Silvia Leary, known as Via to her friends and colleagues, has always had the spirit of an entrepreneur. She started her first business venture, Gypsie Empire, in 2006 after working for years with a mentor and close friend. While the fast-paced world of fashion kept her busy, Via had other dreams and passions, and hoped to branch into the events industry.
Ironically, it was a traumatic experience in the summer of 2008 which gave Via an opportunity to explore her other interests. Her life was nearly ended during a domestic dispute; a five-inch scar on her left elbow and a seven-inch scar on her left leg are now daily reminders of the experience. As Via would soon learn, she was one of countless victims of domestic violence. In the weeks and months following the attack, Via had escaped a physically dangerous situation, but she remained emotionally and spiritually traumatized.
It was later, when strangers noticed and asked about her scars, that Via found her inspiration. Having realized what effect the physical evidence of abuse had on her psychological well-being and self-esteem, Via enrolled in an aesthetician program in order to learn more about the science of skincare and the physical healing process. Upon graduation, she became a certified aesthetician and makeup artist.
With her classroom education complete, Via returned to the land of her birth—Guatemala—in hopes of finding spiritual growth and peace of mind. It was during this trip, while in the city of Antiqua, that Via encountered a street sign reading “Una Via,” Spanish for “one way” or “one path.” This was the spark which inspired Via to begin a new business venture, one which would blend both her recent education in aesthetics and her entrepreneurial instincts with her desire to help other women like herself. She returned from Guatemala with a photograph of the street sign and a request for her graphic designer.
Two years of learning, healing, and soul searching have produced Una-Via and its nonprofit branch, One Way. Una-Via was designed to be a one-stop shop for salon-quality aesthetician, cosmetologist, and styling services. Known for its integrity and dedication to a job well done, Una-Via works to help professionals in the industry as well as small businesses in the New England and Mid-Atlantic regions.
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