For Maria, raising a family in a foreign country has been a challenge all its own. Raising her family while building a career required another level of dedication, and then taking a leap of faith to pursue her passion in the competitive fashion industry has shown yet another tier of tenacity. This is what this month's Woman in Control did and continues to do, pulling lessons from her colorful Spanish upbringing and integrating them into her modern American life.
Tell us about yourself -
I’m a mom of two, an entrepreneur and fashion stylist from Spain living in San Francisco for 8 years now.
When I moved here I decided to change my path from being a renewable energy consultant and follow my passion to be a fashion stylist in an attempt to balance my personal life with my professional projects.
Since then, I’ve been working with my clients’ closets and managing projects like having a boutique full of European brands and local designers, named Trendy Mondays.
How has being a mother empowered you?
When I became a mother, I learned about how challenging life can be, I learned to adjust my life in order to be balanced and happy. Thanks to them I learned that nothing is impossible, happiness doesn’t just come from your achievements or success, but also from the way you must walk to get to them.
Having kids made me a stronger and more determined woman, not just about my goals but about the way I want to live life with my family and achieve those goals.
My kids are always watching me. At this early age they are my number one fan, and they know they are my priority. They are proud of me when they see my work, and that is such a very beautiful feeling. I show them what this woman can do!
What does being a woman in control mean to you?
It means being a confident woman, fearless and happy in her life. A woman in control is inspiring, interesting and strong.
How would you describe growing up in Spain and how has it influenced you?
Spain is a beautiful country full of warm people, where family and traditions are very important. Fashion and knowing how to dress is part of our lifestyle, we learn the importance of our dress code wherever we are.
On top of this I grew up in a family full of amazing woman and very talented seamstresses and tailors. They are hardworking women. They managed their family and their own business. I learned from them more than basic skills or how to dress the clients, I learned how powerful women are.
How would you encourage other mothers out there who have their own business, work, and family to take care of, to keep going when all the challenges come in at once?
I’d say that it is hard to develop your career and you family, but it is not impossible. It may require a change about your priorities, patience and determination.
There is no job that is worth exchanging your family time, it is a compromise. If you really want something, things will happen. Sometimes it just takes a different path and time, but you have to learn what works for you and your family. Do not give up, be patience and perseverant. Doesn’t have to happened all at once!
“Set your dreams and fight for them, and always be happy on the way.
Remember that you are the only one who can judge your success.”
What inspired you to choose your career?
I enrolled at the Academy of Art University when I was looking to start working after I moved to San Francisco. Being there was the trigger and I started sketching and creating pieces for my daughter. My passion for fashion and my vision about helping other people to achieve their image goal became my focus.
Our personal image is very important, we send messages with our dress code, styling choices and I enjoy helping my clients to find the way to express themselves and feel a reflection of themselves about the way they look.
How did studying biology merge into fashion?
Being a Renewable Energy Consultant was beautiful and I had an amazing career experience, but having a family was incompatible with my job profile at that point.
I was lucky enough to have an amazing husband who encouraged me to follow my passion when I had the chance. When I went to the Academy of Art to experience Fashion illustration, Business and Design, I completely fell in love with all of it and I found a way to make it happen for me and my family.
What do you love about styling?
I love everything about it, but one of the things I love the most is being able to capture each client's projection about themselves, and translate that into their exterior image.
Feeling the happiness of others through my work is the best reward.
What would you say to a your daughter encouraging her to be a woman in control?
I would keep telling her everyday how amazing she is and how proud I am to be her mom, and now I keep telling her: “Set your dreams and fight for them, and always be happy on the way. Remember that you are the only one who can judge your success.”
So it is obvious that you look amazing! How do you do it?
☺ (Big smile: Thank you!!)
I like to take care of myself, it helps me to raise my energy and stay positive. I eat healthy and I exercise regularly, I do a little of everything, and nothing in particular. I have an exercise routine and this year I’ve joined a group of amazing moms from my kids’ school to run 2-3 times a week and they are awesome!
What are some of your favorite aspects of the LIA LARREA brand?
I love the concept behind the design and the hard work that makes it possible. The cut and materials are amazing, the clothes are flattering and very comfortable. When I wear Lia Larrea I feel confident, sexy and a part of the Woman in Control world!
Photography by Quincy Stamper
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