Growing up in Miami with her Argentine parents, Marianna Maurer was always creative, but she didn’t truly hone in on her artsy side until she went to boarding school (hey—not all of ‘em are stuffy!), where she gravitated towards ceramics and painting. “My time in those studios were some of the first moments I realized I found peace and comfort in creating something,” she says of her teenage days—which we only hope were kind of like Fame.
Hooked on visual mediums, she moved to New York to get into photography production and—because school rules—signed up for a jewelry-making class at FIT. Her angular bracelets and orbital gem earrings were a hit and, in 2014, evolved into a line called Mau. Made of recycled and sustainable materials in L.A. (Marianna splits her time between there and Pennsylvania), her creations are meant to make their own way in the world: “Designing a piece is one part of the story—but the grand finale is when someone makes it their own, which is totally out of my hands and is so gratifying,” Marianna explains. Excellent lesson, dontcha think? —ashley tibbits