We had the good fortune of connecting with Mari Salinas and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Mari, we’d love to hear more about how you thought about starting your own business?
The first thing that comes to mind is freedom; I wanted to have that feeling of being my real self and of helping others be more of their real selves, too.
My dream was to have my own business so I could have full creative control over the ability to help clients express a positive sense of style that is at times challenging to achieve in a world that can sometimes seem superficial in the world of styling/fashion.
Also, as someone with learning disabilities, I have had to learn to focus on the things that I am good at. For me, that includes hands-on work and the world of the visual. When I realized I was “blessed with the eye,” I didn’t let these other challenges hold me back and just went for it. I think this attitude is part of the philosophy that guides my business. Focus on your strengths.
Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
I am a creative and energetic fashion stylist with an eye for style and a heart for empowerment. Inspired by body positivity, I am most proud that with very little guidance and support growing up I still went for it. I got where I am at today by taking risks without knowing if it was going to work out. I am such a free spirit so taking risks is just a big part of who I am. Moving to LA in my 30s was a risk because I had to start over and rebuild my whole brand again at an age that some say is old. Easy? What does that “easy” even mean? I don’t know!
I overcome challenges because I have a fire and passion in me that keeps me going. And what I am passionate about is helping others overcome their obstacles through fashion and style. One lesson I have learned is to fight the negative self-talk which is a daily battle, especially for women. But I know that I and my clients are worth the struggle. I know I lost a lot of time earlier in life with self-doubt caused by listening to all the negative people around me telling me I could not do it. So, I want to help others let go of their self-doubts. The truth is always the best way to go.
One truth for me is that I am a large, plus-size woman with learning disabilities who didn’t have people believing in me growing up. But what is also true is that I feel like I was born with a strong sense of self-awareness and self-worth. I knew I was worth fighting for myself. So, I worked extra hard to believe in myself and build a business so I could help others believe in themselves. I want people to know we all have value and we all have the tools we need right now to make our goals and dreams come true. The size of your dress does not define you. One can still look their best at any size because we are all worth it. Beauty, in my opinion, comes from within and for all the rest, you can hire a fashion stylist *wink wink * to polish you off and help you become your best self.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
Coffee at Coffee and Plats in Pasadena,
Oysters Aguachile and a Mezal Cocktail at Maestro Pasadena
A burrito at No-frills taco spot/burrito, with outdoor seating, serving burritos, taquitos & fresh salsas since 1966 In Boyle Heights, Al & Bea’s Mexican Food
A bucket of cold beer with mariachis at a very homey my favorite hole-in-the-wall bar in Boyle Heights Mi Ranchito! Then a drive down the PCH with lunch in Malibu is a must!
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
Amanda Lopez is a Mexican-American portrait and lifestyle photographer based in Los Angeles. She is the most epic and humble person her fotos are breathtaking and meaningful and powerful. Find her work here :
I am a part of this supportive, virtual community of women organized by Rebecca Casciano that helps nurture our inner and outer beauty through Self-Love, Sisterhood, and Spirituality. If you need a community of women and a safe space this is it for you it has been a gamer changer for me
𝗦𝗮𝗰𝗿𝗲𝗱 𝗕𝗲𝗮𝘂𝘁𝘆 𝗖𝗼𝗮𝗰𝗵 & 𝗛𝗼𝘀𝘁 𝗼𝗳 𝗧𝗵𝗲 𝗦𝗮𝗰𝗿𝗲𝗱 𝗕𝗲𝗮𝘂𝘁𝘆 𝗖𝗼𝗹𝗹𝗲𝗰𝘁𝗶𝘃𝗲
Amanda Lopez https://www.amandalopezphoto.com