This is one of a series of stories we are sharing to show what's inside CubeSmart. You not only get a peek inside our customer's storage unit, but also a peek inside what is important to them. Thank you to Diana, a customer of our CubeSmart store in Brooklyn, for sharing her story with us.
A sales rep for a large pharmaceutical company, Diana Pierre visits her Brooklyn storage unit at 2887 Atlantic Avenue at least once a week to re-up her supplies for a day on the road, traveling around to hospitals and health facilities. She loves her job and working in an industry that helps people. Within the next year or so, she plans to go back to school for an MBA to learn more about pharmaceutical marketing.
Her motivation, she says, comes from her parents, who came to the United States from Haiti in the 1980s, fleeing the dictatorship of Baby Doc and economic hardship. They met and fell in love in Boston, had kids and set about building a life in America. That meant finding jobs and putting themselves through school.
"When I was growing up, I would sit in with my parents at their classes at the community college. There were no babysitters. My dad was a taxi driver and bus driver and my mother was a medical assistant. My dad now has a bachelor's in nursing and my mom is about to get her RN at age 55."
Her parents also taught Diana that life is not about material things. She feels lucky to have always had clean clothes and food on the table. Her current job, a careful approach to money and her parents' support has afforded her another level of comfort. By saving and budgeting she's now looking to buy her own condo in Brooklyn at age 28.
"A dollar goes a long way. But you can't be frivolous. I always think about my grandparents back in Haiti who never had a 401k. There was no such thing."
When she's not working, Diana reads, tries new restaurants and travels the world—last year she went to Bali, Indonesia for her birthday—and she's active in Travel Noire, a travel club that encourages people of color to explore the globe.
"Through the group, I was able to take advantage of a glitch that allowed me to fly to Dubai for $125, round-trip. I did not see people of color traveling when I was growing up, and this group gives us the opportunity to team up with others and get out there."
She's been to Brazil, Switzerland, and France, and she particularly enjoyed visiting Cuba, which she said felt like a time capsule. One of her most moving experiences came in 2013 when she visited her parents' native homeland, which was still recovering from the devastating 2010 earthquake.
"That was the second time I'd been to Haiti but it was amazing to see the odds my parents overcame to get to America," she says. "What I've learned from them is that you have to have a good education and you have to have a strong work ethic. You work hard and then you help others."
We'd love to hear how self storage has positively impacted your life. Share your #HumansofSelfStorage story in the comments.