Opening your own business is part of the American dream, the ideal for which equal opportunity is available to any American. That dream has also attracted aspiring entrepreneurs from around the world. The Cape Cod and Plymouth region is full of many of these successful entrepreneurs who came to the area from other countries. As we celebrate Independence Day in July, we take a look at their journeys.
Divas Beauty Studio, Hyannis
Maria Ramos first came to Cape Cod from the Dominican Republic in 2004 on a student visa program.
“They explained to me that it was a tourist place and I was going to work at a laundromat,” she said. She decided to remain as work opportunities were better than her homeland.
After working in a number of other places including Dunkin’ Donuts, real estate and for two banks, she opened Divas Beauty Studio in 2014 on North Street, with her sister Monica. Divas offers hair styling, balayage, acrylic nails with unique designs and specializes in wedding parties.
The business has a purposeful Dominican flair, with merengue, salsa, bachata, reggaeton and dembow music playing. The stylists use hair rollers, set and treatments from back home, but that cultural flair is not always well-received.
“Opening the business was a big challenge for my sister and I because we had no experience, Running a business especially here,” said Ramos. “People can be cruel sometimes because we try to make you feel like you are in the Dominican Republic, from where we are originally from. But so far we have survived.”
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