We had the good fortune of connecting with Maria Ilochi and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Maria, we’d love to hear more about how you thought about starting your own business?
I was searching for new job opportunities, but to no avail. None of the positions I saw encompassed my interests in both marketing and art. I soon realized that, after exhausting all search methods, the position I was looking for might not have existed yet. I wanted to find a way to combine all of my varying interests, and in the process realized that they all had one thing in common: design. I’ve always been very interested in the creative process behind bringing an idea to life and did not want to be limited by medium.
What should our readers know about your business?
The Gallery by MUI is a visual design agency and creative hub. Specializing in design and marketing services developing stories and messaging through visual mediums, we strive to create consistency and harmony to amplify our clients’ ideas within their artistic channels. Our objective is to help others achieve their creative goals by designing original and engaging visual content, but that’s not all. We are also a platform that highlights and amplifies the artistic endeavors of others with the intention to educate, entertain, and inspire. We consider ourselves a fusion of all the things we love: art, creativity, and collaborative design. I think that is something that truly sets the agency apart, a true appreciation for art and its many uses. Not only do we have a strong understanding of the marketing aspects that contribute to success, we understand that the visual aspect can make or break your business. No part of this process has been easy, but I’ve come to appreciate the journey. As an extremely regimented person, leaning into my creative, go with the flow side was a far cry from my accounting background. I had to learn to create while inspired, and to enjoy the process of figuring out what works and what doesn’t. Every idea won’t be a success, and that’s a good thing. A major lesson I’m learning along the way is to try it all and to push through the self-doubt.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
I love to take friends to the National Gallery of Art! It is one of my favorite museums in D.C. We could also museum hop if they’re up for it. After all that walking, we’ll be pretty hungry, so the next stop is brunch. We’d have to stop by Milk & Honey or Le Diplomate. Sunday Funday’s in the city turn into an all day affair, so I hope they’re prepared. Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
I have to dedicate my shoutout out to my entrepreneurial Ilochi sisters who not only encouraged me to start my business, but also supported me by being my first design clients.
Photographer – Mark Wilburn