In Kuala Lumpur, Jalan Tuanku Abdul Rahman is the focus of the textile trade but the fierce competition has made it extra challenging for any one of the companies to stand out from the rest.
Maya Fabric Galler, however, has a form footing here because each piece of fabric carrying the "Maya"label is designed by its designer and managing director Maya Ubrani.
"That is why we call our boutique a fabric gallery."
"Each piece here is an art- the colours are carefully chosen, motifs are meticulously drawn and the embellishments such as beads, sequins and stitches are toughtfully composed," said Ajay Ubrani, Maya's younger brother who is also the company's managing director.
The two started venturing into the fashion industry in 1985, opening a small boutique at Semua House in Jalan Tuanku Abdul Rahman selling clothes
designed by Maya.That shop is a far cry from this one,
established in 1992,"said Maya when met at the fabric gallery last week.
"My parents ran a fabric shop- I think that was how I picked up ideas on what a piece of beautiful fabric should look like and then tried my hand at fabric designing.
" I love fashionn. I used to advise my parents on dressing for different functions and so eventually I tried fashion designing,"she added.
" I never had the chance to take up a fashion course. I honed my skills through attending to customers.
"Trial and error helped me improve along the way. The process took tremendous time but it was a labour of love for me,"said Maya, who was born and raised in Kuala Lumpur.
Maya's early designs were characterised by strong Indian influence, but they had evolved into and eclectic mix of oriental and western elements.
Glancing around the fabric gallery, one can easily spot distinguished examples,
among them a piece of glossy maroon cloth with Malay songket stitching that matches the Indian-style bead work.
Her collection themed "East Meets West," which was seen on the catwalk in last year's KL Fashion Week, also demonstrated how she could harmoniously combine the essences of various cultures to make it uniquely her style.
The designer, described as friendly and extrovert, draws inspiration from magazines and international fashion shows, especially those by Indian designer Neeta Lulla who has stunned many with her masterpieces for Bollywood celebrities.
Maya will try her mix-and match art in bridal wear for this coming KL Fashion week.This time around, she will blend Chinese, Malay and Indian elements, such as pairing a saree with kebaya or using Chinese silk to make Indian bridalwear.