Entrepreneur Spotlight: Meet Maria

Seven days a week, Maria makes an eleven mile drive from her southside home up to Belmont Cragin to her newly-acquired business: Nicole’s Beauty Salon on Diversey & Laramie. “It’s really for my son,” Maria shared, “I could have opened a salon near my home but we love his good school. With the education he’s receiving, it’s worth the sacrifice to make the commute for him.” Maria has owned the salon since April, prior to that, she worked as a stylist for three years at the same salon, but under a different owner. “The owner offered to rent the place to me after she decided to open a second location, and I took her up on it because I know the community and had built a great base of clients.” That’s when Maria Rivera-Ortiz, the business coordinator of our subsidiary Northwest Side Community Development Corporation, worked with her to help her apply for her business license. Since she’s taken over, Maria has made interior and façade enhancements to the salon, which customers say has brightened the space. As Maria reflected on her hopes for her business, it again centered back on her son. She shared, “My hope for this business is that it will continue to be a solid financial rock for my family and can support my son as he grows up.” What Maria loves most about her business is working for herself, “there’s a lot of fear going into business on your own, I know I had fear, but it’s worth it to take the jump.”

Nicole’s Beauty Salon
5218 W Diversey, Chicago, IL 60639

Laura Slabaugh