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Meet Marilyn - Owner of Marbella's 

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Marilyn Spells is a native of Georgia who lived in Connecticut for over three decades. Marilyn is a 32-year veteran of the United States Postal Service. As Marilyn advanced up the ranks within the Postal Service, she achieved executive status. Marilyn has worked and resided in seven different states including the major cities of Washington, D.C., Chicago, Detroit, Louisville and Atlanta.


Upon retiring, Marilyn was eager to start a new, fun and enjoyable career that enabled her to meet wonderful people. It was a no-brainer determining her next life journey and career. “It was as easy as looking atop of my head,” she says. Hats have always been Marilyn’s passion since a very young age.   

Marilyn believes that a hat changes and enhances the look of any outfit, both casual and dressy, adding a taste of elegance and class. When accessorizing an outfit, why stop at just the shoes and purse? A hat is just as important for the completion of the outfit, adding boldness and confidence to the woman’s persona. Hat wearing has actually become a vital part of many women’s personalities, such as Dr. Dorothy I. Height and Queen Elizabeth.   

“It was my love and passion of hats that motivated me to open a hat boutique. Another source of inspiration was reading the book, “Crowns” and watching the musical that depicted the book,” Marilyn continued. She was further inspired after researching the history of hats and studying the great accomplishments of the late hat-wearing trailblazer Dr. Dorothy I. Height.   

Marilyn started her hat business on a mission to provide an option for customers and hat lovers to shop for quality, reasonably priced, beautiful hats as well as rekindling the classy look of women wearing hats. Her love of hats can be seen through her work with Marbella's, whether it be through a tradeshow exhibit or her storefront located in Columbia, SC.

Marilyn credits her deceased father for the boutique’s name of Marbella’s – a vision he once had.

“My father once told me that he wanted to name me Marbella at birth, but my mother did not like the name and named me Marilyn instead,” Marilyn stated. After time, her father asked her to name her child, if it was a daughter, Marbella. 

Marilyn’s only natural child is a son. Since his birth, and over the years, her father’s request continued to linger inside of her. After 34 years, the time finally presented itself where the name Marbella would finally come into existence.

Marilyn’s upscale millinery shop provided the opportunity to honor the name Marbella that her father loved and adored. “Now, I have grown to love and adore the name too,” Marilyn said.

Marilyn hopes that the love of hats is revived and restored proudly among women of all ages. “Hat wearing is for the true lady. The experience becomes a part of our persona and couples nicely with the beautiful queen inside each of us. It is not old fashion, but in fashion to wear a hat,” Marilyn concluded.

Remember, hats not only make you look good, but they make you feel good too. So ladies, dress like the queen you are and wear your crown!

Why Marbella's? The history behind the name...

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