You guys know her as Maria Pizzeria, I got a chance to speak to her about her life and get a little insight into what she does.
She has travelled a long way to reach her ‘dream’ job but plans to go even higher.
“I dreamt about Lazy Oaf for many, many years” says Maria. “It was my first major brand crush – they had a competition and I won it.”
Since coming to London two years ago, Maria has been working her way up the fashion ladder. Stepping up from working in Topshop to being an assistant at Coffin On Cake PR, she has certainly stamped her Swedish trademark into her work.
Starting with her dream job interning at Lazy Oaf, she has been interested in all of the aspects with fashion. The all-in approach from this brand was what sparked the passion for Maria as she realised that she can do all sorts. “Everything was connected. I like everything together.”
To the average person, they think fashion is just about the clothes. Maria disagrees. “I work in everything! My areas are social media and the press.”
Her flame was set alight when she started blogging 7 years ago, a laugh from Maria suggests that even she is surprised by that. Posting about her outfits and brands that interested her was her enjoyment at that time. “I just figured out my likes, my style, music because the internet was there and it’s like a whole world. I was trapped in a tiny home-town and felt like I could never develop.”
She applied for a Digital Media University in Sweden where she attended with solely the knowledge of blogging. Luckily for her, the course was based on the personality of the applicant, not about the skills, “it was cool”.
Getting experience is highly important in this industry. Maria was proactive and threw herself into the eye line of people that could help her progress. “I put up what I like and I found people that like the same stuff. It made me realise that the world is out there and it’s not just wherever you are”. Being in the agency has opened her up to the possibilities and reminds her that she isn’t in a boring 9-to-5 office job that people dread to have. She is able to be out and about, doing her own thing and creating those all important contacts that she is so grateful for.
Maria’s ‘office’ is one that inspires. Clothes hung up on the wall, fashion magazines scattered everywhere you look and wondrous pieces of art catching your eye at every turn. It’s like no office I’ve ever been to.
Social media seems to be a growing phenomenon that creates a portal between the average person and the people that can give you an opportunity. Sites such as Twitter and LinkedIn give a platform for someone to start off with and create relationships with huge companies or celebrities that would be impossible by phone/email. “It’s all about connections and networking. If you can get a good recommendation from someone that people know, its enough”
“I was interning at a magazine and they were working with agencies a lot – that’s where I got the connection. They saw I liked JuJu shoes, they said they didn’t have anyone in the office that liked them so they wanted me to do the accounts.”
Her most recent venture, Malmö London – a Swedish fashion brand, catapulted her into the photography and styling aspects. “I shot the look-book and styled it and now I’m doing the social media and press. I really like to grasp it and tell the brand “I’m up here to help you develop it if you want me to””.
Bursting into the fashion scene is difficult. Sometimes you just have to take what is given to you. It hasn’t always been straight-forward for Maria as she has had many jobs that didn’t go so well. “I did a job assisting a stylist once, that wasn’t fun! There was nothing to do on set, just collecting and returning things. I think I learnt a lot anyways.”
Even her role at Lazy Oath didn’t live up to her dreams. “It wasn’t paradise. When I was there, I was so f**king scared.” Moving to new country, learning a new language and being expected to fit right in was daunting for Maria – she even had to share a room in a flat.
Maria aspires to build her own empire in London one day and plans on publishing her own magazine. Beginning with online and finally going into print is obviously a huge passion for her as she gets excited even mentioning the idea.
“If I would work full time for an agency, it would be my own”
Pay – £80 a day
Hours – “As a guide, I’d say 12 hours a day! But I work whenever I can. Since, when I’m off I do shoots and style stuff as well and I count that as work”
Work/life balance – “I got my office at home as well, so obviously I just work all the time. I want to be able to go out and have a coffee with someone, even if it has nothing to do with the agency, it just helps me to think or get inspiration.”
Best thing – “The agency experience; being in a team and where people appreciate your role and what you do!”
Worst thing – “Being dressed up everyday and being stuck in front of the screen all day long, that makes me cringe.”