Maria opened Nuevo Mundo in 1966 and made it a premier destination in the Washington area for fashion and art. Her store was an extensive and expertly curated collection of antiques, artifacts and jewelry from around the world; many collected through her travels abroad. Her love of textiles and religious reliquary made her a sought after expert in these areas. She loved running Nuevo Mundo and felt as though all who entered were as guests in her home. Nuevo Mundo was more than a boutique, it was a salon where people gathered to share in the community that Maria created and tended to with love and attention. Daughters Deirdre and Caitlin worked with their mother beginning in their teens until the Nuevo Mundo closed its doors in 2011.