by Grezel Lantican
What do you want to be when you grow up?
For entrepreneur Marinelle “Maria” Salvador, being a designer was a dream of her 7-year-old self that has now become a reality. Today, she's creating her own mark in the fashion scene.
Maria’s been passionate for crafting all her life. When she was young, doodling designs was her core inspiration to venture into fashion. For example, in college, she was inspired to create her own version of a headband she longed to buy.
When she entered the corporate world, the young entrepreneur realized that she wanted to be in an industry where she can showcase her Filipino artistry. She started a fashion brand named after herself, Maria Salvador. She says, “I want Filipinos to experience the quality that my brand offers.”
Behind the Brand
Crafted for the Modern Filipina, Maria Salvador is known as an eco-friendly brand that uses basket totes embroidered with tropical themes and chic styles. The line also offers casual loafers and slip-ons for men and women.
The people behind the production of these products—shoemakers and weavers—are the integral part of the brand. The local label wouldn’t be a success without these local craftsmen. They motivate Maria to do better as she’s the main provider of their income.
Besides, the country has excellent artisans and invaluable resources that people need to see. As Maria says, “they reflect pieces of our culture”, so they need to be treasured.
As an Entrepreneur
Maria Salvador and her basket bag
Like most entrepreneurs, Maria took a risk in doing business. She quit her full-time job and chased her dream. For her, it was another process of planning, rationalizing, and starting over. With failures along the way, Maria learned that her toughest competition was herself. Her success didn’t happen overnight and it wasn’t out of pure luck either, but she believed that launching and building up Maria Salvador is attainable.
“Luck is a manifestation of hard work in practice. The more experience we gain, the more we are capable of turning it out,” she explains.
Success for Maria involves consistency, patience, and perseverance. She never quits even if she failed a number of times, because her mantra is, “The thickest, tallest walls are built right next to the grand prize”.
Maria Salvador is one of the latest fashion brands that we know today. Its enormous success happened the moment Maria chose to achieve her dream, built with passion and dedication. Her commitment to establish a local brand for Filipinos has established a place for her in the fashion industry. And as Maria says, “If others can do it, so can you! All you need is endless determination and an unbreakable mindset to conquer the challenges that will come your way.”