BARRIO – Maria Sotelo moved to Toronto from Mexico at the age of 5. Her story is nothing short of inspirational. I guess we can call it the Canadian Dream. Work hard, manifest it, and it will happen.
On Saturday, Maria had the grand opening/ribbon cutting for her storefront ‘The Pink Room’. Maria describes The Pink Room as a beauty studio, a hub for women, and safe place to network. A place where you can get your nails done, hair done, there’s a juice bar by Juice Mi (owned by another Latina entrepreneur), and much more. It’s a place to go and be inspired by strong, business minded Latin women…. LOVE THIS!
A few times a year Maria even hosts what she calls ‘Her Mercado’. This is a weekend when different small businesses and creatives can set up shop at The Pink Room and take advantage of the traffic coming in and out of the shop. Brilliant Maria!
We asked Maria how the love of nails started. She said, ‘I was in Mexico with my grandmother, and I bought a nail kit. I fell in love immediately. I’m self taught’.
In high school she completed nail art on her friends for a fee. The hustle is real with Maria LOL. She worked M.A.C Cosmetics at Yorkdale where she was doing makeup, and her side hustle was nails. Like for many others, her side hustle quickly became her main hustle.
One day she received a random message from a salon manager who was looking for someone to do nails. Maria jumped at the opportunity. She said, ‘I was gonna fake it, until I made it’.
Three years ago, Maria opened The Pink Room, but it was in the lower level of another business. When a storefront became available a few doors down on Eglinton Ave W in Toronto, Maria could not let it go. She negotiated a lease on her terms, and here we are. She says, ‘Now I can see the sun shining through the windows. I can walk my clients to their cars.’ 5 star treatment only at The Pink Room.
Maria now has an assistant, and employs 4 people in total. They offer manicures & pedicures, they have a full-time hairstylist, they complete body treatments, laser hair removal, and more! She also hosts a Master Class for nails. There’s nothing she can’t do.
Maria we wish you the best, and can’t wait until our next visit.
Visit The Pink Room at 1138 Eglinton Ave W in Toronto, near Bathurst. Tell them Barrio sent you.