14.3% of the US population is foreign-born. Each immigrant coming to the country is chasing their idea of the American Dream. One such person is Maria Ruth Cuervo – founder of Distrivision. Success did not come easily to her, and she has earned every little win in her journey to becoming the entrepreneur she is today. Not only is her personal story an inspiration to all, but through her continuous efforts, she is empowering women to create something of their own, too.
A New Definition of Hardworking
Everyone works hard, but not many people can scale the kind of heights that Maria Ruth Cuervo has scaled. The person we all see today might be a force of nature, but she was not always this powerful – her story started out just like most of ours.
Born in Manizales, Colombia, young Maria was always of the belief, “Age is just a number.” When most kids were out playing, the 13-year-old was busy building the foundation of a solid career. With her help, the family business expanded from one location to three.
But in Colombia, Maria Ruth Cuervo was a big fish in a small pond. The bold and adventurous college graduate dared to dream big – and decided to move to the United States of America. At the time, she did not even speak English, but that was just a minor obstacle for the ambitious entrepreneur in her.
The new Rhode Island resident was soon about to find out – Fortune favors the brave.
A Giant Leap for Womankind
Maria Ruth Cuervo’s first job after moving to the US was in a factory, where she quickly moved to a supervisory position. That is when she displayed the quality most successful businessmen will tell you to develop – the ability to think beyond. A cushy job would have been enough for most people, but Maria Ruth Cuervo was not for most people.
Using her years of experience, she started her very own business: a variety store in Central Falls in 2003. Her knowledge of the Colombian market helped her acquire high-quality goods at bargain prices.
Through the years, she decided to found another business: a boutique specializing in Colombian Shapewear. She leveraged her people skills and will to empower women to set her business up for success. It led her to become the first authorized distributor of Fajas Disenos D’ Prada (now Delie) in the United States. Through this one-of-a-kind business, she sells medical-grade shapewear to this day.
Katherine Grullon Cuervo, Maria Ruth Cuervo’s daughter, is the current Business Manager and Lead of the company. According to Katherine, “Your reputation for doing things right and consistent transparency will win people over.”
No matter what business, no matter which country, Maria Ruth Cuervo has always made it work. That in no way means life went easy on her; it just means that she worked through every problem, big and small, to get to where she is today.
Her values remain unchanged, too. Despite the big move to another country and culture, Maria Ruth Cuervo has never forgotten her roots. Sources say the entrepreneur “is sincere, authentic, and unapologetic.”
Even as Maria Ruth Cuervo’s brand expands rapidly, she is true to herself, showing incredible determination to empower those around her.
Opinions expressed by US Insider contributors are their own.