She Means Business May 2020

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With a mission to support women and community, Wichita Mom is excited to continue the She Means Business Series for a second year in a row in partnership with Martin Pringle Attorneys at Law. You can see what this series is all about here and check out last month’s honorees here.

This series features Wichita women who deserve recognition for their inspiring work in the ICT community. In light of COVID-19, which has had an undeniable impact on local business, we decided to spotlight women who own small businesses in Wichita and ask them how they have handled the situation. 

We hope you join us as we get to know some of Wichita’s women who mean business. And stay tuned for next month when we announce and celebrate more local ladies!

Lisa Williams-Laufer
Nectar Republic

In 100 words or less, tell us about your business. Nectar Republic is a small family owned aromatherapy brand founded in Kansas. We offer handcrafted natural bath goods and artisan home fragrance products. Our honesty speaks through our work reflecting eco-friendly materials, detailed craftsmanship, and spirited ambition. Our craft is inspired by mother nature’s perfume. We honor this through our calling to “bee” the change by donating 5% of our profits to “Save the Bees”. With over 1,000 retailers in the Unites States, our business model is primarily wholesale. Locally, we have a small retail shop and experiential craft studio called the Aroma Bar along with our online retail shop.

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In the last several weeks, how have you had to pivot and adapt in response to the effects of Covid-19? Our wholesale business quickly dried up due to retail closures across the nation. My first response was to pivot and create an essential product like hand sanitizer to supply our community in need. Unexpectedly, The D2C market immediately responded and we were flooded with online sales. We had to quickly train our staff how to ship and process online orders. Since our wholesale volume decreased, we were able to shift the labor from production to shipping and receiving. Online retail and wholesale are completely different business models and we shifted our energy to where the demand is. So very fortunate we had the ability to adapt.

What special provisions are you offering to customers right now? At this time we are offering 25% off all online purchases using code “LOCALLOVE”. Our workshops have also been limited to 10 attendees. We also offer private workshops for friends and family who wish to have a fun little activity outside of their homes.

Have you made any changes to your business in response to Covid-19 that you hope to continue when things get back to normal? The Wichita community is showing us more support than ever and everyone is utilizing our curbside delivery which is so great! This is something we plan to continue to offer for everyone’s safety.

How can Wichita support you right now? Support American made goods and small business by shopping online with us. If you are on a strict budget, please leave us a review on Google or Facebook. Share a post on social media about Nectar Republic and tell your friends and family how amazing our handcrafted goods are. Your testimonial is so valuable to us and more impactful than any form of paid advertising.

What have been some positive takeaways or lessons learned from the last 2 months? Save money and have a cushion for the ups and downs. When you invest in people and support your team, they will be there to support you. As a leader, you can show vulnerability. You don’t need to know all the answers to everything and have a clear vision of the direction you are going in. Sometimes the best thing you can do is maintain order, be frugal and ride out the storm. Listen to your inner voice and ask the divine for guidance.

Ashley Moore
The Collective

In 100 words or less, tell us about your business. The Collective; also known as Events and Design by Ashley is a Wichita based wedding, corporate and special event planning/design company. We have been in business for nearly ten years and our team has grown immensely! In addition, we recently added our sister company, Refined Furniture Rental, in order to provide lounge furniture for any event! We are passionate about building relationships with our clients, vendors and community of fellow women entrepreneurs through our organization WE.

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In the last several weeks, how have you had to pivot and adapt in response to the effects of Covid-19? Most of our events over the past three months(and now June) have had to be rescheduled or canceled. We’ve been busy talking to vendors, finding solutions for alternative dates and finding ways of encouraging our clients to not lose sight of the reason behind their celebration. Many have determined to get married on their original date and then plan their big celebration later. While the implementation of what we do has been put to a halt, the planning must go on, so we have resorted to many Zoom calls, texts, and phone conversations. Technology is more of a gift than we realized!

What special provisions are you offering to customers right now? We have offered online consulting to help people navigate through the wave of emotions as they change dates, vendors (due to being unavailable for their new dates), create more intimate ceremonies, and really, and for some it’s just been helping them sift through the disappointment.

Have you made any changes to your business in response to Covid-19 that you hope to continue when things get back to normal? We haven’t changed our business model but we have changed how we communicate. We have become more efficient and that will definitely play a huge role as we move forward.

How can Wichita support you right now? Continue to support small business! Share, comment, send encouragement to one another. We are literally, for the first time in our generation, experiencing a trial ALL together. Be kind, patient and mindful!

