Mayra Ruiz-McPherson of Ruiz McPherson Communications
[toggle title="Boricua, Baby!"]
‘s host, Mayra Ruiz-McPherson, was born and raised on the island of Puerto Rico. Her mom and stepfather moved Mayra and their family to a location completely opposite to that of a small tropical island: Reston, Virginia. The year was 1978 and Mayra was just shy of her 7th birthday. (BTW, in case you didn’t know, a “Boricua” refers to someone who is a native Puerto Rican born or raised in Puerto Rico.)
[toggle title="Pssst! Virginia is for lovers ***AND*** for the English language"]
Once settled in their Reston town home, the family did their best to assimilate. It wasn’t long, however, before Mayra found herself in a real bind: she was afraid to play with the neighborhood kids because she could only speak in her native language of Spanish. As a result, learning the English language quickly became a top priority for her at a very young age. Over time, and many English As a Second Language (ESL) classes later, Mayra was able master the English language and become a fluent and effective communicator.
[toggle title="Oh but the irony of it all is just so delicous!"]
How ironic it is to have someone who once feared dialog and conversation make a successful living 28 years later as a sought-after professional communicator
. In 2006, Mayra launched her own marketing consultancy practice
to focus on many aspects of technology and the Internet on behalf of her clients. She also wanted to help customers better harness the power of both the written and spoken word to heighten the strength of their marketing messaging.
As founder of Ruiz McPherson Communications
, today Mayra is often retained and hired to author, compose and develop effective communications strategies on behalf of businesses challenged with how best to position their marketing words and branded messages in the strongest and most relevant light.
[toggle title="Of course, having 'Bluebird DNA' running through your veins always helps..."]
What exactly creates “an entrepreneur” and what drives such a person to venture out as a small business owner? Is it (a) biology or inherited, (b) circumstance, or (c) environment? Perhaps the answer is “D”: ALL OF THE ABOVE. And while circumstance and environment can change or fluctuate, biology is biology. You can’t change the DNA you’ve inherited.
In Mayra’s case, she’s often said much of the entrepreneurial spirit she herself has inherited was passed down to her by her maternal grandmother, Juanita Morales, aka affectionately nicknamed “Bluebird,” in her later years. Born in 1919, Juanita grew up during the Great Depression where resources and money were stark. To help provide for the family, Juanita was recruited by her big sister Sarita as an assistant seamstress. Both sisters spent days and nights sewing up a storm for their customers; for years they sewed everything from tailored suits and fancy dresses to simple alterations and more.
Later in life, Juanita also successfully launched her own beauty salon in Puerto Rico’s capital city of San Juan. They say Juanita ran that place like a tight ship, training new beauticians and stylists while whipping up fabulous hair dos for proms, weddings, beauty contests and other special occasions. To save money on rent, Juanita lived in an apartment above the salon with her children. One of the two kids living in that apartment was Mayra’s own mother who, today, is the family’s primary “Juanita storyteller” keeping many of “Bluebird’s” entrepreneurial adventures alive.
Juanita passed on in March of 2010 but her entrepreneurial legacy will always have a terrific impact on Mayra who believes she inherited *the bug* from her grandmother. “As far back as I can remember, I’ve either been an entrepreneur or have been wanting to be an entrepreneur,” shares Mayra as she fondly thinks back to a time when she and her “Bluebird” were the best of buds. “It’s not something you try to be; you simply just are. I have tried to ‘stop’ and there have been times in my life where I did stop, or so I thought. I later realized those stops were merely pauses. You never stop being who you really are.”