We had the good fortune of connecting with Maria Victoria and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Maria, how do you think about risk?
I like to think about risks as learning curves, if you don’t take them there’s no way you could learn new things or experience new opportunities, that could potentially be life changing. I believe it makes us feel more confident, courageous and powerful because we’re rejecting the idea being scared of making difficult decisions or wanting to avoid comments of want people may think. I really love a quote by Paulo Coelho that says, “You have to take risks. We will only understand the miracle of life fully when we allow the unexpected to happen.”

When the COVID-19 pandemic hit, I had just started working at a boutique in the Design District, when the city was shot down, like most, I had to work from home. This time really allowed me to focus on self care, exercise/meditate, spend more time with close family and design. I had sketched out multiple drawings of swimwear pieces and cover-ups that I was dying to make into real clothes, so, my business partner, A.K.A, my mom, and I starting looking for manufactures to create them. After searching long and hard for manufactures, and thinking of all the possible outcomes if anything bad were to happen, we decided to just go for it and make this dream a reality.

Alright, so for those in our community who might not be familiar with your business, can you tell us more?
Our industry is in swimwear and we carry a couple cover-up pieces as well. The brand is owned by me and my mom, we make the perfect team because, I design and take care of all the creative side, while mom focuses on the business and overall logistics. All the pieces are manufactured in Medellin, Colombia. Our brand focuses on timeless styles with a touch of uniqueness. The fabrics we use are sustainable and eco-friendly because they are made with recycled polyester or nylon threads that came from used plastic bottles. Also, our prints are all done by digital stamping which is also sustainable. At the moment we’re an online store only, but with the hopes of bringing our products into a store for our customers to come in and try on all the styles. We want them to feel their most comfortable while they enjoy a visit to the beach or pool. I specifically choose the fabrics and notions we will use in the collections

If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
If I had to take my friends out, I would definitely start in the Miami Design District. I would walk them around all beautiful boutiques, little cafe and restaurants with outstanding displays and sleek, modern and luxurious architecture. I particularly love OTL for its rich and flavorful coffee, Pura Vida for the amazing bohemian vibes and Harry’s Pizzeria for the most delish pizza. Wynwood, is another destination I would take my friends, I feel like Wynwood is the perfect spot for its creative sights, multiple restaurants with variety of cuisines to choose from and bars all around. One of my favorite pieces there would have to be Mayami Restaurant, KYU, and R House.

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?
My mother, without her our business would have not even started. She is the one who makes all the moves in terms of getting our brand out there, helps me look for ways to engage more with our customers and is the one who pushes me the hardest to be the best of the best. She always tells me, “If you want to do something, make sure you do it well or just don’t do it at all.” She’s real the boss around!

Website: www.vitorialeonstore.com

Instagram: victorialeonstore

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/VICTORIALEONSTORE

Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCcAdKHOVfBoTJN3zj6ajkPw

Image Credits
Hair by: @hjrromero

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