Design Your Own Path — Unlock Your Fashionista

Simon T. Bailey
Feb 17, 2017 · 3 min read

When you listen to Maria De Rosa Cuscuna you quickly realize that she is a creative artist that marches to the beat of a different drum. She refuses to settle for the status quo or live in the spotlight of anyone else. Her passion for fashion, quality paper, design, and all things happy/joy merged to create

This Montreal based entrepreneur childhood dream was to be a Fashion Designer. She grew in the industry for over 12 years by working her way up from an assistant designer all the way up a designer. After giving over 100% to a company she decided to part ways as she and her husband Gino were giving birth to their son. This amazing experience of giving to another human being and being married to a brilliant husband who runs a successful company, inspired her to create the next chapter of her life.

Today, she works with 80–100 clients a year to brand the most important events in their lives from weddings, births, and business events through designing invitations. Needless to say her work is unique, personal, and memorable. Most importantly, she chooses to work with happy fun people.

As a soft rock music lover, her cool video says it all and you will see why people like to connect with her spirit.

I asked the Papier Fashionista her greatest lessons that she learned in the last five years of running her business and she said the following:

Stop Selling and Start listening — Maria is committed to designing on paper the hopes, dreams and wishes of her customer. She ask questions and then really listens to what they really want instead of what she wants to sell them. In a noisy world overwhelmed with information and many options, she believes that the same letters that spell the word listen spell the word silent. And when she really dials into the frequency of her customers, she transfers on paper what resonated with them at the critical moment of the conversation where imagination+creativity+design come together.

Be Uber Responsive — She believes that customers want to work with someone who responds quickly and professionally. Her hallmark of excellence is summed up with this statement — “the fortune is in the follow-up.” She realizes that she is not the cheapest vendor in the market but she is the fastest that delivers a first-class product that her customers love.

Balance is a Joke — As a wife, mother, and business owner she realizes that juggling all three roles are challenging but also brings her complete joy. She discovered a long time ago to stop judging or complaining about the various hats she had to wear and just embrace them. She is fortunate to have Gino’s 100% support. He understands that flexibility is an imperative in any relationship that stands the test of time. Men take note. She finds a way to be effective at all three roles by infusing them with spirit of joy, happiness, and no complaining. As an artist, that makes her more effective for the customers that she serves.

Maria then shared with me the one piece of advice she would give to anyone who wanted to design their own path…simply put, NEVER EVER GIVE UP ON YOURSELF.

The moment you give up on yourself you experience death by a thousand cuts.

Every setback is a cut.

Every piece of business you lose is another cut. Someone cancels your contract, it’s just one more cut.

Pretty soon, your paper dream is cut, nicked, smeared, and about to be crumpled and thrown in the trash can.

Take that piece of paper or as they say in French papier and smooth it out. Find your best Mont Blanc Felt tip pen and dip it into the ink of a new reality and write down what you want. Why? Because what you want…wants you!

Simon T. Bailey

Written by

I aspire to inspire before I expire.

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