The OWN was founded as a “rubber meets the road” kind of company. We didn’t want to just talk about the problems female entrepreneurs were facing; we wanted to do something about it.
Donna Ryan is the founder and CEO of Birth Boot Camp. Her company has a nation-wide network of doulas, and offers a variety of courses to expecting parents. Aside from her business, Donna is a wife and mom to four, and a recent transplant to the Black Hills. She is also the biggest Tim McGraw fan around!
First tell us about your business--how and why did you start it?
I’ve been a childbirth educator since 2003. I received two certifications, but I was never satisfied with the materials. I either had to create my own or work with outdated videos and workbooks. It just wasn’t working for modern couples, people who were working with the internet everyday. They needed something they could identify with and that worked with their busy schedules. With an amazing team, I created Birth Boot Camp to fill the gap. We’ve offered online childbirth classes and trained childbirth educators since March 2012. We also certify women to become doulas, or labor assistants, through Birth Boot Camp DOULAS. The two programs complement one another perfectly, helping couples have an amazing birth experience. We are in 35 states and still based in Texas, despite me moving to the Black Hills. As a result, I do quite a bit of traveling. Oh, and our materials really are the best in the industry!
What services do you provide?
I’m pretty sure I’ve got the best job in the world. I teach a variety of childbirth classes:
4-session Out-of-Hospital Birth Class (so new there’s no link yet!)
4-hour Homecoming: Life With a New Recruit (Including our breastfeeding class!)
This Fall I’m finishing up curriculum (and materials!) for a 6-session Hospital Birth Class and a 3-hour Comfort Measures workshop. They will be available by the first of the year.
Who can benefit from your services?
Do you want to have an amazing birth? These classes are for you!
I work with 2 different groups of people - expectant parents and women training to become childbirth educators and/or doulas. I believe birth can be amazing and that it starts with education, followed by discussion and preparation between partners. Birth touches nearly everyone in one way or another.
What is a word of advice you can offer to other women in business?
Don’t make excuses. Ever. Be honest about what you can and cannot do, but don’t make excuses
Why do you love The OWN?
I probably use The OWN a bit differently than others in the area. I live in the beautiful Hills, but as a result, my internet is awful. I can’t stream video or do Facebook Lives. I need the internet at The OWN! But I also need space to teach my classes since I live so far out of town. It’s been so perfect. I feel welcome each time I come in. I appreciate that The OWN meets us where we are as individuals.
Laura Longville is the owner of Walking in Grace, Inc., a non-profit, Chrisitan counseling and consulting center in Rapid City, SD. She's been helping people for over 21 years.
What services do you provide? We provide counseling, consulting, and speaking services.
Counseling- At the heart, our goal is to create an opportunity for personal growth and healing. Walking in Grace, Inc. provides unique ways to assist you through life’s trials and tribulations. Weekly therapy has a place in the counseling process; yet, there may come a time when this is not enough. Life-changing intensives are an option that helps move you quickly through issues and at a deeper level.
Intensives are typically 6-7 hours of counseling per day and 1-4 days in length. They are designed to meet your specific and unique needs and goals. Intensives are a concentrated and focused experience. Intensives can be designed for individuals, couples or families.
- Team Development- People learn, grow and change in many different ways; through interactions, lectures, activities, sight, and sound. I can co-create an experience that helps your business achieve its goals.
- Family Owned Business Consulting- As a life coach and counselor, I work with other professionals (business advisors/coaches, attorney’s, financial advisors, accountants, bankers, insurance agents and other business professionals) as a team to help the family reach its business and family goals.
Speaking- I am passionate about helping people live fully alive. I can speak to your church group, community or professional organization or workplace team. I can design an exclusive presentation or training for your needs.
Who can benefit from counseling? Life is challenging at times. It’s difficult to navigate the sometimes-stressful environment of relationships. Life is full of the unexpected which can cause pain and suffering. Pain is inevitable; suffering is optional. It's never too late to get help. We all need a little help in life. Counseling can help you:
- Get unstuck
- Learn practical tools for everyday living and
- Support to address difficult topics
What words of advice do you have for other women building or running their own businesses? Build a team of supportive people around you; people that will encourage and challenge you. It's important to know that you are not alone and there are many others who have gone before you. Don't give up.
What is a piece of mental health advice you think is important for everyone to know? Everyone has challenges and difficulties. Acknowledging our need for help is a strength. We need at least one person who knows everything about us. All of it. We need someone trustworthy to reveal our deepest secrets, hurts, and fears with. Someone to share our triumphs and victories!
Why do you love The OWN? It's a diverse group of women to share the joys and challenges of owning a business. The OWN is full of varying degrees of expertise and knowledge. We have many resources available to help us all be successful!
Thank you to our OWNers and members who make up this unique and incredible community of people.
Thank you for what is behind us, and thank you even more for what is ahead of us.
One of the challenging components of small business is being the sole individual responsible for every facet of your company, regardless of your strengths and weaknesses. Enter co-working. At The OWN, when we office together, ideas, tips, and tricks tend to surface and be shared naturally.
Our OWNer of the month for August is the lady behind one of our favorite hangouts. Diane O'Connor purchased Dunn Bros Coffee in 2014 and has spent the time since learning about coffee, from ethical sourcing, to roasting, to ensure that every cup of coffee from Dunn Bros Coffee is the best.
Tell us a little about you:
Adventurous mom & wife, always up for a new challenge and love to learn new things. Every day I'm in awe & wonder of the amazing people & things God has placed in my life. He's a good Father!
Did you always want to own your own business? How did you find Dunn Brothers?
I always knew I would end up owning my own business. My background is in public & corporate accounting, performance measurement & operations management & consulting, so it only made sense I would eventually do these things for my own business.
What do you love about the coffee business?
The people - from guests to employees to the farmers we source from. I've met so many amazing people from so many walks of life, I love to hear people's story.
What is your favorite method for making a great cup of coffee?
Just one??! Depends on my mood. And the season. The last couple of weeks, it's been cold press over ice with a splash of cream. In the dead of winter, nothing beats the top foam of a cubano latte.
What has been the most rewarding part of owning your own business?
The relationships with people. I love connecting people with other people, as well as providing a space for those people to connect. Humans are social creatures (even the introverts), I think it's so important that we take the time to slow down and just be together in the company of another.
What are some of the challenges you have overcome?
Dealing with some of those people ;-)
What is in the future for Dunn Brothers?
We're in the midst of building a new space in the Landstrom's Building in the Gap to move our existing store. This move will allow us to add some great food options both for breakfast & lunch. There are a few other things in store as well that we'll share soon!
Why do you love The OWN?
I love that in this group of amazing women, you can find support and encouragement of like-minded people. Being a business owner can be a lonely course. The Own is a great resource to bounce ideas off other people, share experiences and just have someone to laugh and share your day with.
I have no shortage of “information” in my days, yet when I really take a look into where I’m the strongest in my life, it’s not areas where I’ve read the most “X Number of Steps” articles. It’s the areas of life that I’ve lived out- slowly and painfully practiced- that I’ve grown the most. At the end of the day, life is to be lived and experienced and tried, not kept tidy and orderly and every step strategically planned out.
After nearly six months of being a part of The OWN, learning the ins and outs the group, it's safe to say I absolutely love it. It's hard to completely describe what I love, which is really the magic of The OWN, but here are a few of the things I do love about this amazing group of female entrepreneurs, explained through a series of gifs.
Our OWNer of the month for May is Bridget Zuvela. Bridget is a licensed massage therapist and owner of Grounded Touch Massage.
Tell us about your business, how did it start, why did you decide to become a massage therapist?
I started working for myself in 2013, with 10 years experience in the massage therapy field. I went to cosmetology school prior to massage school and knew that I wanted to be in the day spa industry. I wanted to become a massage therapist because I wanted to help people feel better, and see improvement in their quality of life.
What are some of the services that you offer?
The service that I offer is individualized. I do my best to meet people where they are at for that day when it comes to their session. Most commonly, I do Swedish massage mixed with other modalities that I have learned along the way. Appointments are available in 30, 60, or 90 minutes.
Why do you like being a part of The OWN?
I love being a part of The OWN for the support it provides me via this amazing network of women!
Favorite piece of advice for other business owners?
A piece of advice that I have for business owners is: be authentic!
Do you have any relaxation or massage tips and tricks?
Relaxation tip: BREATHE! Creating a few moments to take some intentional deep breaths actually helps reduce stress, lower blood pressure, and if you practice before bedtime it can help you sleep better too!
In business, having this kind of sisterhood can literally mean you keep going when you want to quit. It can give you the space to have the honest conversations to figure out what is and isn't working. It can be the push when you needed to move, or the gentle reminder that you need to slow down.
Our OWNer of the Month for April is Charlotte Kotnour, of Balance, Health, Strength. Charlotte stopped by TheOWN to chat about her holistic health coaching business and her future plans for the business. Charlotte has found ways to lose weight and love exercise that have worked for her, and enthusiastically wants to share the tools she has found with her clients.
What are some ways busy business OWNers can incorporate healthy practices into their everyday lives?
Planning and preparing! I meal prep lunches for the week every Sunday and feel lost if I don’t. I always try to park at the back of the lot so that I can get extra steps in.
Who are your favorite clients to work with?
Clients who are really receptive and ready to make lifestyle changes!
What do you have planned for your business this year?
I would love to offer more workshops and start offering cooking classes, so I’m working on finding a space to host cooking classes. As it warms up, the parks are a perfect place to host some cooking classes.
As part of her OWNer of the Month feature, Charlotte is excited about a special promotion she is offering for the month of April.
60 day program for $75/month (a savings of 25 dollars)
If two people want to join together the program is $50/month paid in full up front.
The program offers: One-hour, bi-weekly consultations • Goal-setting assistance • Hand-picked recipe recommendations • Email support & checkups • Nutrition handouts • Monthly newsletter