Last month we closed out a successful month of September Social full of amazing entrepreneur women, and this month we’ve highlighted and honored Breast Cancer Awareness on our Social Butterfly page. The combination of the two inspired me to share the story of my old friend Ruby Delgado. I have known Ruby for many years, and it has been a pleasure to see her flourish into a thriving fishing captain and business owner of Southern Salty Girl. While this was not how she envisioned her life journey to be, she has quickly learned to make a living and find purpose in doing something that she truly enjoys doing. She took a leap of faith and has followed a path many of us yearn to have; that is to have a career and make a living doing something we are truly passionate about and love to do.
Growing up we all knew Ruby as the youngin’ on our varsity softball team. She was like our little sister and I can definitely say I gave her a little bit of a hard time. However, she was a great athlete that really earned her spot on the team. Through the years our relationship would grow and flourish, and we became great friends. Her mom, Maria Delgado, was our biggest fan and did not miss a game. During that fateful season, we learned her mom was battling her biggest fight against breast cancer. Despite this and no matter what she was going through, Mrs. Delgado showed up to support her baby girl, Ruby. She truly was the sweetest, most positive and kind lady you could ever meet. The mother and daughter bond they shared was incredibly strong, and to this day is something I admire.
Sadly, in 2006, Ruby lost to her biggest fan in the stands and gained an angel to watch over her from a heavenly stand above. Her mother’s passing lead Ruby to believe that perhaps a career in the medical field might be for her, so she completed a vocational program to become a medical assistant. This experience presented her with the opportunity to look into her Mother’s health records for more information on her passing. The information she was able to obtain gave her the closure she had been searching for and needed for so many years. Soon after finding peace of mind, she realized maybe her career as a medical assistant simply was not her true calling in life.
With the weight of uncertainty from her Mother’s passing lifted off of her shoulders, she realized it was time for her to dig deep and ask herself “who is Ruby?” In search of answers for herself, she began to go out on the water alone where she could really think about what she wanted to do with her life. Then, one day out on the water it dawned on her; her calling was FISHING! Being out on the water gave her such a sense of peace and happiness. She felt completely at ease and “at home” when she was out on the water. Fishing was something that she had been doing recreationally for years, and it came effortlessly for her.
Soon after, fishing companies began to recognize her as the “woman fishermen” that could do it all. They watched in disbelief as she would launch her boat and come back with an impressive haul of fish time and time again. Keep in mind, fishing is a sport that is widely known as a man’s sport, yet here was this young woman doing it all on her own. Plus, she was possibly doing it even better than many of the men in the business!
Needless to say, many reputable companies quickly became impressed with her skills, and approached Ruby with offers for her to promote their brands. These brand ambassador opportunities inspired her to go to school and ultimately obtain her Captain license. After successfully completing all the licensing requirements to own and operate her own boat, she realized she would also need to launch a brand for herself. She wanted something catchy that would include a name and brand that women would love and want to represent with apparel and so forth.
After much thought, she came up with Southern Salty Girl. Being that she grew up in deep South Texas, the name was a perfect fit. She grew to create her business, established social media pages and has even launched her own line of Southern Salty Girl apparel. While doing so, she also began to network at fishing expos all around Texas. This opened the door for so many more opportunities for her to grow her brand and business.
Captain Ruby is working hard to excel in her business of fishing charters and helping women get more involved in outdoor sports. She is currently a brand ambassador for D.O.A fishing lures, Waterloo, Tallin’ Toads, Reactor watches, and Hookset Marine gear. You can also find Captain Ruby featured in a number of popular fishing magazines. She was recently asked to be a part of a campaign with the largest fishing clothing line, Columbia PFG, in which they flew her out to Florida to fish as their saltwater talent. While there, she participated in a photo shoot, filmed a commercial and did several interviews; a huge accomplishment to say the least!
This young captain has just begun to test the waters with her talent and she is not done reaching for all her dreams. She wants to show young ladies that you can make your dreams come true, if you truly search for what makes you happy and hustle to get it done. Her advice for other young women pursuing their true passion would be to remember that it won’t always be easy and you will certainly have tough times, but in the end there is always a light at the end of the tunnel. She attributes her success to her biggest fan, her Mother.
I couldn’t be prouder of the accomplished woman my dear friend has become, and I truly enjoy watching her achieve her goals like the boss that she is. She is the epitome of a woman and fighter that we all seek to be. Her story is the perfect example of where passion and networking can get you, while showing us all that we can do anything a man can do. I know Mrs. Delgado is watching down on her daughter proudly and continues to be her biggest fan.
If you’re ever visiting South Padre Island and are looking to get out on the water, Captain Ruby with Southern Salty Girl is the fishing charter you want to be on. My son and I have had the opportunity to enjoy many fishing trips with Ruby. She is extremely patient with teaching us rookies how to hook a fish. Be sure to book your next fishing trip with her, you’ll be glad you did! I’m excited to continue to follow her journey and see my friend continue to do well.
In loving memory of Maria Delgado
Learn more about Breast Cancer Prevention here,