From strangers to sisters to business partners

Miriam Valverde
Sun Sentinel

Boca Raton, Fla. — – The nose made her think twice.

After all, the woman who Rosalia Schabauer thought was insane, who was incessantly messaging her on Facebook, did have a familiar-looking nose, “perfectly pointed” like Schabauer’s father’s.

Karla Inchingalo, who lived on the other side of the country, had decided to contact Schabauer on the cusp of 2013, intent on starting a new year with a bold move. Inchingalo remembers writing something along the lines of “this is going to sound weird, or crazy, but you are my sister.”

They are half-sisters, actually — with the same father, but different mothers. Neither knew of the other until Inchingalo reached out to Schabauer.

“I totally dismissed her as crazy,” said Schabauer, now 28. “But when I looked at her picture, she looked just like him. Her nose. Her chin. The way her face is shaped.”

After years of messaging, phone calls, FaceTime video chats and a sibling DNA test that confirmed they were related, the sisters met in Orlando, Florida, last fall and are now roommates and business partners in Boca Raton.

They left jobs as a dental assistant and office manager to open a boutique selling women’s clothing and offering alterations, makeup, hair and styling services.

Schabauer for years has been serving clients by going to their homes to do their makeup and provide styling assistance. Inchingalo says she’s always had an entrepreneurial spirit and as she got to know Schabauer and learned more about her projects, decided to team up to turn a passion into a business.

They were born in Peru, fathered by a man who dated their mothers at different times.

Inchingalo’s mother got pregnant, but never told the father and they parted ways. She and her daughter left Peru to live in California when Inchingalo was still small.

Schabauer’s parents then married, and she grew up with them in Peru. She was 7 when they moved to Weston. They divorced six years later.

Given the secrets in the families, the two sisters might never have found each other. Schabauer’s mother never knew about her husband’s other child, and Inchingalo never knew her father’s name.

When a family friend revealed it, Inchingalo turned to the place a friend had gone to find her own father: Facebook.