Mariana is founder and director of Fruto, a digital experience design studio. Fruto specialises in designing intuitive and engaging websites and mobile apps for startups and digital product teams. Mariana is also co-founder of UX Oxford.

Coming from a family of entrepreneurs, running my own business has always been at the back of my mind. I suppose it was just a matter of finding the right time and taking the first step. After 13 years of industry experience leading design projects and managing teams, I’ve decided to open my own business.

Entrepreneurship is the ability to spot a business opportunity, have a vision and connect the dots to make it happen.

When I gained enough experience in the industry and thought I could do it myself.

1) Ability to create and maintain networking relationships 2) Passion 3) Resilience

Creating relationships with a network of people and providing opportunities to talented people.

I feel I’m regularly inspired by a lot of people around me and by books that I read so it’s hard to pin down.
Design leaders that I regularly follow: Tina Roth Eisenberg and Stefan Sagmeister for their creativity, positive approach and lifestyle.

I’d like to discuss the relationship between profitability and positive impact on society.

I soon learned to look at my business as a separate entity from me and that I can’t reinvent the wheel every time but I needed to create templates and put processes in place to make it profitable and deliver the same level of quality every time.

I haven’t needed to fund my ideas because my business is self-sufficient.


It’s great to have a lively startup community in Oxfordshire.

Attend networking groups such as Oxford Startups; use LinkedIn for your benefit to find people that might have good synergy with you. Network!

Step outside your comfort zone regularly, it will make you stronger.


Get in touch

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