What have been some positive takeaways or lessons learned from the last 2 months? I feel we have been given the gift of time! Time to genuinely reflect, refine and re-focus in areas where we as a team can “Do Better.” In addition, I used this gift of TIME to be refreshed, inspired, and challenged. Now more than ever, I’m ready to love my team, our clients, vendors and community with a refined purpose and drive!

Lela Meadow-Conner
mama.film

In 100 words or less, tell us about your business. mama.film is a film series to unite nurturers of all kinds, to ignite conversation and to reflect upon our shared human experience.Through media & dialogue, mama.film nourishes the dynamic network that is engaged in shaping the changemakers and nurturers of our future.

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In the last several weeks, how have you had to pivot and adapt in response to the effects of Covid-19? While we’ve typically been able to present films in our microcinema location, since mid-March, we’ve been assembling our village virtually weekly with a variety of films available to rent or stream, paired with Community Cinema Convos – zoom calls with filmmakers from around the world and local experts – that anyone can be a part of. It’s hard to know at this point when we will be able to open the cinema back up, even just for small groups, but until then, we want to keep connected to our audience.

What special provisions are you offering to customers right now? All of our Community Cinema Convos are free. Anyone can join and watch afterwards on our YouTube page. Some of our weekly film selections come straight from streaming services like Netflix, so for people that already subscribe to those channels, there’s no additional fee to watch the films.

Have you made any changes to your business in response to Covid-19 that you hope to continue when things get back to normal? It’s hard to imagine for movie theaters a “normal” or even a “new normal” anytime soon! It’s been great connecting with storytellers through our weekly convos, so I hope that we can continue to engage in creating those connections to enhance our audience’s movie-going experience even more. Media literacy for everyone is so important in this day and age – creating opportunities for our community to talk about movies is half of our mission!

How can Wichita support you right now? First and foremost, you can become a member of our Village. The benefits that come with membership also support other local, women-owned businesses, so even if the cinema is closed, you can still take advantage of other perks. We have mama.film face masks available for your newest fashion accessory, too. When we are able to safely open back up, please join us at the cinema for a film (BYOB!) and in the meantime, follow us on social media, and check out our website to see what films are available to rent in support of mama.film.

What have been some positive takeaways or lessons learned from the last 2 months? Despite the circumstances, it has been nice to connect with (and meet new) people all over the world around movies, since we are collectively experiencing the pandemic, and it affects all of our humanity. And everyone is home! As an organization that presents movies, it can be hard to compete with all of the streaming content and virtual events available 24/7, but if we can figure out how to stay engaged with our core audience, stay true to our mission, take a few chances and have fun – that’s what will get us through this, and back into the microcinema at The Lux as soon as we can.

Dalia Vargas
Interlingual Interpreting Services

In 100 words or less, tell us about your business. We provide interpreting and translation services to courthouses in Wichita and surrounding counties. We also work with different clinics, attorneys’ offices and private companies. Interlingual has interpreters in more than 12 languages ready to serve our community. We also provide translation services for all types of documents.

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In the last several weeks, how have you had to pivot and adapt in response to the effects of Covid-19? We adapted by offering our services via video and telephone. Clinics, attorneys and even the courthouses used our services via video calls in order to abide by the stay at home order. We also expanded our services and started to offer voice-over services, and translation of audios and transcripts.

What special provisions are you offering to customers right now? We are offering 20% off any voice-overs, audio translations, and any health-related documents, valid for the entire month of May.

Have you made any changes to your business in response to Covid-19 that you hope to continue when things get back to normal? We are still going to offer our services by video and telephone, that has helped us reach other communities and expand our territory. Since we have worked with a couple local businesses and received great response from having commercials/material in other languages, we will still be promoting our voice-over services.

How can Wichita support you right now? The best way to keep in touch with us is by following our Facebook page and sharing our posts. Make sure to visit our website at www.interlingualict.com and keep us in mind for any translation needs. Let’s support local businesses!

What have been some positive takeaways or lessons learned from the last 2 months? It is very important to adapt to different situations and be versatile. Maintaining our faith and being positive during these difficult times kept us going strong. It was a great reminder to support our local businesses.

