Hey, I am Maria

I'm Maria, a designer and co-founder of Higher Ground Studio. I create Webflow websites that merge aesthetics and business goals for teams, founders, and entrepreneurs through thoughtful design and strategic development. My passion lies in shaping digital experiences that not only captivate and engage users but also drive results. Whether it's a stunning landing page for startups, a sleek portfolio site, or a dynamic website with integrated solutions, I thrive on translating ideas into visually compelling and functional online spaces.


What is your creative Journey?

My creative journey has evolved so much over the years: playing the guitar, photography, calligraphy, and dance. When I discovered Photoshop CS3, it became my first design tool and helped me start learning design for fun while exploring other hobbies growing up. If anyone remembers what "Piczo" is, I created my very first website there and it was the first time I fell in love with designing websites! I didn't go to design school but in my first two years of university, I started freelancing as a graphic designer for creative artists. At the time, I offered branding, social media, sponsorship packages, and print graphics for creative events. Two years later, I took a break for a few years until the pandemic started. During the lockdowns, I started learning UXUI design, Webflow, and started sharing my journey on IG. Today, I'm directing a Webflow studio with my partner and freelancing as a product designer for an agency.

What are Your future business plans?

Currently, I'm working on collaborating with more service-based businesses: brand designers, digital marketers, copywriters, etc. I want to build a strong roster of freelancers so that clients have access to a network I can refer them to and add more value to our offerings. Eventually, my partner and I are planning to hire 1 freelancer on our team of 2 for design/development. It would give us the opportunity to take on more challenging projects and grow our business.

What piece of advice would you offer creatives entering the field?

Success in creative fields often requires lots of patience and persistence. Don't be discouraged by slow progress or initial rejection; instead, keep working hard and pushing forward. Freelance or business is not for the lazy. You need to work hard, wear multiple hats, and sacrifice your weekends. Be ready for it.

How do balance your personal and professional life?

As my professional journey evolves over time, I have to juggle more responsibilities. To stay on top of things and have time for a healthy personal life, I keep an agenda and write down a list of to-do's every day. In many ways, my business and personal life are integrated and they depend on each other. I prioritize having a healthy lifestyle because I know how that would reflect how my business will perform as well. Going to the gym helps me stay focused and productive, taking dance classes boosts my creativity, and making time for self-care helps me feel confident and relaxed at work.

How do you think you stand apart from other creatives?

I have experience in sales and customer service from my previous career in hospitality, which helped me develop an appreciation for creating a positive experience for clients. It's natural for me to think about the long term and anticipate future challenges, especially when designing. When I design, I focus on creating solutions that are both impactful and sustainable for my clients, which sometimes, requires that I be open-minded and flexible, as well as a good listener.

Can you share some lessons you've learned through your creative career?

Don't be disheartened by setbacks and negative feedback; instead, use them as opportunities to learn, grow, and improve. Being flexible and open to change will keep your work relevant and interesting, so don't stop sharing what you create. By sharing work, I've not only built a portfolio of dream clients but also fostered relationships with like-minded individuals, businesses, and entrepreneurs who share the same passion for design and Webflow.

How does tools like Webflow and Figma help your business process?

Webflow and Figma allow me to take a client's idea from conception to a visually stunning and functional solution for their online presence. These tools also help me to build a partnership with my clients throughout the process by providing them with powerful features to collaborate and make them feel very involved throughout the process. As a service provider, Webflow and Figma give me the flexibility to iterate and constantly improve design solutions quickly for the client, to create a finished product that we are both proud of.

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