Above, our founder Maya working in the studio.
My journey into fashion and design came about during my path of self-discovery. You see, I wasn't the star student in class - in fact, most of my notebooks in high school were filled with loads of doodles, sketches, and designs.
Instead of concentrating on writing, math, or science, I enjoyed finding unique ways to express who I was. Not only did I find this exciting, but that's also where I excelled.
Being able to show my self-expression through my clothing and accessories soon became what I was known for. It wasn't long before the girls in school came to me for their personal styling needs.
That being said, I often reminisce about how I used to get dressed and put on something unique, only to race home after ten minutes to change because I had attracted odd stares. I hadn't quite gained the complete confidence I needed to reveal my true self, but that was about to change.
Soon after graduating high school, I gave into another passion- wanderlust.
While exploring the world, I quickly realized that independent, fashion-conscious women were everywhere, and they weren't ashamed to strut their stuff and show off their unique styles. Why should I be?
I went after what I had experience with- sewing machines. It wasn't long before I was sitting behind a machine in a local tailoring shop on the streets of Manali. The store specialized in leather products of all kinds, and for the first time, I said: "My God, who knew that working with leather could be so much fun?"
My passion for leather goods had planted its roots.
Once I returned to Israel, I landed right in Central Tel Aviv, and it was a refreshing breath of home. Not just because it was my home, but because it was a city where I could be myself. My fashion no longer attracted any weird glances from passersby on the street.
I soon sought out and discovered the leather stores downtown.
Suddenly, I realized that there was a whole world out there with endless choices when it came to textures and colors in leather alone.
Again, I remember saying: "My God, I can't believe that this has been here all this time!"
Leather was my newest inspiration, a route of self-expression, and I wanted to dive right in.
I created my first bag and managed to sell it after two days. I was shocked! The client I designed for was so happy that I was designing items for all of her friends within a week.
Within the first six months of my leather endeavor, I sold out my first collection and realized I was on to something extraordinary that would change my life.
My passion, ambition, and desire as a youth for self-expression and style were packaged into this joy of making leather handbags. I could now help bring the confidence of being unique to others, and it has fulfilled me ever since.
My goal is for each person to have a piece of them they can share on the outside- to have the confidence to show who they are and express themselves in their style through these bags.
"I wake up every day and get to do something that I enjoy. I get to live my dream, and there's no way that I'm ever going to give it up."
Today, I have a humble yet mighty team helping me out, which brings my unique creations to life, and, in so doing, we can deliver my designs directly to you and your home.
I can only hope that my story and products inspire you, as each independent, fashion desiring woman, like yourselves, has inspired me.
MAYKO IS AN ISRAEL-BASED, WOMEN-LED DESIGN STUDIO CRAFTING LEATHER BAGS FOR THE WOMAN WHO WANTS TO MOVE THROUGH WORK-LIFE + FAMILY LIFE WITH EASE