Elizabeth Farha
Midwest Billboards

In 100 words or less, tell us about your business. Midwest Billboards, an award winning company, was established in March of 2018 and exclusively manages and operates one network of 60+ billboards across Kansas and Oklahoma. Midwest Billboards is locally owned and operated by Sam and Elizabeth Farha. The couple has over 40 years of experience in out-of-home advertising and software engineering. Their team acts as advocates for their clients and has a true passion to better their community. Midwest Billboards not only manages and sells advertising but leads the prospecting, zoning and building of new assets.

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In the last several weeks, how have you had to pivot and adapt in response to the effects of Covid-19? We implemented proactive measures to protect our customers and staff. Currently, our sales team is no longer taking in-person appointments until June 1. Our staff has been working remotely from their homes with the same technology and protocols that we have practiced for many years. We worked with area businesses to pause, move or cancel ads during the pandemic based on when and if they would be reopening. We have almost no “red tape” and remain empathetic to the businesses trying to stay open during these unprecedented times. Additionally, we partnered with our government agencies, area businesses and initiatives to educate the public on health and safety and to spread messages of hope.

What special provisions are you offering to customers right now? We are offering discounted rates to local businesses and non-profits through the end of June for as little as $30 a day. We are providing messaging to consumers wanting to highlight seniors or create birthday and celebratory messages. We are continuing to be flexible in our payment arrangements with our current clients.

Have you made any changes to your business in response to Covid-19 that you hope to continue when things get back to normal? The pandemic impacted us in many ways but it was amazing to see how fast we were able to pivot our business plans and processes overnight. It is my hope that we continue to be innovative and always be prepared for the unexpected.

How can Wichita support you right now? A great recommendation or support from businesses in our community means the world to us! We are a local company and a family that buys local. We hope that other area business owners will continue to support Midwest Billboards during and after the pandemic.

What have been some positive takeaways or lessons learned from the last 2 months? Home, family and faith have kept us safe during the pandemic and now it is time to go out into the world and face our “new normal.” We all needed time to be with our loved ones and find a balance between family and work. I truly believe my team became more efficient than ever! I saw our employees cooking dinner, editing contracts, searching for toilet paper and negotiating deals or being a ear for businesses concerned for their future. My hope is that we remain empathetic to others and reevaluate our priorities to live the best life we can.

Jasmin Rupp
Riverside Dental and Jasmin Rupp Photography 

In 100 words or less, tell us about your business. Riverside Dental is located in the heart of Wichita and has been in business since 1978. I joined my father in 2007 and eventually took over the practice when he passed in 2015. I have since hired two top-notch associate dentists to help carry on the legacy. I am committed to preserving the friendly, caring, and light-hearted family atmosphere for which this practice has been known over the years. When I am not practicing dentistry, I love having the creative outlet of photography, and I specialize in newborn, child and dance portraits. This second part-time business began after the birth of my first daughter almost ten years ago, inspired by my love for cute babies!

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In the last several weeks, how have you had to pivot and adapt in response to the effects of Covid-19? The dental profession was hit hard by the pandemic. Following the recommendations of our national and state dental associations, we had to limit our practice to emergency patients only. Much like other essential businesses, we worked with a skeleton crew during limited hours for six weeks to help keep dental emergency patients out of the ERs. On May 4th, we fully reopened our business and adjusted some of the ways we operate per the American and Kansas Dental Associations. Since the pandemic began, we have taken additional measures at the office to ensure the safety of our team members and our patients. Fortunately, the dental profession has always functioned in a sterile environment, so we continue to maintain that standard, plus additional PPE for our staff. As for my photography business, I have had to postpone many photo sessions in the last six weeks. Fortunately with the beautiful weather and long lenses that allow for social distancing, I should be able to get some babies on the books soon!

What special provisions are you offering to customers right now? We are happy to have reopened our dental practice to all patients seeking every dental service, including cleanings and regular dental health checks. We now provide additional safety measures on top of our normal precautions. Patients have access to hand sanitizer and will notice additional plastic barriers throughout the office and PPE on our dental professionals to ensure everyone’s safety and health. Patients will have their temperatures taken upon entering the office, and we have rearranged furniture to ensure that patients are six feet away from others wherever feasible.

Have you made any changes to your business in response to Covid-19 that you hope to continue when things get back to normal? This COVID-19 pandemic has given us the opportunity to ensure that best practices are in place and has brought about a greater support system within our team, as we are all in this together. I look forward to our continued heightened awareness and team efforts.

