The Name’s Mary Maru.
[MARE ee ‘ muh ROO]
I’ve proudly worked with some of the most respected & prestigious names in business, including: A&E Television Networks, Meredith Corporation, Ogilvy & Mather and Smithsonian Magazine. I also (just as proudly) collaborate with small-but-mighty companies who serve with heart.
I’m a pro at taking scattered, seemingly all-over-the-place ideas, and turning them into gorgeous creative solutions. Professional, modern sites that convert. Marketing materials that get results. And brand identities rooted in my clients’ powerful passion.
It would be my honor to make that happen for you, too.
My clients are mostly small business owners and marketers hailing from a range of industries—legal, healthy lifestyle brands, finance and music.
And they all have one things in common: they’re ready for smart, uncluttered digital design that elevates their business into its next evolution of growth and passion-centered profit.
My work combines easy collaboration with in-depth exploration, to uncover the real meaning of every client’s strategic marketing goals. Together, we’ll create unforgettable, cohesive aesthetics that are on point, on time, and on budget every time.
I specialize in website design that blends whip-smart strategy with beautiful aesthetics, to create timeless digital designs for professional service businesses, healthy lifestyle brands and arts foundations.
This Is My Story.
I was hired for admin-centered reasons (unsexy, but true), but had always been passionate about design. So, I’d find ways to sneak in those fun, artsy creative projects on the side. Before long too, I’d mastered the software at the agency, and started putting together graphic presentations for account directors and executive business analysts.
At the time, I was the only one at the agency who’d mastered the tech. It made me pretty popular — much to my boss’ chagrin.
Overall — it was a great experience. But, in the spirit of changing things up, I left my native Queens, New York for the sunnier streets of San Francisco. While I still wasn’t a full-time designer, my rep for stellar customer service kept 85% of a bootstrapping dot com’s customer base rock solid through not one, but two corporate takeovers.
I honed my skills on that wild ride – marketing, sales, branding, web design, tech support, you name it. But, most importantly, I discovered something inside myself:
I had an entrepreneurial spirit. And someday, I wanted to run my own design business.
Fast-forward to the 2000’s. I’d moved back to NYC, and spent seven years, working in magazine publishing, developing and executing marketing promotions programs and events. A sales partner and I were tasked with growing the travel advertising category within the mag. Before long, it was our #1 seller — and stayed that way until our tenure wrapped.
It was on that high note that I quit magazines to start my own business project managing massive integrated marketing programs for publishers. Then, the recession hit, the magazine industry took a nosedive and I realized things weren’t going to get better in publishing anytime soon.
So I decided it was now or never — I had to step out on my own, and build the biz I’d been dreaming of.
I bought all the equipment. I took classes at the School of Visual Arts and FIT. I built websites from scratch just for fun, and taught myself the fundamentals of coding. I earned a certificate in business project management from NYU School of Continuing and Professional Studies. I spent all my free time in museums, immersing myself in masterful composition and timeless art.
Then, in 2010, I started Mary Maru Design. (Happy 10-year anniversary to me!)
Which brings us to the here & now.
The Maru Difference
Style & Substance
I’m not just a web designer but a marketing designer. This means I approach every project by focusing on solutions to my client’s website marketing problems, making sure your business and strategy come before pretty pictures and fonts.
Let's Be Besties
I take the time to get to know my client’s business and build collaborative, productive relationships. I’m proud to have happy, long-term clients who have been working with me for two, three and even up to seven plus years—nearly as long as I’ve been in business as a designer.
I Got You, Babe
I am the main point person and work on my client’s projects directly—no assigning jobs to a junior designer or outsourcing to an overseas market. On larger projects, I work with a hand-picked team of the best creative talent to fit the needs of my clients’ unique project requirements.
Time Is Money, Honey
I stay up-to-date on the ever-changing field of website strategy and design, offering my clients sound, well-researched advice on which trends to follow and which to ignore so you don’t waste your time going down a bunch of rabbit holes.
Cartwheels & Fireworks
Since it’s my job to visually communicate my client’s message and brand, I only work with those whom I feel passionately about their business and know I can help make a significant difference.