Chesapeake woman works way up to open Fresh Coat Painters franchise

Nathaly Ruiz from Chesapeake set up a franchise with Fresh Coat Painters in April. She hopes to employ as many as 15 painters when the business expands.

Nathaly Ruiz came to the United States from her native Colombia at the age of 17. She recently opened a franchise of Fresh Coat Painters in Chesapeake. Nathaly Ruiz recently bought a franchise of Fresh Coat Painters. She has always loved colors and recently worked on her Chesapeake home. Nathaly Ruiz’s New Year’s Resolution was to work every day in 2019. She has succeeded to date. Ruiz, a single mother of three, came to the United States from Colombia at the age of 17 with her mother. They arrived in Miami with just $2,000 in 2001. “We had nothing,” she said. She worked as a cashier at discount clothing store. Almost 20 years later, she is opening up her own painting franchise in Hampton Roads. The 35-year-old from Chesapeake has always loved colors. In April, she realized her dream of opening her own business when she started a franchise of Fresh Coat Painters from her Chesapeake home. “I’m really excited about it,” she said. “I always wanted to have my own business. This was something I could operate from home.” Ruiz said her 4-year-old child, Vanessa, recently drew on the walls of their Greenbrier home with a permanent marker. “I said that’s a sign,” she said. “Now I have to paint my walls.”

After working as a cashier in Miami when she came to the U.S., Ruiz joined the Navy where she learned English. She was deployed to Italy for more than three years. “I got to learn Italian too,” she said. “Then I married.” Ruiz earned a degree in management information systems at Texas A&M University. She earned an MBA in Rhode Island before moving to Hampton Roads. Ruiz is now an operations manager for Target. “I work like really crazy hours,” she said. “On my days off, I am pushing this new adventure. I’m so excited.” She offers interior and exterior painting for homes and pressure washing services. “We go into people’s houses, and we help them bring their image to life,” she said. Ruiz employs two painters and a project manager. She hopes to eventually employ 15 painters. “I love painting,” she said. “I always like to change the colors on my house.” Ruiz said she has painted every house she has lived in since Miami. She has moved a lot. “Painting your home is the lowest investment, but it adds the highest value,” she said.

After separating from her husband in June 2018, “Ruiz said she feels ‘more empowered to do all the things I want to do.’” “The only reason I want to do better is for my kids,” she said. Ruiz has three children, David, 12, Daniela, 8, and Vanessa, 4. Ruiz said she bought the franchise for her birthday. She calls 2019 her “seeding year” and has worked every day to date. She believes the United States offers the kinds of opportunities that were not available in her hometown of Medellin, Colombia. “Here, you can do anything you want,” she said. “Everybody loves to work.” In the little time she has between jobs, Ruiz works on bodybuilding. She took part in a contest last November in Woodbridge. “I did it to challenge myself,” she said. “It was new beginnings. I hope to do another one as soon as my business stabilizes.”