How can Wichita support you right now? While learning to coexist responsibly, it is so important for Wichitans to support local businesses as they have faced unprecedented challenges over the past couple of months. Our patients can rest assured that their health is our number one priority, that safeguards are in place, and we are ready for you to come see us for all dental procedures! Our goal is to get each patient’s mouth into its healthiest state, and calling to make your dental appointment is the first step to making this happen!

What have been some positive takeaways or lessons learned from the last 2 months? After more than a decade of growing my careers, the past two months have provided me the opportunity for growth on a personal level. I have cherished the time with my two young daughters. Homeschooling certainly has had its challenges, but the time we have gained together has been well worth the trying moments. I’ve often worried, as I’m sure many other moms do, that life is too busy and that the kids are growing up too quickly. But quarantining has quite literally forced us to stop and smell the roses. We’ve been exploring gorgeous places in Kansas that we didn’t know existed, creating beautiful artwork together, and dancing up a storm! Now that we are back to work, I will do my best to incorporate the best of the new and old lifestyles into our routine moving forward.

Andrea Hattan
The Hive

In 100 words or less, tell us about your business. The Hive is a women-focused coworking and community space created to connect women leaders to Healthy, Inspiring, Valuable, and Empowering content, people, and resources to help them grow their businesses strategically.

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In the last several weeks, how have you had to pivot and adapt in response to the effects of Covid-19? We were grateful that since we opened doors in 2018, we’ve been live streaming and digitally archiving our twice weekly lunch and learns on our private Facebook group, so this was an easy pivot to continue those events. We also launched a digital-only membership a few months ago, so that helped us manage churn during this crisis as members chose to downgrade rather than cancel altogether. Several of our events, however, such as our HiveMind mastermind meetings, Mind Fuel business coaching with Sarah Yost, and our Women in Policy Talks, with Hive member and county commissioner Lacey Cruse, had to be brought digital for the first time ever. In order to do this, we had to adopt several new technologies and it’s allowed us to even grow in new and unexpected ways.

What special provisions are you offering to customers right now? Our coworking members have been the most affected during this time. Though we weren’t mandated to officially close our doors to those who “lease” our space, most of our members chose not to come in for the latter part of March and all of April. To accommodate them, we’ve been hosting a digital coworking hour every weekday morning on Zoom. They’ve been well attended and everyone reports that they’re much more productive having the accountability. We did offer a free month of membership to anyone in our community who was financially struggling during this time as well for as anyone who wanted to try out our digital membership to get access to our content and community (normally $25/mo). I’m still happy to honor this free month in May for anyone who wants to check it out!

Have you made any changes to your business in response to Covid-19 that you hope to continue when things get back to normal? We’re actually planning to continue at least a once a week digital coworking hour once things return to normal, because it was such a popular and well loved offering. We’ll also continue highlighting our members with our weekly Meet a Bee live interview segment, which we launched during the Stay at Home Order.

How can Wichita support you right now? Most people don’t realize that we’re so much more than “just” a coworking space. Our real passion is helping women grow their businesses. We provide the content and community to help them do it more strategically! I welcome Facebook messages from anyone who is just curious what we do and how they might benefit from membership. Feel free to look up me and reach out! I always love meeting new and interesting women in the community, regardless of whether they find their “home” at The Hive. We also invested significantly in purchasing the first floor of the Orpheum office building and expanding The Hive to offer private offices, because this was a need our members expressed to us. We had planned to open these for renters in April but, due to COVID-19, are just now able to adequately do so. So if you or anyone you know is looking to finally get out of the house to have your own private office for running your business (away from the kids, pets, significant other, laundry, and dishes), give us a call (316-333-7001) and come tour our new space!

What have been some positive takeaways or lessons learned from the last 2 months? It was amazing to me how our community rallied around small businesses throughout the crisis. We didn’t have a big drop off in membership as I anticipated we might, and many of our members reached out to express how important their connection to The Hive was in a time when they would’ve otherwise felt incredibly isolated. My big takeaway was, however, how important it is to diversify your income. So many of us spent the past few months in a panic because our existing revenue source was so dependent on in-person interaction. It’s really pushed me to scale my business more digitally and to help other women take their businesses online in strategic ways they never have before. This is something I’m focusing on more as we launch The Hive Academy, a group coaching program covering many of the “taking your business online“ topics: Facebook, Instagram, Ads, landing pages, funnels, and more.

