We had the good fortune of connecting with María José Padgett and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi María José, what role does tech play in your business?
Technology is a huge part of my business, especially since our store is online. This year, I upgraded my office and got most of the tech I needed. I realized a large iMac fits my needs for photo editing and website design – the screen size is such a treat! My iPad + Apple Pencil are amazing tools for design, especially when I am in India moving from factories to markets. They make it so easy to organize my sketches and inspiration. My laptop is also a great tool to have when I go to different countries or cities for events and I need to work on my spreadsheets (without squinting). My phone is indispensable. I use it for *everything*. It’s great to communicate with the teams I work with in India, upload content and snap a quick shot at something cool I see on my travels. My camera is important to have high quality images on my website and instagram, although phones come with amazing cameras and I think you can do fine without it – I’m just picky! I have to say, I made it work with only my phone and laptop for most of the time I’ve been in business, but I have definitely seen how gadgets play a huge role in my business, not only to complete tasks, but express my ideas and creativity. They challenge me creatively and it is such a gift to have everything you need to create. I do want to say, I cannot part from paper and pens for lists and such.

Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
From a really young age, I have been fascinated by things that are rare and unique, and intricate in their making. The first time I travelled to India, I found all those things that fascinated in one place; culture, art, different people, craftsmanship, etc. It was so eye opening to see things completely different to what I had grown up with, and it reminded and challenged me to appreciate what my own country, Honduras, has to offer as well. I would have to write a book to tell you all my story on how I got where I am, but let’s just say that I believe God used SO many people along the years to shape and inspire me. It has definitely not been easy, but nothing that is worth having comes easy – that has been one of the biggest lessons. I can be characterized as impatient, but as I like to call it, I just like quick, efficient results. It’s so funny because nothing I do with my brand is quick. Our pieces are all hand block printed, so all the fabulous colors you see on our apparel has been stamped, manually on the fabrics we use. That’s not it, then it has to go for drying (preferably on sunny-filled terrace), then it goes for curing and then it goes for washing and a second round of drying. Our Meena jewelry collection requires us to wait 2-3 months for the hand painted spheres to be ready – every detail, hand painted. Valuable designs take time, traveling takes time, planning does too and building a brand with the goal of showing cultures in a different way takes time, and it’s challenging. I wouldn’t take ANY of those challenges back, because they’ve led me to other roads and alleys where I have learned so much more than I thought.

Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
Right after picking my friends up from the airport I would take them to Pecan Lodge – you cannot come to Texas and not have bbq and I just love it there. Also, Deep Ellum is a cool neighborhood. I would proceed to Emporium Pies and then walk around to see the little shops. For dinner, we would go to Sixty Vines at The Crescent. It is one of my favorite spots in Dallas. I love their vibe, the ambience, and the restaurant is so beautifully designed that I am inspired every second I am there (their ladies room is one of my favorite in Dallas #ihaveathingwithbathrooms). Day 2 would start with a walk around my neighborhood, I love walking around UP, looking at beautiful houses. Lunch would probably be Dive Coastal Living in Snider plaza and then we would go to Katy Trail Ice house to chill. Heading to the DMA after seems like a good idea. Dinner would be at Wabi House (love their Tonkotsu Ramen). For the rest of the week, the activities that come to mind would be biking around White Rock Lake and chilling at one of their docks afterwards. I love having little picnics on the dock. A drive to Ft. Worth would be cool just to show how close we are, but how different it is to Dallas. I’m sure my friends would love to see Magnolia, so off to Waco we would go for the day. Bad Axe throwing would definitely be an activity for one of the days, it’s amazing for stress release. The drive in movie theater in Ennis is a fun, chill activity. One of my favorite places to window shop is Highland Park Village and their movie theater is quite nice. Dinner or lunch would include one of my favorite restaurants: Saint Ann in Harwood District. Javier’s is a fun place for dinner as well – don’t mind the cigar smell on your clothes after. Oishii is fabulous for sushi and sake. Lounge 31 is probably my favorite place in Dallas. I love how it subtly turns from a nice dinner to a party scene. Their happy hour from 5-7 is incredible! HG Supply is really good for earthy, healthy food. We would pretty much eat the entire trip.

The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
Oh my, so many people to thank and acknowledge. My sister, Ana Schubert, is of incredible support to me! She is also a creative, she is a fine stationery designer (@anaschubertdesign), and we can talk for hours, bouncing ideas between each other and encouraging one another. We both deal with the same struggles at times, and its just really nice to have someone so close to you understand you so well. I also want to thank my business coach, Melissa Brisbois! She has been huge help and inspiration for the last 6 months to see my business in a different, positive way. I believe that asking for council and advice from people you respect is so important and necessary for you and your business to grow. As entrepreneurs, it’s easy to be in our own bubble, but many times it’s necessary for it to burst so that you can expand.

Website: shopzindagi.com
Instagram: @officializindagi
Linkedin: Maria Jose Padgett

Image Credits
Photos by Maria Jose Padgett and Francielli Hess