Debbie is a mom of two and the owner of SkinSense Spa in Lake Oswego. After finishing esthetician school, she worked at another spa, but a disappointing experience there led her to open her own business. Debbie has hosted a MOB meet up at her spa in addition to generously providing space for other MOB businesses to leave their cards. She has also collaborated with several MOBs to hold events at her spa.
She’s a proud mom of two older kids. “My kids are my brag, my pride, and my world! Every decision I make in life and business is with them in mind,” she says.
Debbie was born overseas and says she sort of speaks Cantonese. She’s also an avid traveler. “I love travel, adventures, and thrills!” On the other hand, she says she is naturally quiet by nature and prefers to observe from the background. She’s also a lover of fashion and puppies. “If I had the property, I would adopt every abandoned dog I find,” she says.
Debbie doesn’t have a specific mentor, but says she has many strong women friends and MOBs in her life. “I pick and choose strengths I see and learn from their strengths,” she explains.
She says her biggest struggle has depended on where she is in her business. “In the beginning, it was ‘How the heck am I going to do this?’ then it was ‘I need to have my own space!’ Now the struggle is in marketing and finding practitioners who will be the best fit for the spa.”
Debbie advises new business owners to take responsibility for their mistakes and to learn from them. She also says “Don't be a follower. And you have to be very passionate, but not pushy, about your business, because clients can feel the difference between passion and pushy.”
She says her biggest accomplishments are her kids. But she is also very proud of her passion to continue, and do well, even when others told her she wouldn’t amount to much. “I said, hmmm, that sounds like a challenge! And I’m doing it!”
Debbie loves being a MOB and the support she finds. “It is a diverse group of amazing, talented, and GIVING moms!”
She also loves the freedom of working for herself. “No one is breathing down my neck, whether I succeed or fail, I am in complete control,” she explains.
Debbie says her ideal referral is someone who wants to learn more about caring for their skin and finding the best products for it. Debbie’s passion for educating around skin care is well-known in the MOB, so it isn’t a surprise that she loves to work with people who want to build a long-term relationship with their skin care therapist.
You can find Debbie online at:
website: SkinSense Spa, LLC
Abbi Wood is a professional wordsmith who connects business owners with their audience through words that shine. She first realized how helpful her word skills were in college when she began to help fellow students with their writing. When we asked Abbi what inspired her to start her business she said, “Being nosy. I couldn’t sit back and not meddle; these days I’m better about waiting until asked before helping!”
She loves the freedom of working for herself. “I can work from anywhere with an internet connection and any time of day/night I choose. No 9-5 hours for me! I fit my biz into my life, and not the other way around. I make time for the things that are most important to me (family and gym) so I’m not bringing my clients a burnt-out, stressed wordsmith. I’m 81% chill and 19% pedantic. Mostly, I love what I do and I have fun doing it. When it counts, I stand my ground,” she says.
Abbi says she has many mentors. “I surround myself with mentors all day long. Those that have had a direct impact: my husband, Erik Wood, owner of Geeks to Go for sharing this life with me and supporting me all the way in everything I do and want to do; Selena Maestas of The Love YOU More Project for reminding me that I can be a priority in my own life; Gwen Montoya for gently walking me through the scary biz thing called marketing with her monthly Build Your Marketing Muscles group; Emily Roach of Biz BFF for giving me the skills I need to adult in biz; Mindy Schoeneman of Sincerely Me Words for being my sister in biz and putting community over competition every single day of the week. Nedra Rezinas of Blue Deer Forest is the voice of reason in my life; she understands what I’m going through before I even say it and I can’t thank her enough for sharing her expertise with me. The (not so) funny thing is that I could keep going – I love my MOB community!”
Despite having a long list of mentors and business allies, Abbi shares that the most challenging time is always at the beginning. “Whether it’s the very beginning, or beginning of a new chapter in my biz. You’d think growing gets easier the more you do it – nope! And therein lies the challenge: always being up for change and growth. Thank God for the people in my life,” she says.
She advises new business owners to do the best they can at the moment. “Don’t sacrifice progress for perfection; do it anyway; do it the best way you know how. There are countless resources that make things easier for us – get involved and learn about them so you can do the hard things in a relatively easy way. And as a person who polishes words for a living, this is not hard to say at all: you have to pull the plug occasionally and just put something out there. Something always beats nothing. So if you’re weighing your options and pondering your way through perfectionist tendencies – every minute you spend debating and wondering and weighing is another minute you’re not doing it,” she explains.
