We had the good fortune of connecting with Maria Stratigis and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Maria, maybe we can start at the very start – the idea – how did you come up with the idea for your business?
Building my brand has been an ever evolving process since the idea first manifested almost a decade ago. I started by wanting to create a safe space for beauty and self-expression through makeup. But as I evolved as a person, and life happened, I started gravitating towards the expansion from just beauty and makeup into style, fashion and how we present ourselves aesthetically to the world. I’m also a Libra, which is the zodiac that loves anything aesthetic – we want things to look nice and we care about how we carry ourselves in our lives. What’s beautiful about style and fashion is that it’s so unique to each and every one of us. We are influenced by so much – who we were raised by, where we grew up, our birthdates, our likes, dislikes and our lifestyles! There will be people who say, “I don’t care what I look like. I don’t care what I wear. I just throw my hair in a bun and leave the house…” which in and of itself, is your personal style. Own it!
My brand has since come to encompass all things style – personal style, developing personal style, self-love and self-confidence!
Although my business has evolved from just beauty and makeup content, it remains a safe space for authentic, self expression.
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.
Being a full-time content creator seems like everyone’s dream job at the moment – myself included! While there are many, many people creating & influencing these days, there is a level of uniqueness and authenticity to each brand because we know there’s a live, human person behind it! And while there are very many style bloggers/influencers & beauty content creators, there’s a deeper psychological level that exists behind this content curtain. These days we are constantly comparing ourselves to others we see on social media, and it’s really affecting our self esteem! My brand and work is full of outfit inspiration and beauty looks amongst other lifestyle topics, but I also share a lot about SELF-LOVE. It feels remiss for me to talk about style and makeup without touching on insecurities, body image and unattainable beauty standards.
I want my brand to send the message that you are already enough, you are already perfect as you are! You don’t need to buy the same shoes as me or her, you don’t need to have a perfectly curated Instagram feed, you don’t have to buy the same lip gloss as someone else to be anything but amazingly and perfectly YOU!!
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
Being raised in Houston, TX – I am quite partial to this city! I believe there is SO much to do here as it is the most diverse city in the United States!
Let’s say my bestie came in on a Saturday, we would spend our first day in Houston’s Chinatown. There is so much to do, see, try & enjoy there – from great places for dim sum, dumplings, noodle houses, amazing Vietnamese cuisine, and tea houses to reflexology to shopping for anything from the East!! Houston is definitely a foodie scene, so I’d spend a lot of time entertaining a guest by enjoying all the culinary experiences the city has to offer.
On Sunday, come with me for not only a cultural experience but also a spiritual one, to a liturgy service at the Annunciation Greek Orthodox Cathedral in Montrose followed by brunch at Harry’s Restaurant – a Greek and Latino owned cafe and diner.
We’d start the work week off with a hot yoga class on Monday at either Black Swan or Big Power Yoga followed by green juice and acai bowls from Green Earth Juicery & Cafe. Dinner that evening at Flower Child in the Heights.
Tuesday we’d spend the day in Houston’s Museum & Art District. This area is one of my most favorite neighborhoods in the entire metropolitan area! Houston’s Fine Arts District is lit! Anything from contemporary to modern to classic to visual and walking installations – Houston’s art scene is definitely one to check out while in town. The Museum of Fine Arts and the Menil collection are part of my must-sees. The next day we’d go back to the Montrose area for some of the BEST thrifting in the city. Pavement Houston, The Cottage Shop, The Guild Shop and The Salvation Army off Washington Avenue have some of the best, most unique finds to be discovered.
We’d start the weekend early on Thursday with a spa day at one of Houston’s amazing selection of places to relax, enjoy & pamper yourself – Milk & Honey, Hotel Omni and The Houstonian are some of my favorite options.
Then comes Friday, y el cuerpo sabe (& the body knows it)! We’d have dinner at a new, trendy restaurant (or anything by Houston’s beloved, Chris Shepherd!) Then drinks somewhere fun like a rooftop bar or a mixology bar such as Idle Hands (formerly Rosemont), Sunset, 77 Degrees, Present Company or the ever classic – Anvil!
Finishing off this amazing week with brunch Saturday at The Annie Cafe, and a shopping day at the Galleria!
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
There isn’t enough time in the day to thank everyone who has supported me, mentored me or taught me something along the way, but I’d like to extend a special shout out & thank you to :
– Ruchi Sharma, Business & Personal Development Coach
– Maddy Biscocho, Beyond Beauty Esthetics
– Houston Latina Bloggers
– Jennifer Medina, The Socially Connected
– the Healthy Assets Squad
– The Houston Blogger Community
and ‘The Alchemist’ by Paulo Coelho changed my life, I will spend the rest of eternity sharing this book and the message of this book – Always follow your heart’s purpose!