We had the good fortune of connecting with Malu Guia and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Malu, where are your from? We’d love to hear about how your background has played a role in who you are today?
I’m originally from Brazil and I got bachelor degree in Architecture and Interior Design from the Federal University in Rio de Janeiro (UFRJ), Brazil. For several years, I had my own Interior Design firm in Rio de Janeiro, working mostly with residential and commercial projects until I moved to Europe. I spent almost 5 years there, when I put my career on hold to spend time with my family. My kids were small and I finally had the opportunity to be there for them 24/7. Even though I did not work at that time, I invested some of my time learning new hobbies somehow related to art and architecture (eg. Photography). I then moved to the US in 2012, lived in a few different places and since early 2019, I have finally settled in Houston. My background and the opportunity to live as an expat with my family in different countries had a HUGE impact on who I am today. The memories I made will last a lifetime and gave me important life skills – ability to make new friends all over the world, learn unfamiliar languages, be more open minded and embrace diversity – I was exposed to many different styles of homes, architecture, design, art, as well as different types of climates and culture. The ability to see the world from a different cultural perspective also developed skills such as empathy and curiosity. Sometimes it takes the full effort of moving abroad to fully understand what’s really important to you and to really open your mind.
Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
Even though I studied Architecture, my passion has always been Interior Design. I always say that being an Interior Designer is not a job, it’s a lifestyle. I live and breathe it every day, all the time. I believe people deserve to have beautifully curated spaces to call their own. I’ve launched my new business recently, months before the COVID Pandemic and it has been built so far by word of mouth. It is a little challenging building a business from scratch in a new place, but my previous experience in Brazil and all my learning in Europe are directly applicable to the Houston market, which somehow help overcome some barriers. I’m currently in the process of building my portfolio and I absolutely love what i do. I love to create spaces that are not only beautiful but functional, not trendy but fresh and welcoming. Your house is the place where you make memories with your friends and family, and it is my pleasure to be able to create these spaces. The satisfaction of completing a project that exceeds my client’s expectations makes it so worthwhile.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
Well, let’s just assume we aren’t in the middle of a pandemic. Houston has so many wonderful areas, it would be hard to show them all my favorites! From eating at Tiny’s (I love meeting friends there) to Anthonie’s in Simonton on the weekends (farm vibe), the list goes on and on. A few more favorite local spots to visit would be the The Galleria mall for shopping, Memorial Park to walk around beautiful green areas, the Houston Museum of Natural Science, the Museum of Fine Arts and of course a tour home in River Oaks to check out the architecture and design.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
My husband is my biggest supporter. He really encouraged me to take this leap of faith and has been my biggest cheerleader, always believing in my full potential. I feel so blessed to have the most encouraging family and friends. I have made many friends and connections over the years and it is amazing to see how they come around to support me in my work. Also, I couldn’t miss the opportunity to thank my amazing faculties in the Federal University in Rio de Janeiro, most of which have a renowned career in the field, who gave me a solid foundation. I feel so privileged that they took their time to teach and share their extensive professional experience with me, it made it more than worthwhile the huge efforts to get into this very competitive University!
Website: it will be launched soon