We had the good fortune of connecting with Maria Ferrer and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Maria, we’d love to hear more about how you thought about starting your own business?
I really didn’t think about it very much. Everything started as a hobby when I became a mom for the first time until one day a friend asked me to help her with some things for her wedding and since then, people began to show interest in my work and it didn’t take me long to see there was a business opportunity in front of me, so I decided to take it. It was basically noticing the market’s needs what made me realize there was an interesting niche that I could reach and develop for them a business that could fulfill those needs.
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
I truly believe that my style makes a big difference, as well as the variety of details I can include in my products and services such as handmade calligraphy for the stationery design, or the incorporation of illustrations and watercolor paintings. I think that all those things I can create for my clients, combined with a good knowledge on costumer service, allow me to be a better and more unique creator for them. I am proud of my ability to translate my clients’ needs into reality and also of my evolution as a calligrapher and designer over the years. I feel now more capable and confident of creating beautiful pieces for every client, adapting to their needs without compromising the essence of my style. I feel really excited about the future basically because I know all that’s coming will be an improvement as it’s been so far. I love to learn how to be a better calligrapher everyday, a better designer, artist and a better “stay-at-home-mom” of two while running my small business. I’m excited abut the challenges it involves and how rewarding it is to overcome them. I’ve learned so many lessons, specially during this year when I even had thoughts of giving up due to the mix of the pandemic and also the birth of my second child. I really thought that there was no way I could keep doing this… but I can because I learned I have no other option. Doing this is not only my job but my passion and I couldn’t live without it even if the circumstances are not ideal. I get to sleep less and had to change my work routine, but how could I resign to do something I truly believe I was born to do? I wouldn’t forgive myself if I quit. And all the extra effort is paying off so more reasons to believe things will only get better in time. About my brand or my story, I would love people to know that this is a perseverance and hard work one. My husband and I came to this country a little more than five years ago. We didn’t know nobody, we were not sure what we were going to do for a living and now we both have small businesses in areas that started just as hobbies, so we’re both really passioned about them and determined to make them work no matter what. We were able to build a family and see our children grow while showing them that both mom and dad are doing something they love and have both the same opportunities to grow professionally and have a prosperous career. When people talk about the “American dream”, we truly believe we’re living it, and all the things we’ve achieved so far are nothing compared with all the things we believe we can accomplish in the future. Also, being a mom of two with no help beside my husband has been a game changer for the business, a very challenging situation that I am still learning how to handle but so far, making it happen focusing on the day by day. I hope that I can inspire other moms or moms-to-be to feel they can also do whatever they dream besides being a mom. It’s hard (very hard) work, but it’s possible when you have de determination to do it.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
Well, not being from Houston has made ME the visiting friend for a while. We’re still discovering and knowing new places. But my favorite touristic spots are: – Space Center Houston. – Museums: Houston Museum of Natural Science and Museum of Fine Arts. – Keemah Broadwalk (boat trip and then eat at Landry’s Seafood House) – Houston Zoo (I have a 4 year old so this is our family friendly favorite spot) – Picnic at McGovern Centennial Gardens – Galveston Island Pleasure Pier I know there are many other fun places but I just mention the ones we visit the most since are our favorites.
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
The first person I need to mention and be grateful for is my husband, Juan. He’s been not only supporting all of my crazy ideas all the way through but also my right hand. He’s great with numbers so he’s basically my financial advisor, he helps me to transform my dreams into real plans and keeps me focus in the business side of the business, because I’m more like an artistic and creative soul. He knows what I am capable of and reminds me of that everyday and I feel that kind of support is vital for every small business owner.
Photography: Aly Matei