Abbi loves to work with business owners in different ways. From someone who wants an extra set of eyes on their business communications to someone who wants to outsource it all, Abbi has a service for you. She is always growing and expanding her services to meet the needs she sees in her community. “I’ve recently branched out to offering workshops around language in biz, so anyone looking to learn and grow with their community should stalk me a little and then reach out,” she says.
She says her biggest accomplishment is pushing through fear. “I keep doing the scary things with the help and support of people around me. I just want to take a second and say that if you don’t have people, I’ll be that person for you. All you have to do is reach out.”
Abbi loves being a MOB for the community. “Being involved with a group that is conquering biz and personal lives! It’s the ultimate representation of biznality!
She offers new MOB Alliance members 33% savings on her bio writing support package (10% off is her standard Alliance discount).
You can find Abbi online at:
Tamara grew up in Washington, and has lived in the Vancouver area for most of her life. She’s been married for 15 years and is a mom of two teens.
She also owns two very different businesses. Her first business, opened in 2015, is Forever Spring Cleaning. Her second business, which she owns with her partner Paige (who also owns All Star Fusion), is the NW Escape Experience. She’s also a devoted cheer mom. “I’ve served as President of my daughter’s cheer gym boosters for the past 3 years. I'm a complete cheer mom (without the drama),” she says.
In March of this year, she did something she is extremely proud of - she took a leap and left her full-time corporate job to focus on her businesses.
She admits she loves a clean house. “My favorite past time as a child was waking up on a Sunday morning spending time with my mom and sister for family cleaning day,” she explains.
Although she tried to keep that tradition going with her own children, they were less than enthusiastic about cleaning with her. She soon realized that cleaning wasn’t something that many really enjoyed and it took a lot of quality family time away. Tamara realized that if she was dealing with this issue then there would be a lot of other families dealing with it, too. “My goal with Forever Spring Cleaning is to help other families find time in their business lives to spend more quality time together as a family and less time worrying about the cleanliness of their homes by providing cleaning services to SW Washington,” she says.
Tamara says all the MOBs she has met are her mentors in some way, shape or form. “I get so much from this group. The support is just outstanding.” She also looks up to her business partner Paige Major (co-owner of NW Escape Experience). “She's a very creative person and we work very well together. Probably because we both have very different strength and weaknesses!”
Her biggest business struggle is the work/life juggle familiar to most MOBs. “I tend to let work consume all of my time and I have to stop and realize that I'm doing this to better the lives of my children and spend more time with them,” she explains.
She advises new business owners to hire professionals to take care of the tasks they aren’t experts in. “Although this may seem like a shameless plug, and I guess it is, hire a housekeeper to clean your home, a landscaper to do your yard, a personal assistant to do those tedious tasks so that you can focus on what is going to help your business grow and give you the ability to spend more time with your children. Because that's why most us are in business for ourselves...so we can provide a good life for our family and spend more quality time with them,” she says.
Her ideal referral for housekeeping is anyone that doesn't have time or doesn't want to spend time cleaning their own home, anyone that is moving and needs a good deep cleaning, or anyone looking to help with organization. For the NW Escape Experience, a good referral is anyone who would like a fun night out but is tired of the same old date nights.
She says she loves working for herself because she can be there for her kids. “I love being able to go to school events and not have to ask for time off!” Tamara also relishes the control that comes from being in charge. “I love being in control of my own destiny! I love helping other women be it providing them with a clean home or hiring employees that are also moms and giving them an opportunity to grow as a person,” she says.
She shares the story of one of her employees. “She was a wife and a mother of 3 who had never had a job. After her divorce, she had no experience but had to find employment. I saw something in her during her interview and took a chance. She has now worked for me for almost two years, has been promoted to a supervisor, and has the ability to provide for her three kids! The best thing is that she gets told by her children that they are proud of her!”
Tamara says she loves being a MOB because it gives her a sense of belonging. “The group is so supportive and encouraging. I know that I have a group of like-minded women in my corner at all times.”
You can find Tamara online at: