With a pandemic hitting the globe, many businesses have shut shop, and Maria’s enterprise was among those that found it difficult to sustain itself through this rough patch.
Maria was born in Brooklyn and grew up between BK and Navesink, NJ. She experienced both worlds while growing up, the quiet suburban life of New Jersey and the hustle and bustle of New York City. However, she admits that her heart belongs to NYC, as she is far more inclined towards the high energy of the city. She was always mesmerised with the never-ending streets, full of eateries and shopping nooks that occupied every corner of the city, it was this love for the city lifestyle that inspired her to open her own boutique, ‘The Haute Maven’, in Red Bank, NJ, a small suburban town in the heart of the Jersey Shore, with all the best characteristics of a big city, with the quaintness of a small historic town.
With the onset of the pandemic, a slew of businesses decided to close shop. Seeing the uncertain future of retail, Maria made the difficult decision to shut down her boutique permanently. However, being a go-getter she channelled her energies into a new enterprise immediately, starting her own social media management agency dubbed ‘THM Social’ (a nod to her boutique) which she now runs alongside her blog ‘Simply Maria’.
What has kept her positive and sane during this difficult phase?
“All of my drives comes from my grandmother, Concetta, who has been my pillar of strength and role model throughout my life. I have always looked up to her for any kind of guidance and support, whenever I need it. Between her, my mother, Dina, and my best friend Adriana, I have a community of women who keep me positive and ready to tackle anything the world can throw at me,” Maria intimated. She also credits her friend Lisa Barry, a businesswoman in NYC, whose piece of advice is embedded in her mind, “My friend Lisa said early on in my career, ‘never be afraid to fail. Failure makes you stronger and builds your character. If you can fail and keep going, then you will succeed’”. It’s this piece of advice that keeps her going despite her setbacks.
When asked what has been the “coolest” moment in her career, she is quick to answer “I was at the Gucci Wooster opening party. I was invited as a client/influencer and I wore a velvet Gucci pyjama set with rhinestone detailing and a Gucci belt bag. I was walking around and stopped to talk to Jared Leto and received a compliment on my outfit from Alessandro Michele and Marco Bizzari. It was so cool!”
Currently, Maria is working on creating her own fashion line based around her blog and the idea that fashion can be simple, functional and trendy. We cannot wait to see what she introduces with her new collection, which is sure to make a splash, just like it’s creative director.
Follow Maria on Instagram @mariamolino or on her website www.simplymaria.com