Through our WNORTH Members Spotlight, we share unique insights and advice of our brilliant Members with you.
Meet Maria DeCotiis, the Owner and Principal Designer of Maria DeCotiis Interior Design, a full-service residential design firm based in Vancouver, BC. Through her work, she helps her clients elevate their “every day” through the beauty, clarity, and confidence that comes from a well-designed home.
Maria specializes in merging both modern and traditional styles to create a California-French aesthetic that blends the effortlessness of West Coast living with the sophistication of classic French design.
Maria first joined WNORTH to expand her network before the Covid-19 pandemic. She soon realized that, aside from networking, there are so many other ways to utilize her membership.
“WNORTH is a platform where I can genuinely connect with other women that inspire me and encourage me to continue to grow as an individual and a business owner. I love most how comfortable I feel at the WNORTH events, both virtually and in person. I have always felt very welcomed and free to be my authentic self,” she shares.
We sat down with Maria to talk about her entrepreneurial journey, the challenges and opportunities presented to her throughout the pandemic, and the difference we can all make for women-led businesses.
Hi Maria! You've recently redesigned your brand and business strategy. Tell us why you decided to do that and what steps have you taken?
When Covid hit, I knew I needed to step things up. I needed to make changes so that my brand and business strategy supported my vision.
I hired a business coach to help me get on the right course. With her help, I’ve grown my business and started to see that I’m on the right path. I want everything in my business to represent my purpose and values and showcase how important client experience is to me.
The first step was to fully define my brand. Through a series of questions and interviews, my business coach helped me define my brand and figure out what makes my company unique. My new website is under construction now. Thanks to the work I’ve done on my brand, I am confident that it will represent my brand voice and the message I want to send out to the world.
My goal is that my clients have a wonderful experience from the moment they land on my website, during the design process, and all the way through the final reveal of their new home.
What advice would you give someone who wants to elevate their business?
I’d recommend everyone to hire professionals to provide you with guidance. It is challenging to assess your brand and narrow down your “why” without having someone with an outside view assisting.
I’m a true believer in hiring people that have the skills that I lack or I don’t enjoy. Investing in rebranding and reevaluating my purpose has been invaluable.
What were some of the challenges and opportunities that you faced during the pandemic?
At the beginning of the pandemic, I felt pretty scared. I struggled with the thought that interior design was not a necessity amidst the tragic events happening in the world. However, the more time we all spent isolated at home, the more evident it became that our homes are more than just four walls.
Having a well-designed, inspiring, welcoming, and safe home is now even more critical than ever. Our home environment plays an essential role in our well-being. It should be our retreat and the place we choose to escape to – not escape from.
I’ve experienced some silver linings during Covid, too. I have been able to reach out and connect with inspiring and empowering people thanks to virtual meetings and WNORTH.
What quotes, entrepreneurs, or women leaders have had a significant impact on you?
Oprah has undoubtedly had a great impact on me. I admire how authentic she is and how she is truly living her purpose. Many of her quotes have motivated me on my personal and entrepreneurial journey.
This quote, in particular, inspires me to continue along my path; “Create the highest, grandest vision possible for your life because you become what you believe.”
Also, I found this quote years ago, and it has been something I go back to and read many times to stay motivated.
Do what you love
Any adaptation of it
Do it well
If you don’t know how to do it, learn
Know that it will rough you up a few times
Bring you to tears
Do it to your best ability
You’ll have no other choice
You will find there is no end
No real one anyway
It’s a journey
A long one
But you will forever be changed
Once you give it a go.
And finally, how can we best support women-led businesses?
I am very fortunate to have become friends with other interior designers who run very successful design businesses. Not only do they inspire me, they also encourage me when there are challenges along the way.
We can support women-led businesses by investing in them, referring them to our circle, or utilizing their services and purchasing the products they offer.
Whenever I am outsourcing, I always try to hire women-led businesses because we all win when we support each other.