“The undertone of my clothing line is the promotion of inner and outer beauty. I think this message is especially important because we live in a society where more emphasis is put on eternal beauty and not enough on the internal.”
Tell me about your business and how you got started in the fashion industry.
I started sewing at the age of 12, and designing at the age of 17. Coming from an artistic background means I was destined to create things with my hands!:) once fashion became a passion of mine I combined my love for art with it to make one of a kind pieces. One of my biggest inspirations was the show “project runway”. Through watching each season it only ignited not passion for it more!
I read your mission statement on your website and I absolutely love what your brand stands for. It’s so important for women to not only embrace their outer beauty, but to also embrace their inner. How important is this concept to you, and what inspired you to create a clothing line for women of all backgrounds?
As a fellow girl boss in the fashion industry, I know how hard and crazy it can be to start a new business. What challenges have you faced as an entrepreneur? Are there any tools or resources out there that have helped you overcome these challenges?
One of the biggest challenges I face as an entrepreneur is getting into sales mode and promotion. Sales and marketing are definitely not my niche so I find that having a diverse team helps a lot. When creators decide to become entrepreneurs; oftentimes being business oriented doesn’t happen right away. It helps to have ppl around you who are.
Today’s age is all about ‘The Digital Age.’ With a powerful advertising platform such as Instagram, small businesses can reach a wider audience. I notice your feed is engaging and has beautiful, professional photos of your clothing. In what ways do you think Instagram helps build your brand?
Instagram is very helpful in promotion because it broadens my audience. Facebook is definitely more of a local reach but I love the worldwide reach Instagram has. The hash tags help a lot as well and with everyone wanting instant gratification now in days; the visual aspect of IG helps ppl find exactly what they’re looking for.
Besides Instagram, what other social media platforms do you use? Which platform do you find the most appealing for your brand?
In addition to IG I also love Pinterest. It has that same visual approach Instagram has but also has a creative format and way of streamlining searches.
Tell me about any recent collaborations you’ve done, and are there any creatives in Buffalo or Rochester that you’d like to work with?
I’ve recently collaborated with popular youtuber and hair blogger chime Edwards. This was an exciting opportunity because not only did she get to see my fashion show but she also was able to model some of my pieces and even agreed to be a brand ambassador. I’ve also collaborated with NXT collective photography and Hoyte studios.
Who are your favorite designers that inspire your work? My favorite designers would have to be Alexander McQueen and Chanel.
What is your most proud moment that you have achieved as a business owner and fashion designer?
Now let’s get a little more personal! Tell me your favorite:
- Instagram account you follow: @mayasworld
- Band or music artist: My favorite music is 70s/80s funk
- Restaurant in your neighborhood: Alladins Natural Eatery in Rochester New York
- Clothing boutique: Anthropologie
- Lipstick: lol I don’t wear lipstick
- Netflix show or movie: My favorite movie is the Temptations
And let’s get a little more personal, shall we:
- If Hollywood made a movie about your life, whom would you like to see play the lead role? If Hollywood made a movie about me I would love Sanaa Lathan to play my role
- If you won $20 million dollars in the lottery, what would you do with that money? If I won 20 million dollars I’d start a manufacturing factory for apparel not only for my line but other designers as well. This would help bring jobs back to the US as well as improve the economy. I also would start organizations dedicated to young girls and women to spread my message within my brand. I’d especially like to take it to other countries
- How would you describe your best friend in 3 words? funny, loving, real
- What is the last good book that you’ve read? The last good book I read was 20-something 20-everything. (Amazing read!)
- New York City or LA? Never been to LA. Been to NYC many times and love it but would have to go with LA to encounter the awesome experience!:)
- Ice Cream or Gelato? Ice cream definitely!
- Who is your male celebrity crush? Morris chestnut is definitely my celebrity crush!
- 3 things on your bucket list? Sky dive, snorkeling, and travel across the US in a month in my car/RV