When you step into a corporate environment, the décor sets the mood. In a hospital, the goal is reassuring, sterile tranquility, while an office should reflect the values and spirit of the company that occupies the space. Many of these organizations choose Cube Care, a company owned by Colombian immigrant Susana Robledo, for their décor. Like many immigrants, Susana Robledo was brought to the United States as a child by her mother. The latest installment of The Miami Herald’s series, “Making it in America,” tells the story of how, in the wake of her husband’s murder by a robber, Susana’s mother decided that Colombia was no longer the place for her and her daughter. They fled their native country with the dream of accessing opportunities and a better life. Susana grew up undocumented but obtained her American citizenship and set out to make it in the country she now calls home.
Creating Cube Care
Susana was working for a cleaning company’s laundry department when she experienced the lucky break that would lead to her tremendous success as an entrepreneur. A local hospital facing tough inspections needed their aged, damaged curtains cleaned and repaired, and approached Susana, who took the contract and created her first satisfied client. The hospital was initially hesitant to pay for the work because Susana was not incorporated as a business but was so thrilled with their high quality new curtains that they paid for Susana to incorporate her own company from their petty cash, kickstarting what would become Miami-based Cube Care.
Before Cube Care became the valuable, job-creating enterprise it is today, Susana had to overcome difficult struggles that served to strengthen her resolve, both as a business owner and as a person. She endured theft of both tools and money (which nearly ended Cube Care in its infancy), long hours, tight deadlines, and a stroke and a pulmonary embolism at the age of 36, just a week after giving birth to her daughter, Victoria. In an interview with VoyageMIA, Susana describes her struggles in detail, saying, “I have plenty of horrors, but I don’t let them dictate my path. I will get stronger each time and learn my lesson, make adjustments to it and move on.” It is this resilience that allowed Susana to build Cube Care from the ground up.
Cube Care is now worth over $5 million and is an industry leader for healthcare and commercial decorative products, and its product lines have ballooned from hospital curtains to include an enormous range of interior décor, including cart covers, bedding, window treatments, privacy screens, and even MechoSystems motorized drapery. Products are fully customizable and range all the way from simple textiles to antimicrobial and soil repellant materials. The company offers a simple solution for attractive, professional interiors, and quotes a single price that covers everything from the initial design to installation. Cube Care describes its employees as “problem solvers by nature – we approach every project by reaching beyond what you ask for, to deliver what you actually need.” It is Susana’s over 60 employees who make Cube Care a standout success, and whose dedication ensures that Cube Care is here to stay.
A Businesswoman with a Purpose
Cube Care’s employees have plenty of cause to be loyal and proud of their jobs. Although many immigrants coming to the United States become entrepreneurs, Susana’s case is special. She has made it her life’s work to help enfranchise immigrants like herself and set them on the path to long-term success. She builds relationships with her employees and strives to help them establish themselves and achieve their own personal goals in the United States.
In an interview for the “Making it in America” video, one employee, Patricia Martinez, said of Susana, “We work very well with her. She’s a good boss. We all love her very much. Here, we work like a family.” She mentors employees individually, and helps workers like Vanessa Rios develop both “as a professional and as a person.” Her goal is to inspire her employees to aspire to greatness and to learn by her example and start their own businesses if they choose to do so. Employees at Cube Care are made to feel valued and cared for, which makes Susana not just a boss, but a role model for dozens of immigrants who come from similar circumstances.
Susana Robledo proudly declares herself to be “American by choice,” and considers her decision to pursue her U.S. citizenship to be one of her greatest achievements. Her story embodies what so many immigrants want for their children, and her mother’s decision to move to the United States has had a ripple effect that has positively impacted innumerable lives. Cube Care is an asset to not only the immigrant community but also the larger Miami community. It provides a niche but vital service with a level of professionalism and customization that is uncommon in the industry. Without the dedication of Cube Care’s immigrant and U.S. employees, this would be impossible.
Susana Robledo said, “I want to continue to live and strive in a community where diversity is important,” and I think that without immigration and without the balance that immigrants bring to the economy, things will be so different.” She recognizes that diversity is what makes America great, and appreciates the opportunity to live and work in a nation that values what other cultures bring to the table. In the United States, difficult circumstances can serve as stepping stones to incredible achievements, and, in the cases of immigrants like Susana, opportunities to benefit others.
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