Monday, June 27, 2011

Spotlight on Mommy -- Maya Brenner of Maya Brenner Designs (Plus Giveaway)

I am excited to share my interview with Maya Brenner with you all this week.  After learning about her beautiful jewelry line, I had to interview her for my Spotlight on Mommy section.  Maya creates

Just check out all the buzz and press Maya has had, as well as all the top celebrities who love and wear her products.

"Maya Brenner Designs is both simple and classic, bold and modern. The collection is sold at finer boutiques nationally and in the UK and Japan with major retail clients including Henri Bendel, Fred Segal, Calypso, and Anthropologie. Maya’s jewelry has also been featured in InStyle, Lucky, People, Cosmopolitan, The New York Times "Style" section, Glamour, Women’s Wear Daily, Ladies" Home Journal, Life & Style, Daily Candy, and US Weekly. Articles written about her career have been posted on and, and Maya herself has appeared on “Good Day Live’s” Style File and the DIY network."

Just look at some of the beautiful pieces she offers through her online store.

Don't forget to enter the giveaway at the end of this post, for your chance to win your very own Maya Brenner piece.  Maya has graciously offered to give one lucky Inspired by Savannah reader a state necklace (winner chooses State of their choice).

And, now on to my interview with Maya. 

Name: Maya Brenner
Company Name/Product/Service: Maya Brenner Designs
Company Location: Los Angeles, Calif.
Company Website:  
Facebook URL:
Twitter Handle: @MayaBDesigns
Age of Company:  Since 1998
Favorite Inspirational Quotes: “If you hesitate fully before each step, you spend your life
standing on one foot”
Favorite Book: Catcher in the Rye
Tell us a little bit about yourself. How many children do you have? What are their ages?
Your hobbies? Etc.

I am married to a reality TV executive producer.  We have 2 children; Jack age 7 and Sadie Love is 4.  My hobby was jewelry making and now it’s my career!   

Briefly explain your business. How did it come about?

I was a social worker in NYC, working with drug-addicted adolescents and started making jewelry at night to calm my nerves. I wore the necklaces and started getting stopped in the street with people asking to buy them and a business was born! Within a year I quit my full-time job and launched MBD.
What is a typical work day like?

Since, I run my own business, I’m always  “half working” while taking care of my other responsibilities (kids, house, husband, dog).  My offices are in downtown Los Angeles but I try to work from home as much as possible or even in my car!  I spend a lot of time on my phone, answering emails etc…
What has been a struggle while starting up your company?

Doing everything myself…making the jewelry, selling the jewelry, marketing it, shipping the orders  etc…That was all hard. But when things got too busy for one person, and especially after having children, I had to hand over most of the responsibilities to other people, which was even more difficult.
What did you do in your past work life? 

As I mentioned above I went to graduate school to become a Social Worker and worked with drug-addicted adolescents for 5 years in NYC.  While in school, I waitressed and was even a bathroom attendant at Planet Hollywood.
What have been some of your major successes?

After quitting my full-time job, I was able to get a trunk show at Henri Bendel’s. That same week I was written up in the “NY Times Sundays Style” section. I was also selected by Nissan to appear in a commercial.

My most recent success has being featured on the Today Show and selling 25,000 necklaces in one day!
What have been some of your major challenges?

Riding out the difficult economic times and making the decision to pull most of my wholesale accounts to focus on selling retail on my website was a challenge.  Luckily it’s been amazing and sales are through the roof!
On those impossible days, what motivates you to keep going?

Seeing how people respond to my designs — especially the State necklaces — and the excitement of expanding the line to now include necklaces in the shape of countries, continents and provinces.
What is your balancing secret in managing a business and family?

I’m not sure I’ve gotten in right yet!  I try to explain to my kids that even though I’m home with them that I might need to check an email or make a phone call and my office knows not to call me during dinner time. But it’s a constant work in progress.   

What is next for your business?

I’m really excited to launch a brand new website within the next month.  It will have whole new look and feel as well as tons of new products!  But right now, I’m trying to master Twitter to engage with customers and promote my business in a new way.   

Do you have any advice for other mom entrepreneurs that are starting out and struggling,
or are on the fence about starting a business?

If you’re passionate about your idea or business then you will love running your own company.

Along the way you will most likely find yourself to be tired, annoyed, defeated and overwhelmed…but it will be fantastic!!!


One lucky Inspired by Savannah reader will win their very own best selling State necklace.  The winner will get to choose the state of their choice, and the final piece will be made out of sterling silver!!!!

To enter, please become a fan and "Like" Maya Brenner on Facebook.  Leave a comment on her wall, letting her know Inspired by Savannah sent you, as well as the link to giveaway.  When you have become friends, head back to my blog and leave a comment below letting me know, along with your email address. 

For an extra entry, head on over to Maya's website and let me know which piece you absolutely love.  Include a link with your comment. 

The contest will run until 11:59PM EST on July 18, 2011.  After that, I will use to draw a winner.

It is that easy! Don't forget to tell your friends to enter, as this would make a great addition to your jewelry collection or a nice gift.


  1. Liked Maya on FB and left comment

  2. I'm from CA so of course my favorite is the CA necklace! I especially love it in gold (we're the Golden State after all) and the little diamond for the city!

  3. I liked Maya Brenner on Facebook and posted that you sent me.!/Atreau/posts/10150238629321738

  4. I love the Asymmetrical Mini Letter Necklace - S.

  5. I love the Texas necklace (s/s with diamond on Dallas). My 3 children were born there and are 9th generation Texans from my hubby's side of the family. I'd love to show Texan pride for my children on my neck every day! :)

  6. Thank you for sharing. These jewels and the children are so cute.