Independently minded, energetic and fiercely talented, Mai is the rare artist who is equally at home in the arts as she is with the sciences. A single mother, Mai is the founder and CEO of a tech start up in Florence, Italy, as well as her brand of luxury designer handbags, Demetria. We asked Mai to share a few questions about herself. 

What is your most marked characteristic?

Perhaps fearlessness? I am certainly not spared from anxiety, worry or problems, but what I have realized, and appreciate most about myself is my tenacity and resilience when faced with adversity.  The struggles, obstacles, and all those times someone told me I couldn’t do it, never hindered me from pursuing what felt honest, true, and something like a dream to me.

During the worst times of my life I created a tech startup (I am a psychology major), and after that seemingly never-ending long stretch of impossible times, I created the Demetria brand 2 years ago, where I am founder and creative director.

To date, I am working on the most ambitious handbag collection- over a year in the making, pandemic in between, and an out- of- the- ordinary collaboration during these unprecedented times.

What is your idea of perfect happiness?

I always say that there is no price for tranquility, and certainly within that is the wellbeing and happiness of my 11 year old daughter.

What is your current state of mind?

My day is ending now while I write this, and although my mind is part quiet, it is also part frantic over the things I still need to do.

 What is your most treasured piece of jewellery?

I was a little bit undecided about this, but I think it could be the antique Cartier watch given to me by my mother that I am wearing in the photograph. It's small, understated, and yet the most elegant thing.

I also love my Fire Mini Hoops from Fisk London. In fact, I have four pairs. I rarely take them off because they go with everything I wear.

Follow Mai on Instagram: @mai.cojuangco