Maria Ana Moura is the designer behind the jewelry label Mamazoo. Her rich heritage ultimately led her to creation and more recently to jewelry design. The designer received me in her studio where you can sense her unconditional love for nature, exoticism and animals main sources of her inspiration: she has an adorable rabbit called Coconutzu, two birds named Blue and Gray and a fish, Paloma. Maria is slowly but surely becoming a favorite of Indie artists and performers who regularly request customized pieces. Read about her inspiring journey below!
1. Maria, tell us about your background and how you started your jewelry line?
I was born in Germany to Swiss Brazilian parents and grew up between Switzerland, Costa Rica and Brazil with my two brothers. I accomplished my graphic design and art direction studies in Barcelona where I then got the great opportunity to work at ROJO, a contemporary art gallery. I managed the gallery and had the great chance to work with incredibly talented artists, young upcoming artists from around the globe. While working at the art-space I dedicated my free time to paint and create accessories. It took me then to New York City for a change. I also wanted to learn more about fabric and garment construction and did an associate degree in Fashion Design at Parsons. A year later I was working with Daniel Feld a former Project Runway contestant, designing Woman’s ready to wear. During my studies in New York I had created necklaces for a project in this fascinating Mexican Art and Myth class I took. The pieces were published on Round Square Collective’s website in Lisbon, which led to boutiques being interested and consequently I made Mamazoo my full time occupation.
2. What’s the most challenging thing about launching your brand?
It all happened very natural at the initial launching stage. The main challenge is to thrive an organic growth of your brand without loosing its core values. I would like for my brand to be as transparent as possible, knowing exactly where my materials come from, making sure there is no bad involved. It is not easy to know and have proof of the exact source of the material. Therefore there is a lot of research and investigation involved besides designing and producing. With this purpose I will hopefully soon be traveling more to acquire my material from the prime source directly, ensuring fair trade, morality and respect. Another challenge is the sharpness you have to have to make yourself noticed in the market. This is overcome by the passion you got for your product and a lot of patience.
3. Where do you find your inspiration? Do you have any muses?
My inspiration come from the tropics, the exotic and the cultural mix. These are the things that activate my senses. I also love and adore animals, they definitely inspire me. I admire their elegance and purity.
4. If you weren’t in the creative field designing jewelry, what would you do?
I would be in the wild, Brazil or Costa Rica, Kenya or Congo, working for an organization involved in animal conservation. In any case, I strongly hope that throughout my business development I will be able to combine the focus on profitability together with ecological and social goals.
5. Do you have anything exciting or special projects coming up?
I have a collaboration coming up of unique pieces for ‘Lindo Killer’ and a show at ‘Mitte’ Barcelona.