Aimless, broke, unemployed and suicidal at 21 years old, I knew there must be more to life than this. A newspaper ad for an up and coming salon caught my eye. It featured a modern women with an edgy haircut and something about it sparked wonder. in me. I applied, got the position of receptionist, and immediately began to see a future for myself. From my receptionist role, I quickly moved up to salon coordinator, and it wasn't long before I was inspired to attend beauty school and join other women who were making a life of independence for themselves.
When I became a mother to my daughter, Delia, building my business became top priority. Thankfully, I worked for a visionary businesswoman, Sandy Chandler. Sandy created pathways for stylists to keep growing, continue learning, and find other avenues of revenue - so I began teaching within the salon for added income. These pathways began to cultivate an ambitious drive for forward motion in my personal and professional development. Everything I committed to expanded a new opportunity for me - affording me to get off government assistance and move out on my own. With restored dignity and an empowered mind, the energy I produced loving my craft and being a mother, had magnetized me to fellow forward thinking professionals and innovative business leaders.
My path led me to thrive as director of education for a network of salons and flourish as cosmetology director for the Aveda Institute Denver. The visionary CEO of the Aveda Institute, Dale LeMonds, asked of me in my interview where I saw myself in 5 years. I said, "In your chair". He replied, "You're hired." This was my second lesson of the difference between a business owner and a business leader: a business owner is looking for someone to hire to fill a position. A business leader sees the potential in others and provides opportunities for developing it.
At the peak of my career, life came along. I was boarding an airplane to help launch a new Aveda Institute in Arizona and received a phone call that changed my path, and ultimately changed my life. My daughter, then 10 years old, was diagnosed with Leukemia. I stepped off the plane, stepped out of my career, and stepped into what has turned out to be the greatest leadership experience of my life: mothering. And just like I found wonder in developing future professionals, I found wonder in mothering: the developing of human beings.
Delia is now a 10 year cancer survivor. And I am a better mother, a better woman and a better partner because of it. Cancer taught us we didn't lose anything - we let it go. Cancer offered us to opportunity to establish our values and gave us permission to allow our beliefs room to evolve. Cancer united our family, my marriage and established a deeper desire to empower women and mothers, like never before. Because I now know what women are capable of. I know we can handle difficult circumstances and challenging situations. I know we can rise and fall and rise again, increasing in wisdom and experience along the way. Cancer cost us much loss: bankruptcy, repossession, careers, friendships and broken dreams - but the real story is we let it all go. Our energy was directed to what mattered most: family. And the rest WE chose to let go. Ten years later, enter The Hive, a community space for women to advance and propel themselves into economic independence, regardless of situation, circumstance, demographic or social status.
In the small town of Coeur d'Alene, Delia and I see women, young and old, faced with dead ends. Dead end jobs, dead end relationships, dead-end thinking. What we need are more spaces for women to work, more launchpads to spring off from. Women need fewer business owners and more business leaders: people invested into the personal and professional development of human resources.
Coeur d'Alene, Idaho is host to incredible views that expand the mind, spur the imagination and ignite big dreams, but without the right circle of influence, a woman's pathway to achieving her dream becomes steep and narrow, risking another dead end. Idaho ranks 49th in the Best /Worst states for women's equality, and over $3 million is spent annually towards the rescue and rehabilitation of disempowered women. The good news: Idaho is 18th in the nation for growth in the number of women owned businesses, which means women are on the rise to economic independence. Now, we need more space to pursue it.
The Hive is a hub for connecting and empowering women in business, female entrepreneurs, students, and local business owners invested in meeting the unique needs of North Idaho women. Half Coworking, half learning annex, The Hive will host workshops that support personal and professional development across diverse industries.
Located on the corner of 4th and Indiana Ave in downtown Coeur d'Alene, The Hive boasts over 3400 Sq feet of repurposed space with an aesthetic design planned by modern, progressive women. The Hive is a place to work independently, collaborate on projects, connect in real life and invest in yourself. The Hive is for all industry professionals, female entrepreneurs, women with a passion project, ministry or side hustle. This space is dedicated to the advancement of women and we cannot wait to see what she will create here.