which was a defining moment for me. I started off living in Nicaragua, running a retreat space for artists, musicians and writers. I lived between Nicaragua and Costa Rica for a year and began building my own business before moving back to the UK. Spending time refining what I do and focusing on what I wanted to build for myself, on my strengths and ongoing work.



And then you ended up in Cornwall?

I had always known I wanted to live in Cornwall having visited often as a child and being totally blown away by the fact you could live by the sea. I always knew that I'd end up here. I’ve had an amazing career and a life that's allowed me to live and travel all over the world but I always had a homing pigeon sensation of knowing that I would return. I'd always been so nomadic and never wanted to put down roots, I was always on the go, exploring new places, new adventures. Returning as an adult I was sure that I wanted to stay in Cornwall. That sense of place was what gave me the foundations to build my life today. The friends and the people I have met and continue to meet, are amazing.

The move coincided with growing Marazul and the work I do on production and styling. Finding a base, creating a haven, sense of home and place to build out from. Making a home was the base from which I could to build everything else.


Tell us about Marazul, what was the inspiration? 

So Marazul, I sort of started accidentally. With events production I was traveling so much all over the world, hands-on work, a lot of building and running around and doing and I really needed clothing I could work in. Clothing for a purpose, clothing that could cope with hard work, was up to set building all day, but could still look good and fit in with general life. I decided to design a jumpsuit for myself. A piece of clothing that could be lived in again and again. It began with this beautiful fabric I had found in a textile factory in Rajasthan, India. I just knew it would be perfect for a design I had been exploring, I got it made and I started wearing it. I kept getting requests from friends and people that I met where they could find one. It sort of snowballed from there. All pieces are now made to order as I always want to know who's going to wear them and how will the design and material work for them. I really try to understand the person who's going to be wearing Marazul and how they actually need it to work for them.




What have been your inspirations, whatever they may be?

I'm really obsessed with restaurants as spaces and I'm obsessed with how clothing has to work hard for people working in them. I think if I had my time again, I would go and run a sexy little restaurant in Paris. I love the aesthetic that comes from the working architecture of people and place. Clothing has to work really hard, it has to function and has to survive, I find this fascinating. I adore it when a restaurant finds this balance. A well-worn chore jacket that has worked so hard for somebody and it's probably been passed on and on and repaired along the way. It gathers and grows its own identity. Objects take on a history and life of their own.

I've got a real love affair with France and its produce, and am often drawn to what the team at Septime do. In particular Duneile, their restaurant and rooms, in The Perche Regional nature park (less than 20k from Paris). For me it’s the connection they have to the garden, to the producers and the sense of confidence that they have in the rituals of preparing and serving food. They give space and time to sharing food with friends and family, I admire the French for that. The aesthetic is paired back and celebrates the building, materials and heritage. In the restaurant, it may just be a candle stuck in a wine bottle on the table and or a white tablecloth, but that's perfect. I think it's that effortless, unassuming style that really captivates me. I am aware of the fact that I am living vicariously through other people’s restaurant projects!



You’ve continued with your event production and styling work? Can you tell us about the Fayre that you've set up?

I do a lot of styling and production for other people and amongst these are lots of passion projects, marrying together my absolute loves, which are music and food. And it probably goes back to wishing that I could run my own restaurant but not having the capability or facilities to do so. I like bringing together chefs in beautiful locations with different people and creating experiences that feel very special. The common denominator is always good people and interesting stories.


You run The Fayre in Sennen in Cornwall?

Yes The Fayre is an amazing gathering, now in its third year, that I run with two friends - Polly and Ben.

It’s an open house art show and celebration of  food, music, craft, talks that all connect back to the land. It’s kind of the embodiment of everything that I love, super intimate and low key and lots of beautiful souls. It’s a real celebration of community.

This May we hav a great collection of events. We have a supper in the garden with local restaurant Argoe, Ethiopian coffee ceremony with Eat Ethio, music in the church with India Bourne and over 20 artists on show on the walls of the house.




You renovated this beautiful home with your husband Nathan, where did you get the inspiration for the design? What do you love about it?

Gosh probably French farmhouse meets Majorcan villa, (but with a side of Cornish rain lashing down outside wind blasting the windows). I knew from the beginning that our home needed to be a calm quiet space, especially as both Nathan and I have such busy lives. Home has to be an anchor and an oasis. I remember something that Faye Toogood, a multidisciplinary designer, said about how everything in her life has to be really organised to help her busy brain and if it's not then she can't focus on anything. I feel the same.

We’ve tried to create lots of storage and then keep our main living spaces clear. The materials used are as natural as possible with lots of wood, lime plaster, wool and linen, natural tones. I would tend to fill the place with found treasures, pieces of stone and shells but I’m resisting that desire in order to hold onto the calm! I spend a lot of time sourcing random bits of furniture for the house and for shoots that I am working on. The workbench for example is from an old workshop in the depths of Cornwall, it has these amazing marks and scars from a lifetime of history  and I love the story that it has.


This morning we jumped in the sea with you, how do you normally start your day?

I do love a morning ritual. I light an incense every morning, and make a pot of  coffee, it’s a quiet time for me. In the warmer months, first thing in the morning, I’ll make a flask of coffee and walk down to the sea for swim. I think it's one of the greatest joys in the world. I would be fibbing if I said I did that right through the winter, but I’ll always get out for a walk or a run. 


In the last month what is the best thing you’ve:

Eaten -

I have just made my first batch of Elderflower vinegar of the year, which I'm obsessed with.

I take a lot of inspiration from the towpath cafe book. It’s the most beautiful cafe on the canal in Hackney. Great seasonal ingredients, cooked simply. I absolutely love eggs on toast!


Listened to -

Robbie Basho - Orphan’s Lament, I heard it on a Open Lab radio show  while I was driving the other day and it moved me to tears.



Read -

I read a really interesting article on Chaos Gardening and its increasing inlfuence on Chelsea Flower show. Essentially it’s the antithesis to an overly manicured garden. It’s allowing the space to become its own ecosystem, encouraging wildlife and celebrating the beauty of nature and of weeds too! It’s probably a pretty good mantra for life.


Watched -

I re-watched Little Women for the 25th time, I Love it.


Harri drinks Pentire Adrift and tonic, served over ice with a rosemary garnish. Find your perfect serve.

Photography by Ben Pryor