Massachusetts couple with humble beginnings opens new auburn business

AUBURN, Mass. — A new business in Auburn is making it easier to snap selfies and the married owners have a backstory that’s positively Massachusetts.

Behind the happiness of starting a new business, were some sad days for Juan and Carmen Rodriguez.

“I used to go to sleep hungry,” says Carmen Rodriguez, co-owner of Selfie Room.

“I’ve seen a lot of deaths around me in my family, lot of drug use, lot of abuse,” says Juan Rodriguez, co-owner of Selfie Room.

Now they’ve turned their hurt into creating joy for others by offering a space for smiles only. Carmen’s journey to happiness was hard. She left Puerto Rico for the United States when she was 15. When she got here, she didn’t speak English and spent months homeless.

“I went through a lot when I was a little,” says Carmen Rodriguez.

Her husband Juan, who she met in 2004 didn’t have it much better while growing up in the Worcester projects.

“That’s not the best conditions to grow up in but we were able to survive,” says Juan Rodriguez.

Their humble beginnings inspired them to want more out of life. The couple opened their first business in 2017. Six years later, they’re celebrating the grand opening of their fifth one called “Selfie Room.” They’ve been giving back and hiring local ever since.

“We wanted something where we could have people that we knew that were struggling and be able to bring them in and give them a chance to do something right,” says Juan Rodriguez.

For those who desire to get into entrepreneurship but have similar struggles as the ones the Rodriguez couple faced, here’s what they had to say.

“Keep fighting, don’t give up. Somebody is going to listen and see what you are doing one day,” says Carmen Rodriguez.

“It’s not easy but I always say if it was easy, everybody would do it. You have to believe in what you are doing. You have to want it bad enough that no matter what you go through you are going to get through it and you have to believe, keep going,” says Juan Rodriguez.

This is a developing story. Check back for updates as more information becomes available.

Download the FREE Boston 25 News app for breaking news alerts.

Follow Boston 25 News on Facebook and Twitter. | Watch Boston 25 News NOW