Isabel Bolivar   27 October 2018

Cassia Cardoso WorldRemit

Cassia Cardoso is a mother of three who moved to the United States from Sao Paolo, Brazil in 2008. She’s a beauty aesthetician who began practising at home, as she couldn’t initially afford a salon. Her business grew fast, as clients fell in love with her charm and miracle-working hands.

Today she’s the driving force at Cassia Cardoso Spa in South Florida, where she has won the trust of many Hispanic celebrities, including actress Elizabeth Gutiérrez. Together they launched a successful skincare line – 'Ely by Cassia'.

In 2017, Cardoso received the Inspiration Award from the Pearls of Hope Foundation for her significant support of the community. As well as her cosmetic services, Cassia also teaches courses and attends conferences dedicated to helping women who want to learn the trade of being an aesthetician.

Just like Cassia’s clients, we were charmed by her and so wanted to ask her more about her story. In our interview, Cassia tells us how it felt to be parted from her family and where she found the strength to change her life. 

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Hi Cassia! Please tell us why you moved to the United States?

I moved to the States to start a new life after going through my divorce in Brazil. I chose the USA because one of my children already lived here.

I came with only $7 in my pocket. I didn’t have a chance to get a chair in a studio, so I borrowed a simple table and started offering aesthetic services from a room in my apartment.

It took a lot of effort and patience, but eventually, I was able to rent a space of my own in a salon. The second space I rented turned into a whole floor. Later on, I found the perfect location for my own spa salon.

’I came to the United States with only $7 in my pocket.

What inspired you to pursue a career in cosmetics?

I’ve loved taking care of my family and friends ever since I was a little girl. My grandmother was a midwife and used a lot of natural ingredients for postpartum care. I grew up watching her take care of her skin, using only natural ingredients.

We didn’t have many resources. So instead of spending a lot of money on products, we were creative. We used anything that we could to make different kinds of creams and masks. I fell in love with the way she did everything – from gathering the ingredients to the smell she created with her lotions.

My grandmother was my muse. She inspired me to help people take care of their skin, without spending a fortune.

 

What makes you get up in the morning and go to work?

My greatest satisfaction is to serve others. I’m passionate about skincare because it’s the first step to improve self-esteem. People are often reluctant to show their inner beauty and I want to help them to accept and explore that side.

When Elizabeth Gutierrez became my client, I launched my own branded products, ‘Ely by Cassia’. A lot of my clients were already using my products, so it was the perfect impulse to make this dream happen.

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Being an immigrant, what did you struggle with the most?

It was very challenging to be parted from my two children, who were still living in Brazil at the time. But I turned that into my motivation. I had some days when I couldn’t stop crying, but that only pushed me to find the courage and a way for my kids to legally come to the United States. I was able to reunite my whole family four years ago. All of us together, it’s a dream come true.

What advice would you give a fellow immigrant?

I like sharing my personal story of struggle and professional improvement with fellow immigrants. I love motivating women who need a change in their lives – whatever the reason. My advice is that if you’re willing to work hard for your dreams and believe in God, then you can achieve everything.

’The struggle of being far away from my children was the greatest motivation for me to reunite all of us.

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And speaking of your family in Brazil…

Why do you think it’s important to send money back home to your loved ones?

The fact that I’m able to send money back to my country is crucial to me. I have my family there, including my mother and my sister, whom I support whenever it’s needed. I also find it important to send money back to Brazil for work-related purposes, as I work with excellent cosmetic companies in Brazil and South America.

How much can you save on fees?

Thanks to our low fees, WorldRemit saves you up to $100 per year compared to our traditional offline competitors when sending funds from the United States.
We asked Cassia how much could her family afford in Brazil with $100. "$100 is equivalent to R$407, which is close to half of the minimum monthly wage in Brazil," she shared with us.

These days, more than 3 million Brazilians are living abroad. Just like Cassia, most people choose the United States as their new home. Besides the USA, the other popular choices are Japan, Paraguay, United Kingdom and Portugal. According to World Bank data, more than US $2.7 billion was sent to Brazil in 2017.

We at WorldRemit play a key part in ensuring that transferring funds back home is as simple, fast and low cost as possible.