Marilú Cartagena has been working in the beauty industry for more than 20 years, specifically in the cosmetic treatment of hands and feet.
Her «forte» is nail design, a trade she puts into practice since her teenage years, shortly before immigrating to the United States. This led her to be recognized in the Port Richey, Florida area, where she currently resides. «I formally learned by watching the techniques used in the first job I had in Miami» Marilú tells #Ruta5hn. Since she was a child, she remembers playing with small pieces of straws, and placing them on her nails as if they were part of her own, without imagining that two decades later it would be her job. «In Danlí I had a section in a Honduran T.V. program where I taught cosmetology, since then I dreamed of having my own one day; dream that was fulfilled,” she says. However, not everything has been «honey on flakes» in Marilú’s life.
Before obtaining her US residence, she underwent a deportation in 2005, suffered domestic violence, and began living on Mexican soil, the place where she first arrived when she left her country at the age of 15. «I traveled, like many others, in that very dangerous train. Once I arrived (to the US) God was so good to me, He helped me get hired at beauty salons where I perfected the design of nails. Today I can design or draw anything you want» details the successful Honduran. Her perseverance, her desire to support her family and reinvent herself in this cosmetology business has opened many doors for her. Today she works very hard to fulfill her maximum dream: «I want to have a cosmetology academy and teach many single mothers like me. When I had to start again in Honduras, after my deportation, I had several students and I found this was really what I’m passionate about» she adds.
Her struggles have not been an obstacle to this ‘Catracha’, and today she is one of the best at applying or repairing nail extensions. She also trims, shapes and presses the nails until her clients are satisfied and convinced to return again.