NEW YORK - A native New Yorker, Maria was influenced by the bold music and fashion of the late ‘70s, ‘80s, and early ‘90s. She studied at Columbia University before moving abroad to attend King’s College in London. There she embraced the rebellion of the punk/goth scene with its asymmetrical looks, dramatic makeup, and unusual piercings. She carried this spirit back to New York where she honed her needle technique. Maria viewed piercing as a form of beauty and wanted to couple it with delicate fine jewelry. Her penchant for interesting placements drew her to navel jewelry and soon she was designing custom pieces for all body locations at her first studio, which opened in Manhattan in 1993.