Maya comes from a family of innovators, artists, musicians, and activists who taught her to follow a career path that fills her with excitement and a strong sense of purpose. As a Portland, Oregon native, she has been immersed in the exponential growth of this city. Growing up she has always had a passion for the beauty of people, homes, public spaces, and cultural artistry. She has grown to learn how vital our environment is to the productivity of our everyday lives which is what led her to the career path of Interior Design.
Growing up, Maya was surrounded by artists and attended all art magnet schools as a child. She has always been passionate about photography, drawing, and creating beauty wherever she goes. When Maya was 15, she traveled to Mali, Africa with her mother to stay at a local art/cultural center called Ko-Falen. She was blessed to have the opportunity to see how others across the world created art. She was inspired by their passion and necessity to create homes, clothes, and belongings from limited resources. This was the moment she began to be intrigued by the space’s humans choose to create, play, and reside in.
Maya later received her bachelor’s degree in Communications from Oregon State University where she focused on the relationship between human behavior and the human environment. Maya faced adversity while paving her way through her undergrad program, being a multiracial woman. Living in Oregon her whole life, she was commonly one of the only women of color in most of her college classes. This was something that created many challenges, barriers, and high context environments for her. However, the adversity she faced never stopped her from going after what she wanted to accomplish.
Maya’s experience at Heritage was unique to say the least. Accomplishing the Fundamentals program not only during a worldwide pandemic but also while a racial justice movement was happening created many obstacles for her. Yet Maya is used to persevering through challenging times and chasing her dreams despite. Heritage provided a place where she could pour herself into a creative outlet and focus on why she was there. Heritage became a safe haven for her. Maya states that Janis Howard is the most incredible compassionate instructor and truly guided her every step of the way. Maya is thankful she persevered because it turned out to be a challenging yet enriching time to finish the Fundamentals course. In addition to graduating from the Fundamentals of Interior Design course, Maya also completed SketchUp, and will be continuing to take classes to complete the Master Certification Program. Maya is eager to continue learning and expanding her knowledge of anything and everything Interior Design.
Looking towards the future, Maya is developing her brand Maya Matthews Interiors and is using this time to create, design, and harbor her new skills. Maya’s brand is rooted in the powerful connection between mental health and thoughtful design. She is passionate about finding innovative ways to incorporate biophilic design into homes and bring heart into everything she creates. Maya’s goal when designing for others is to create an atmosphere that evokes emotions and embodies the client’s sense of well-being. She believes meticulous design can reframe perspective and recharge how we operate through life.
“The desire to reach for the stars is ambitious. The desire to reach hearts is wise”– Maya Angelou
Heritage is inspired by Maya’s talent and is excited to see where her career takes her next. Thank you for sharing your story with us Maya!