Caroline Potochnik
Avery & Grey

In 100 words or less, tell us about your business. I started Avery & Grey in 2014 (at my kitchen table) after my second daughter was born. What began as a handmade hair accessories business has grown to include curated items for children and adults, almost entirely from other women-owned businesses from across the country. In March I opened my first retail space inside the Love of Character pop-up location in Bradley Fair – featuring a Sparkle Bar of glitter snap clips, and in April released Avery & Grey’s very first original t-shirt design.

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In the last several weeks, how have you had to pivot and adapt in response to the effects of Covid-19? It’s funny, up until March, my business was solely online (or wholesaled to brick & mortar retailers). I was working outside of my home for the first time in nearly 7 years, and it lasted two weeks before Covid-19 caused us to close the doors. So my pivot was more of a step back to my previous business model – selling online and shipping orders. March was a hard month – which brought me to designing and releasing our rainbow t-shirt – because I needed something positive to look forward to.

What special provisions are you offering to customers right now? I have continued to offer free local pickup as well as porch delivery in some cases. That and positivity and funny memes on my Instagram stories.

Have you made any changes to your business in response to Covid-19 that you hope to continue when things get back to normal? I hope to add more original t-shirt designs – more items that appeal to a broader audience. I have loved reaching new audiences that haven’t necessarily heard of my brand before, and I hope to continue to appeal to them.

How can Wichita support you right now? So many moms have purchased our new shirt, or supported the shop over the past couple months. I am giddy every time I see a picture of my tee “in the wild” so keep sharing! Order shirts, stay tuned for a reopening date for our Bradley Fair pop-up location inside Love of Character and flood my feed with your pictures!

What have been some positive takeaways or lessons learned from the last 2 months? We have such a strong community of locally-minded women and seeing everyone come together during these uncertain times has been inspiring. The support, patience, and grace I have received has been nothing short of amazing. I have also learned that I cannot homeschool two girls, chase a toddler, and efficiently run a business all at the same time – so I have slowly learned to give myself grace as well.

Tiffany Trejo
Black Label Candle Company

In 100 words or less, tell us about your business. Black Label Candle Company is a small business nestled in Wichita, Kansas. We sell handcrafted small-batch luxurious soy candles. Our candles are made with 100% soy wax, fine fragrance and essential oils, cotton wicks, and recyclable containers. We also specialize in a full-service experience to create your own custom branded candles for business owners.

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In the last several weeks, how have you had to pivot and adapt in response to the effects of Covid-19? I had two big launches planned that I had to completely scrap and basically start over. I did two mini launches and also an “uglies” sale that was literally put together in a few weeks or less but did really well. I have used this time to try to plan better for future launches and what services I can offer to the community. Also, all of our markets were canceled which is a big part of our spring and summer, instead I have been working on developing new scents as well as new products outside of the candle realm. I also started offering free delivery in Wichita so customers could still purchase and maintain no contact.

What special provisions are you offering to customers right now? Free delivery/porch drop-offs within Wichita.

Have you made any changes to your business in response to Covid-19 that you hope to continue when things get back to normal? I really love being able to deliver items to our customers, I think this would be something nice to keep around!

How can Wichita support you right now? Check out our candles and what we have to offer! Share our website, Facebook, Instagram posts, and pages! Follow us on social media: @blacklabelcandleco on Facebook and Instagram.

What have been some positive takeaways or lessons learned from the last 2 months? The Wichita community is the BEST! I was and am still blown away by how much support my business has received as well as how people have rallied behind small businesses. Adapting is super important. Once I realized that COVID-19 was going to have a drastic effect on my business, I had to sit down and really think about what I could do to add value to the community. It was hard to completely change my whole plan but as we are almost at the end of all of this, it has been worth it. We are all in the same boat, we all have felt the fear and uncertainty but we truly are all in this together.

Gretchen Postiglione
P.Ink Creative

In 100 words or less, tell us about your business. From birth announcements to wedding invitations, P.Ink Creative offers custom invitations for all the special events in life and everything in between. Foil, thermography, letterpress, and full-color printing options are available on luxury cardstock. I also specialize in logo design and branding graphics. While pre-designed invitations are available online at my website and in person at the local retail store, Love of Character, I always prefer to meet with clients one-on-one to come up with the perfect custom design for their event or business. Unique, one-of-a-kind invitations are my specialty!

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In the last several weeks, how have you had to pivot and adapt in response to the effects of Covid-19? I already complete most of the design process via email, but it can be challenging to initially workshop or explain concepts that way; so I prefer to meet with clients in person, especially at the beginning of the design process. COVID-19 has prevented that step in the process, so I have used technology such as Zoom and FaceTime to virtually meet with clients and show them ideas and concepts in real time. Other products, including Adobe XD, have been crucial in sharing prototypes and design ideas during this time because they are made specifically for collaborating with clients. 

What special provisions are you offering to customers right now? Clients are now postponing many events or changing them to virtual parties, so I am offering redesigns free of charge. I understand that timelines are up in the air right now, so I’m also honoring a lot of last-minute changes at no extra charge. I am building in flexible design options with customers from the beginning so that when things change again quickly, they will have the correct design ready to go! I am arranging no-contact pickup and invitation delivery, as well.

Have you made any changes to your business in response to Covid-19 that you hope to continue when things get back to normal? I look forward to once again meeting with clients one-on-one, but I also feel grateful to have discovered better alternatives to meet virtually when an in-person meeting isn’t an option. I will continue to use the new prototyping software I found, as I think it is an excellent tool for working through a design – especially for business branding – when multiple people are making decisions.

How can Wichita support you right now? Be kind and support our local businesses! It takes a lot to be a small business owner and the creativity and ingenuity I’ve seen displayed by many as they adapt is inspiring. So spread the love to others, but if you need invitations, birth announcements, or just a virtual party invite, visit the website: www.p-inkcreative.com and give me a call!

What have been some positive takeaways or lessons learned from the last 2 months? Designers are always expected to start over or rework ideas, no matter the circumstance. That ability to work flexibly and roll with the punches has been crucial during the last two months. Feeling like I can immediately give clients a sense of direction by offering different creative options when event plans fall through has been extremely important in surviving as a business during this time.

Mariama Beemer
T.E.A. Topics INT

In 100 words or less, tell us about your business. Trailblazing, Empowering, and Authentic Topics (T.E.A. Topics INT) was created out of my passion for breaking the stigma that “We need certain personality traits to be successful.” I believe our creativity, which is fueled by our authenticity, is what sets us up for success. AT T.E.A. Topics INT, we host workshops, interactive webinars, and group coaching designed to help each of us dig deeper inward to achieve greater outward success. Our innovative frameworks are science-based and research-backed to ensure you get the most up-to-date and effective techniques. Our expertise ranges from leadership, confidence, productivity, and performance increase, to communication, influence, and growth.

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In the last several weeks, how have you had to pivot and adapt in response to the effects of Covid-19? Before the pandemic hit, I had a series of workshops lined up as part of my yearly goals. Of course, they all had to be canceled; and although I didn’t see it at first, I now know it was a blessing in disguise. I have been able to plan for and structure a series of interactive forums and virtual round tables focusing on lifting one another as we traverse these uncertain times. I have had to change my “how” and focus on my “why”. My mission is to empower fellow women to succeed through self-discovery and self-acceptance. I firmly believe that once we each leverage our uniqueness and embrace our differences, not only will we all be happier and successful, the world will be better because of it.

What special provisions are you offering to customers right now? I have been able to connect with and support my audience with free productivity templates and online guides. I have shared helpful and relevant nuggets of knowledge on my blog, podcasts, and live sessions, I am also currently working on a free virtual workshop to discuss ways to stay efficiently manage our time and energy in times of uncertainty. I will have more details on my website: https://www.teatopicsint.com/ soon.

Have you made any changes to your business in response to Covid-19 that you hope to continue when things get back to normal? Like many business owners, I’ve had to pivot to a virtual model. I was skeptical at first because I sincerely believe in the value of the in-person, in-the-moment connection. I had to put my fears and doubts aside, acknowledge our reality, and dive deep below the surface. I am working on new approaches, and I am discovering new and exciting ways to translate that connection in the virtual realm. The possibilities are almost limitless.

How can Wichita support you right now? I am proud to be part of our fantastic community, and I thank all of you for your continuous support. If you haven’t yet, subscribe to our website to be notified when new workshops are scheduled. Should you need a customized workshop for your company/business, you can schedule a consultation at https://www.teatopicsint.com/services. You can also follow @teatopicsint on social media (Linkedin, Instagram, and Facebook). Like, share, and comment on our social media posts, it goes a long way. As always, reach out for any questions; we are here to help!

What have been some positive takeaways or lessons learned from the last 2 months? “We Can Complain Because Rose Bushes Have Thorns, or Rejoice Because Thorn Bushes Have Roses” I love that quote from Abraham Lincoln. For the last two months, I have had to realize that because I couldn’t change the situation we are all in, I had to change the way I looked at it. I have had to be flexible, agile, but mostly graceful towards myself. The most beautiful thing about us all is that while none of us are immune to stress, we are resilient, we are persistent, and we are tenacious.

