Ever since I was a little girl, I always loved fashion. The first thing I noticed about people is the way they dressed. It was so fascinating to explore each item, discovering how it’s made and how It can be worn differently.
As a little child, I used to sew small-sized dresses for my dolls, and paint different clothes on my computer. My parents realized there is something going on, and bought me my first sewing machine. I took some sewing classes when I was 15 and enjoyed it very much. When I started high school I left this hobby aside and focused on some other things: I played the guitar with my band, played tennis and of course did my studying like a good girl.
Despite giving up my sewing classes, I was still fascinated by fashion. Still, I didn’t continue to study sewing and fashion design. After my big trip to South America, I started my BA in management. I had this plan in the back of my head, that I will graduate and then maybe start my own fashion design business. I forgot about this plan, though, the minute I started my studies.
Only when I graduated I started thinking about fashion again, but didn’t have the courage to take it to the next level. I was afraid I would not be able to make a decent living out of it and I didn’t want to begin another 4 years of studying. It was time to find an adult job.
While doing that, I started learning fashion design in a special evening school, called Graidy Studio. I started from scratch, basics and all, and although I dreamed about becoming a fashion designer, it was still just a hobby.
I worked as a project and digital manager for nearly 8 years, but something was missing. I didn’t like my job, and the spark in my eyes was missing.. Then, I got engaged (!) and wanted to sew my own wedding dress, as well as plan my own wedding by myself. This was too much for one person and I decided to leave my day job and do what I love: I started my own fashion business.
Changing a profession in the middle of life was very hard. In this case, it meant getting a job as a fashion designer’s assistant while others were becoming managers themselves, and not to mention getting paid very little.. But this period of life taught me so much about myself. I discovered great courage and strength I did not know I had. I faced many difficulties on the way and I still do. But this is what I want to do in my life, and now, I truly love what I do.
I am a fashion designer and owner of the brand Mari & Leoni, which represents everything I am and everything I want to be. By making special items, I connect with women in a way I wasn’t able to beforehand. This is where I want to continue to grow.
I wish for all of you, to be the person you want to be, and please challenge yourselves until you get to a place that satisfies you.
If you have any questions write me in the comments below, I will be happy to answer.