About Mafe Maria
My name is Maria Quijano Stultz. I was born in Colombia many moons ago. That’s where I grew up, went to college, and got my first job as an Industrial Engineer. I am known as “Mafe” there.
Trying to escape from the unhappiness in my job and eager for a life change, I went to Duke’s Fuqua School of Business. I got an MBA degree and a great job as a financial analyst in Dallas, so I moved to Texas, where I started dating a very cute and interesting gringo. A few years later, after many esoteric signs of celestial approval, I married him.
I enjoyed my career for several years, but at some point realized that I was headed in the wrong direction. I was a successful senior analyst, but wasn’t excited by any of the jobs above me. So after some intensive soul-searching, I left my business job to begin training on a field that allowed me to create tangible products; a field that combined my artistic and creative inclination with my undeniably analytical INTJ mind… And so, I became a Web Designer.
While I always thought that I would eventually have children, it took me a long time to actually make the decision to try for a baby. This site was a great outlet for me to document and discuss that process with friends (the doubts, the decision, the wait). And then I got pregnant and the baby came. And somehow, without any previous planning, I became a stay–at–home mom. It felt right and I loved my baby, yet I struggled with the change and how limited my life turned after becoming a mother. In an attempt to save a piece of my individuality, I awakened my old passion for sewing and handmaking, and after setting up an Etsy shop, I quickly became obsessed with turning once more passion into my next career.
But somebody had different plans for me…
In the spring of 2010, I discovered that my precious little boy was in the autism spectrum. Although day one was the most difficult and painful I’ve ever had to live, this wise “somebody” actually had a beautiful plan for me, and 24 hours after my heart was broken, hope and joy were given back as I found the Son-Rise Program. I started applying its principles next day, and since then, I’ve lived a life far more extraordinary, purposeful, and fulfilling than I was planning, as I’ve learned to embrace my role and thrive parenting and intentionally nurturing a special child. I didn’t sign up for it, but my son’s autism saved me. I embarked in an emotional, mental, physical, and spiritual quest to save him, and found myself transforming, growing, and expanding my universe along with him.