Meet Our Founder
A determined young entrepreneur, Maria Vasco is excited to share Uvida Shop’s mission with others.
“I want it to be more of a norm for people to care about the environment in their consumption.” Maria Vasco, the founder and CEO of Uvida Shop, has been living by these words long before opening up Uvida Shop in December 2020. As an undergraduate student she ran an online zero waste store for a few months before having a physical location to sell products and plants and share her enthusiasm for environmentally-friendly products and behaviors with others.
Everything in Maria’s life over the years has pointed her to found Uvida. Born in Cali, Colombia, Maria’s family moved to East Boston when she was four, and has lived there ever since. In 2016 Maria started her journey at UMass Boston where her interest for environmental advocacy began. Originally a Political Science major, she switched to Environmental Studies after being enthralled by the material in her environmental science courses. She was inspired to do something to help remedy the dire environmental problems she was learning about such as agricultural waste, greenhouse gas emissions, sea level rise, and ocean acidification, but the climate change issue she felt most called to was the plastic pollution problem.
She dove headfirst into learning about how to reduce her own plastic waste and wanted to share the amazing products she found with others. The Honors College Dean encouraged her to apply for the UMass Boston’s Entrepreneurship Scholarship her junior year and in her junior year she became the first-ever recipient of the scholarship. Receiving the award motivated her to pursue her dream of opening a Zero Waste store in Boston and. She eventually landed on the name Uvida Shop, because it translates to “U life” which then led to our tagline #yougivelife. As a senior she was a humbled recipient of the “29 Who Shine” award and the John F. Kennedy Award for Academic Excellence. In 2020 she graduated from University of Massachusetts Boston School for the Environment with a Bachelor’s Degree in Environmental Studies and Sustainability and a minor in Political Science.
The young entrepreneur is always eager to learn more about Zero Waste products and advocate for environmental change.