2023 Annual Report


When it comes to design, Entrepreneur Maria Isabel Barrero has found her space. Maria was born in Columbia but has lived in Little Rock, Arkansas, for over five years. She came to the United States to study and met her husband and started a family. Once her daughter started daycare, Maria decided to start working again.

Maria has worked as an architect and interior designer for over 20 years. Her passion is designing spaces from conceptualization to completion.

She is the founder and director of Spaces2Love, an architecture firm that focuses on designing spaces that improve lifestyle and well-being.

Maria’s entrepreneurial spirit is what led her to create Spaces2Love. Maria needed to redirect her professional practice as a designer, project manager, and manufacturer. Instead of designing objects in multiple projects, Maria wanted to learn how to use her skills differently to become a better small business owner.

Hear Maria’s story in her own words in this episode of CU’s podcast, “Small Talk”:

Maria experienced some of the most significant transformations in her life during the last five years. She moved to another country, married, started a family, and devoted herself to a new lifestyle and business. “It became clear that my heartfelt purpose was to support people to use their spaces from the heart as a vehicle of connection for themselves and their families,” Maria stated.

A practice Maria defines as house coaching combines interior design with life coaching tools to establish a nourishing and fulfilling connection between people and their spaces. Maria uses people’s hearts as a compass to make physical changes to promote happiness and help her customers feel connected in their spaces.

In 2022, Maria started working with Communities Unlimited, Area Director – Entrepreneurship, Dale Rutherford, on the eWealth Health Program.

Entrepreneur Maria Isabel Barrero
The e-Wealth Health program at Communities Unlimited is designed to teach entrepreneurs how to set themselves up for financial success through their entrepreneurial dreams.

"This program has helped me establish the basic structure to understand and manage finances better to build wealth. I had a basic goal and dream, and this program gave me actionable steps to realize my dream."

— Maria Isabel Barrero, Spaces 2 Love

The eWealth Health program at Communities Unlimited specializes in working with small business owners to improve management skills and establish savings and retirement accounts.

Dale showed Maria how to provide supplemental income to achieve a minimal family income threshold, establishing emergency savings, savings to purchase a first home, and a retirement plan.

Maria will continue to use her design experience and what she has learned from Communities Unlimited to build the spaces that she and her customers love.