Hali McCord
H & Company Salon

In 100 words or less, tell us about your business. I attended hair school in Wichita jump-starting my career path in the beauty industry in 2007. In 2016 I purchased my building in downtown El Dorado and began my journey to blend creative excellence and unparalleled hospitality into what H&Co. Salon is today. H&Co. Salon is proud to be an eco-conscious AVEDA salon where we specialize in custom hair-color and cutting techniques, that create a look tailored to each and every guests desire. My favorite part of working in the beauty industry is the ability to lead and grow individual stylists into collaborative team oriented mindset instead of a competitive one. With this as the vision we are able to connect with every guest, share joy, give kindness creating a ripple effect that extends past our salon chairs and into the communities we love.

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In the last several weeks, how have you had to pivot and adapt in response to the effects of Covid-19? Unfortunately during this time I have been unable to work behind the chair at all, I have pivoted by creating an online store and shipping retail products to guests in need.

What special provisions are you offering to customers right now? While I haven’t necessarily provided any classes or discounts, my focus has been spreading joy and light through our social media accounts and by sidewalk chalking positive messages in downtown El Dorado. I have also focused on supporting and being a patron at as many local businesses as I can that also support my salon, it takes a village!

Have you made any changes to your business in response to Covid-19 that you hope to continue when things get back to normal? The biggest change I have made is prioritizing myself and the business side of my salon, too often I get sucked into the creative side only and don’t dedicate enough time or focus on the book-work and growth of the business.

How can Wichita support you right now? Wichita can support not only me, but every stylist and beauty professional by putting those craft scissors down, leaving the box dye on the shelf and waiting for us. We are just as eager and excited to create the hair of your dreams and what better way than with a “blank” canvas and some extra new-growth? All humor aside- one of the most impactful ways to help is by leaving genuine Google, Facebook, and yelp reviews, interacting with us on social media and by sharing H&Co. Salon or wherever your stylist calls home with the people you love!

What have been some positive takeaways or lessons learned from the last 2 months? In the past two months I have realized just how truly valued my skill set is. There have been many times throughout my career where I feel as though I’m not making an impact on others and found myself questioning my career choice. After having SO MUCH love poured out to me and words of encouragement from my family, salon guests, community, and other stylists I realize that we truly are “daymakers” and people miss that. I have also thoroughly enjoyed having time at home with my children and boyfriend Taylor, we live such fast paced lives that we used to short change each other and sacrifice intentional family time for “checklist time” that is one thing we won’t be giving up again!

Jordan Kieffer
Barre Forte Wichita

In 100 words or less, tell us about your business. Barre Forte Wichita is more than a workout — it’s a community! When business is in full swing, you can walk into our airy and friendly space for a barre, rebound, HIIT, or sculpt class. If your kids are with you, you can drop them off at our childcare room! Our clients enjoy a small class size with personalized instruction from welcoming instructors. Even more, our workouts can be modified to accommodate any fitness level or ability! Not sure what barre is? We isolate, overload, and stretch each muscle group one by one, resulting in long and lean muscle tone. Not only will barre transform your body, this low-impact workout is also a popular cross-training option for athletes looking for ways to prevent injury and improve performance.

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In the last several weeks, how have you had to pivot and adapt in response to the effects of Covid-19? We are offering live-stream classes 2-4 times per day from, with an additional option to re-stream classes on-demand within your schedule! We have barre, sculpt, and HIIT classes via live-stream–and you can use a variety of household items as equipment if you’re lacking any gear. Just like the in-person classes you love, you can sign up and take class from your favorite Barre Forte Wichita instructor and receive personalized feedback and motivation!

What special provisions are you offering to customers right now? We are offering a special live-stream–only membership that is just $10 per week or $30 per month, with no notice required to cancel.

Have you made any changes to your business in response to Covid-19 that you hope to continue when things get back to normal? Yes! We expect to continue to offer live-stream classes indefinitely, as we know that social distancing is going to be very important for some time. We also know that it fits better with many of our clients’ schedules and travel!

How can Wichita support you right now? Come try a class or sign up for a live-stream membership! April and May are usually our biggest growth seasons and not only have we missed out on those, but we have lost some clients due to the economy and the challenges posed by layoffs and furloughs. We would love to meet you on the screen or in person and grow our community!

