When we first met Maya, we were floored by the amount of energy that she had, plus the magazine that she was publishing (YU) is amazing. Now, Maya has continued to reinvent herself, and coupled with her experience in print media, she has launched her PR and marketing company. Seeing Maya work and her attention to details, we at KA cannot help but agree that she is truly Best of Canada.
KA — When did you decide that becoming your own boss was the thing to do?
MS — I’ve always been on my own…call it the entrepreneur curse!
KA — You were the editor of a beautiful magazine “YU”, what about this expe- rience would you say helped you the most in doing what you are doing now?
MS — Being the Editor in Chief of a high-end lifestyle publication gave me the opportunity to develop a solid and enviable business network. I got to meet a lot of great successful and inspiring Montrealers. Also I developed my leading skills; I had a great team that consisted of editors, designers, sales, photogra- phers, stylists etc…
KA — When you meet people for a living, how do you do this casually when you are no longer working? Or like an artist, are you always painting?
MS — I love developing my network; I am constantly meeting new people. I believe every single person we meet has something to offer, an experience to share, or needs some kind of referral. One unpredictable encounter can change the whole course of your life, on both business and personal levels, so keep your mind and heart open.
KA — Maya: it is the illusion that is pulled over our eyes to believe what we see as the real world. How much of what we see of “Maya” is illusion, and how much is allowed to be real?
MS — There is no illusion, what you see is what you get. That said, sometimes people get the wrong impression based purely on my lifestyle, they build a certain image without really getting to know me. There is much more to every person than just what we see…you would be surprised. I think the least judg- mental people are the ones with the strongest network.
KA — As a woman it is sometimes expected that unlike men, you have to be more open and sensitive. How do you respond to this when sometimes you wish to just get the job done and get past the sensitive stuff?
MS — Men are sensitive… but the difference is they always get the job done. After all, business is business…nothing personal. That’s how women should be also.
KA — You are an avid golfer, how did this come about?
MS — My parents have always been members of a golf club; I spent all my childhood summers on the driving range. After winning at 13 my club’s Presi- dent’s Cup Championship, I fell in love with the game, and with winning! Golf is a great asset for business development; also it is nice being sometimes the only lady playing at an important charity tournament with more than a 100 men!
KA — When you travel to the UAE, what is it about coming back to Canada that you appreciate the most?
MS — Dubai is an amazing source of inspiration, very surreal; but what I ap- preciate in Canada is the professional way business is done. Rules of the game are very different there.