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Maia’s light shines through in her first book


Rosemary Wood

By Rosemary Wood

For the Salisbury Post

Sometimes, lately, it feels like a cloud of darkness has enveloped our town. Violence, crime and conflict are rearing their ugly heads all too often. These feelings may explain my excitement and delight at finding what I consider to be an original work of light and hope straight from the center of downtown.

First, I must share with you an experience from the past. Many years ago, my daughter Caroline and I wandered into a small dress shop called Maia’s Fashions on West Innes Street.

We were immediately struck by the unique design of the beautiful clothes displayed. The best part of our shopping that day, however, was meeting the owner of the store, a lovely woman with an exotic foreign accent named Maia.

How was it that she came to our small town, I asked? Maia then shared a little of her story of finding the love of a man named Joe Smith from Salisbury. Otherwise, she explained, she would have located her business on Fifth Avenue in New York City. Upon leaving her shop that day, I knew that I had discovered a radiant jewel in my own hometown.

Maia eventually moved her store into a larger location with more storefront windows to display her beautiful dresses and gowns. But fashionable apparel was not all Maia offered from her downtown store. Maia is a woman with a big heart and carved a space to mentor many young ladies, my own daughter among them, who expressed an interest in clothing design and creation.

So, when I learned via Maia’s Facebook post that she had authored a book, I immediately contacted her to get a copy. At the first glance of the book, “From Mail Order Bride to Entrepreneur,” you would think it to be a quick read. I discovered after the first few pages, however, that this would be a book I would want to take my time and enjoy.

Just as I immediately fell in love with Maia’s Georgian accent at our first meeting, I found that she writes her story with the same exotic flair. Definitely a cultural lesson for me, I think most people would enjoy Maia’s thoughts about the Soviet Union, SUPRA, Bazari, and the Georgian symbol Borjgali.

The cultural lesson is a wonderful bonus to the main focus of the book, Maia’s personal story of growth through some tumultuous and painful years which she courageously and honestly shares with her readers.

I read with empathy and understanding of her struggles in finding her way from young adulthood to independence through relationship disappointments, depression, and a yearning search for true love, stories that many readers will identify with no matter what their personal cultural background.

I feel that Maia’s story is relevant and inspirational for a large age range of readers, from those finishing high school to those in the later years of life. For the younger readers, Maia offers sound advice on visualizing and pursing their dreams — an important lesson about self-reflection and goal-setting that many of our young people would benefit from as they embark on life’s journey.

Maia stresses the power of having a positive mindset and explains the idea of making room within yourself to allow success in achieving your dreams, noting that negativity and hopelessness will only beget themselves. She encourages readers to accept their true selves, find their passion and let go of fear.

Maia gently pushes her readers to use their talents to really make an impact in the world. My favorite quote from Maia’s book is about dreaming BIG dreams. She writes, “One thing I learned about dreams and goal setting is that if you know how to achieve the dream, it’s not a worthy enough or a big enough dream. Aim for a dream that is bigger than you. Obstacles make you grow and bring you to new heights.”

Maia’s book exudes hope and encouragement. She shares an important revelation, “Despite my past failures I could start over. It was a wonderful discovery that at any age, it can be a day when you can start over and succeed.”

Our community needs to hear more messages of hope and encouragement in these times. More of us need to dream BIG dreams for ourselves and our city and to let go of fear.

I thank you, Maia, for your message of optimism, courage and passion from the heart of downtown. You truly are a radiant jewel in our midst. May your light continue to shine brightly in this world.

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