Maria Teresa Leal

Maria Teresa founded COOPA-ROCA, a craftwork cooperative located in the favela of Rocinha, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

She is responsible for managing production and finance and developing marketing strategies and new partnerships. The fashion and design industry recognize the quality and innovation of COOPA-ROCA craftwork production through shows in Brazil and abroad, including in the U.S., France, England, Germany, the Netherlands and Italy. 

 

2014 Update:

COOPA-ROCA was one of 33 social organizations selected as a 2014 grantee of the Brazil Foundation, and the cooperative has been increasing its production. 

Maria Teresa has worked with fellow mentee, Karla Borges Furlaneto, to draft a contract formalizing her relationship with the cooperative. She has also spoken to the value of her relationship with her mentor, Luz Maria, who assured her that she was on the correct path and advised her on some necessary changes.

She has been discussing the financial piece of her new business plan with the business school of Catholic University and will be approaching potential investors.