What have been some positive takeaways or lessons learned from the last 2 months? We have learned that we have the most amazing community. They just keep showing up to live-stream classes and working hard! They gave each other and the instructors so virtual and social media love, which really brought our community together in a whole new, amazing way. We also offered a 20 in 30 challenge, where we challenged our clients to take 20 livestream classes in 30 days, and they CRUSHED it! We had more finishers than any other Barre Forte studio! Our community not only stepped up to support us, but to support others. We offered a Barre Forte STRONG tank top fundraiser, with proceeds to benefit a local charity still functioning during this time. Our clients have found ways to use fitness as a way to come together during quarantine–even across state lines! We have had some clients invite family and friends from all over the US to workout with them.

Pattie Durham
Moxie Sass + Class Boutique

In 100 words or less, tell us about your business. We are every women’s boutique giving women a place to shop where there is no judgement, and everyone is welcome. We are constantly evolving and MOXIE is never the same place twice. We believe that “cute” doesn’t have to be difficult and above all else.. wear what you love.

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In the last several weeks, how have you had to pivot and adapt in response to the effects of Covid-19? Our COVID response has been a learning process for us but I feel like it has forced us to lean in and really listen more closely to what our customers needs are. We have had to make changes in the presentation of our products by doing more LIVE video and posting more frequently on social media to stay front of mind and not get forgotten. We also began offering curbside pickup and briefly doing free local delivery. During a time when our ladies weren’t really leaving the house as often and there are less events and celebrations to dress for, our product offerings had to change. We switched gears to more a more casual style, offering more graphic t-shirts and loungewear sets!

What special provisions are you offering to customers right now? When you join our texting club you will receive a code for 10% discount online. So text “MOXIE” to 29071 to get ALL the MOXIE!

Have you made any changes to your business in response to Covid-19 that you hope to continue when things get back to normal? We are committed to meeting our customers where they need us to be, taking feedback and pivoting when they need us to. We are offering all of our fashion items for purchase online with lots of options for reduced shipping rates, in-store pick or curbside delivery. We have also added private shopping appointments, which has been well received and a lot of fun!

How can Wichita support you right now? Wichita can support us by making a purchase! That’s an easy answer, but really it’s super easy to share our store with some friends, like our facebook page and follow us on instagram.

What have been some positive takeaways or lessons learned from the last 2 months? I will be honest, positivity has been difficult during a time where the bills don’t stop and income is down. But I really think we’ve done a good job of lifting our spirits above the situation and we are ready to get back to normal.

Kara Yuza
Jazzercise Wichita

In 100 words or less, tell us about your business. Jazzercise Wichita is a dance party workout for all fitness levels. A diverse community of women come together to sweat, smile and build community while getting fit and staying healthy. Every class blends dance with strength training, Pilates, yoga, and kickboxing. The results? Long, lean muscles and an undeniable mood boost. A fitness program that started 50 years ago is still going strong with nine formats (Strentgh60, DanceMixx, Fusion, Core & Restore) creating the perfect workout for any fitness friend. Plus, kiddos can have fun in our childcare room while you enjoy some “me time”.

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In the last several weeks, how have you had to pivot and adapt in response to the effects of Covid-19? Jazzercise Wichita has taken their in-person classes online to offer live Facebook classes via a private Facebook group. We are able to connect with our students and “chat” with them while also offering the same incredible sweat sessions. We’ve also created a variety of fun fitness challenges to keep students motivated along with social Zoom coffee chats to continue as a community.

What special provisions are you offering to customers right now? New customers can obtain access to our classes, and all the fun challenges, conversations and connection, with a special online ticket for just $30 for a month.

Have you made any changes to your business in response to Covid-19 that you hope to continue when things get back to normal? When we re-open we are thrilled to continue our live Facebook classes as well as offer in-person classes.

How can Wichita support you right now? Like so many small businesses, we’d love you to “shop small”. Sign up for a month and workout with us. Spreading the word about the importance of health and fitness is always a great option too.

What have been some positive takeaways or lessons learned from the last 2 months? The strength of our community has grown during this time. Our private FB group offers our community a way to connect and support one another in ways we never realized. For our teaching team, we have learned that we can talk to camera and never miss a beat. Despite the amazingness of virtual, relationships are key to health. This virtual option has been the sanity and saving grace for so many of our, teaching team as well as students.

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