Get out the cocktail shaker, this might take a bit (By the way, if all you need is Marley's bio, just click here and save yourself the drama).
Marley grew up in Pasadena, CA, the daughter of super sweet, smart, conservative parents who wanted to raise reasonable children. It worked with her brother.
Marley started selling Shrinky Dinks door-to-door at the age of 4, created a doll "repair" (word repair used very loosely) business, sold plums out of the backyard and by 7 was washing the neighbors' cars. By 13, she self-published her own gift wrapping book, decorated and sold sweatshirts at her high school holiday bazaar and then decided that she HAD to go to Georgetown where her Dad had attended medical school.
And then the wheels fell off the bus. Accepted to GU (no one knows how), she went to cooking school in Paris the summer after her sophomore year. She returned to school, ran into one of her professors the first week of classes and proudly announced that for her speech entitled "What I know more about than anyone else", she would be tackling French cooking. The professor was thrilled, Marley announced that she was pleased to confirm an interview with the chef from 1789 (super fancy DC restaurant, and an untrue and very unfortunate proclamation). The teacher squealed (she was such a fan of the restaurant) and Marley slunk (if that's a word) home to cry to her roommates that life as a Junior was over before it got started. No problem, the roommate used to work at 1789, they had a super nice new chef from New York, she would set something up. Perfect! Problem solved! White lie would be confessed stat. Jesuit education could continue.
Roommate sets up appointment with unnamed chef at 1789, Marley marches over, takes one look at him and decides she needs to marry him. She is 19, he is 38. Um yeah! She convinces him to give her a job in the kitchen where she is named the soufflé girl and works 3 (or more) days a week from 3:30-11:30pm after her classes end at 2:30. You guessed it, the parents are thrilled. Marley however, makes the dean's list.
After a solid year of generously applied mascara, the chef does NOT ask Marley out, she goes to cooking school in Normandy the following summer, returns and quits the soufflé gig before her Senior year. The chef asks her out.
They are engaged one month after Marley graduates with a business degree from Georgetown. Parents are only slightly more excited at this juncture.
Super genius returns to her hometown and opens a restaurant with new chef hubby in 1992, starts a catering company in 1995 (same year they have a child – BRILLIANT!), take over a banquet facility, raise the child in front of the cappuccino machine, and end up getting divorced (lot of drama not appropriate for a business website). Marley has a bad skiing accident (karma) and her father encourages her to partner up with one of the restaurant groups dying to take over the space so she can focus on events. The deal is cut, a new restaurant group goes in (Marley and family still remain partners and landlords, thank you Lord, Jesus, Buddha, Ganesh) and Marley reinvents herself. Again!
In 2000, she creates The Party Goddess! – a full service catering and event planning company that can handle any aspect of an event from concept to completion. And the rest ladies and gentlemen, is history. A very mottled and psycho-analyzed traumatized kind of history, but history nonetheless.
P.S. She and the chef are still the best of friends. Ridiculous, I know. Imagine living it.