Maia’s Fashions closing so she can become a health coach

Published 12:00 am Sunday, April 9, 2017

By Deirdre Parker Smith

SALISBURY — After 11 years in the fashion business, Maia Smith is ready for a change.

Maia’s Fashions on South Main Street is closing in June, but Maia has found a new dream to pursue.

She will soon graduate from a study of integrative nutrition. Her new business cards read: Maia Janashia Smith Integrative Nutrition Health Coach and yoga instructor.

She will concentrate on eating right, weight loss, helping to relieve anxiety and depression and life coaching.

To kick it off, she has written a book about her experiences as an immigrant, businesswoman and, as she calls it, “dot com bride.”

Maia gives husband Joe Smith full credit for his support and says they have a great marriage, unlike some similar brides.

Maia, first of all, is from the Republic of Georgia, not Russia. Her country, she says, is a Christian country surrounded by Muslim countries and Russia. And Russia wants to annex Georgia permanently.

Her secret to success as a wife, immigrant and businessperson, she says, is to set goals. With a goal, “life helps you realize a few other ones” and you can continue to grow.

It’s all about evolving, and she did that successfully when she moved to Salisbury 12 years ago. She had to find new friends and build a new life.

Even she was surprised how successful her business was after just a year. Now, it’s time to grow again.

“Staying stagnant is not exciting.”

She’s read self help books and business books, learned Spanish. “We need to evolve and grow.”

The concept of better nutrition for better health really appealed to her. And she is already teaching yoga at the YMCA, so it all came together.

She says the younger generation has forgotten about balanced foods and balanced emotions. They need to get back to that.

Maia graduated from a technical school in Georgia with a computer degree. But her great-grandmother, grandmother and mother all sewed, so naturally, she did, too.

Her mother is a physics professor and her father a civil servant, so education was important.

“If God gives you a talent, you need to use it.”

Now her talent is focused on a new path. She has spent time studying, spent money on her schooling and is serious about the change.

When she started her fashion business, she wasn’t sure Salisbury was a good market for her clothes, but it turned out people wanted good tailoring.

Now she notices that people everywhere want advice on living better with improved health, nutrition and outlook.

She has a good work ethic, she says, and faith in God and the universe. “It’s scary to take risks,” but she has trust.

She says she is young enough that this new venture can carry her through at least 15 years, when she can retire, but she’s always planning for the future.

“People think, someone will provide,” she says, but that someone is you, and you need to have dreams, and you need to take advantage of what you find.

She started her fashion business with a sewing machine she found in her husband’s garage. He paid her first month’s rent. “Then it worked out.”

The book was part of her new direction. “You have to make an agenda. You have to have a wish list to reach your goals. Finances are the same way” and so is your body.

“When your whole body is tuned in, your health, drive, all that, things happen.”

It’s always challenging, she says, but fun.

JON C. LAKEY / SALISBURY POST Maia Janashia Smith is closing her downtown store Maia’s Fashions to start her new career as a health coach. Along with the hand made dresses, Smith created her own line of beauty aids that she will sell online after the store closes. Friday, April 7, 2017, in Salisbury, N.C.

Her store will close at the end of June, but she will have a booth at Salisbury Square just down the street, and her cosmetic line, Maiaderma, will still be available online at

In July, she will graduate from her integrative nutrition school and she already has clients as a health coach.

“Your biggest dream has to scare you,” she says. Her dream is to build a wellness center with classes in wellness, cooking, meditation, yoga. For now, she works one-on-one, but she plans to lead seminars at various places around town.

She says the Georgian people have a culture of hospitality and friendliness, and that made her feel at home in the South. She likes the pace of Salisbury, likes being involved and she says downtown merchants are a great support to each other.

She hopes her book will “touch a person in a way to unlock their potential.” Because it’s the story of someone local who succeeded, she hopes it will inspire others.

“I have a loving husband, great friends and a church. What else does anyone want besides this?”

JON C. LAKEY / SALISBURY POST Maia Janashia Smith is closing her downtown store Maia’s Fashions to start her new career as a health coach. Friday, April 7, 2017, in Salisbury, N.C.