Maira Maia

I was born November 15th, 1973 in Campo Grande City, Brazil.  My desire to enter into fashion first came from my mother, a talented and skilled seamstress. She not only inspired me, but she taught me a great deal and by the time I was a teenager, I was creating my own clothes.  When I was 20, I designed and created my own wedding dress. This was my first major fashion design endeavor and I was extremely proud of my dress.   In 1994, I opened Buly Buly Fashions- a clothing store for children and teens in Cajati, Brazil. This provided great experience for me, but it was not until I moved to Sao Paulo with my family that I officially started working in the fashion industry.  In 1998, I began working for D’oro Lingerie as the Assistant to the Technical Designer working on the creation and development of designs.  During this time, I enrolled in fashion school to pursue my dream of a career in fashion.  I studied Fashion Design at Nossa Senhora do Patrocinio University in Sao Paulo. This was a wonderful yet challenging time for me since I was a mother of three at this point.  Regardless, I was determined to pursue my love of fashion and graduated from Nossa Senhora Do Patrocinio University. Upon completing the fashion design program at Nossa Senhora Do Patrocino University, I participated in a fashion competition held by a local magazine. My collection- “Muilas of Angola,” was comprised of 20 designs that were made of various African fabrics. I won the competition and had my first fashion collection featured in the magazine. After graduation, I went on to the prestigious Serviço Nacional de Aprendizagem Industrial (SENAI) where I was able to combine my love of fashion and teaching. SENAI is one of the most prominent formal training institutions in Brazil providing formal training for specialized workers in various industries.  After several years at SENAI, I accepted an opportunity to work as the Senior Technical Designer at Bloomin, a large fashion company located in Sao Paulo. Bloomin is a popular fashion line in Brazil specializing in party and prom dresses. As the Senior Technical Designer, my responsibilities included fashion design and production. I loved serving the many loyal customers and I was very proud of the many of the Bloomin dress designs I created. This past year, I moved to Charlotte with my family and I am now entering into the next phase of my career in fashion in a new country. This has been a new challenge that I have embraced and I am excited to apply my experience and passion for fashion to my next endeavor in the world of fashion.