Life journeys are always meandering ones, moving along in unexpected ways with enriching experiences that define, shape and ground an individual. After getting married, graduating with a degree in elementary education, having three children and moving to Nashville, Maarika Mann’s life couldn’t have been a busier one. But true passions and talents have an uncanny knack of whispering their needs. Maarika felt called back to her art. Design had always been a passion of hers but connecting her life’s dots and having the end picture look anything like art seemed impossible. Then, in 2011 she took a leap of faith and followed her intuition. Maarika left teaching, enrolled in O’More College of Design as a Fashion Design student, and never looked back.
Maarika teamed up with Martha Montiel-Lewis of WeArDAR, a design company that gives back to needy communities when she took a class called Designing for a Cause. This class celebrated sustainable designing and fair-trade manufacturing. By developing a collection of children’s clothes as a new product line with her classmates, Maarika was able to learn about the design business first had through all it’s steps. Together, they researched, designed, patterned and constructed a line of children’s clothes that became the foundation of the aDARable project. Through this relationship Maarika has been able to combine her artistic passions with her desires to give back to the world in a unique and powerful way. She is grateful for her ability to design, draw and see the world through creative eyes.
In addition to her role with WeAreDAR, Maarika also has been chosen as one of Nashville Fashion Week’s Top Ten Emerging Designers of 2014. Her designs have been featured at the United We Style Fashion Show of 2013 and 2014 in Murfreesboro, Tennessee and she is completing her final line of ten outfits for O’More’s year-end Eloise Fashion Show in May of 2014.
Textile design is like painting on a canvas. Maarika loves that people can view her “artwork” and wear it, too. She loves animal prints, tribal themes and natural, organic lines and colors. She uses fabric, color and texture in innovative ways. Maarika sees inspiration in the cave paintings of Lascaux France, the geometry of nature and the stories and myths of legend and world culture. She hopes to bring her textiles and designs to people who love to wear dramatic art and adorn themselves in botanical prints.