Jenny owns a drop-in daycare in Portland called Kids Klubhouse. Founded in 1992 and owned by Jenny since 2008, Kids Klubhouse is a state-licensed center that fills the need of parents needing a fun night out or a few hours of childcare during the day.
She was born in the United States, but grew up with family in Taiwan. She explains, “Most people don't know this, but technically English is a second language for me. We moved back when I was eight, and I learned to speak English but forgot how to speak Chinese which is probably one of my biggest regrets.”
Jenny began working with kids after high school before moving to Portland to attend culinary school. “After realizing that working in a restaurant wasn't the right job for me, I decided to try child care again and found that being around kids and providing a safe and fun environment is what really made me happy,” she says.
Her father passed away in 2005 and left her a small inheritance. “I really wanted to honor my dad by using the money wisely. I had been working for Kids Klubhouse and when the previous owner started talking about retiring, I knew it was my chance to invest my money,” she says.
Jenny counts the former owner of Kids Klubhouse, Fran, as longtime mentor. “While working for her, she became like a mom/therapist/friend to me. Even after selling the business, she and her husband have continued to guide me and offer support whenever help is needed,” she explains.
One of her biggest struggles has been to not take things personally. She understands that a daycare or provider isn’t the right option for every child, but it is challenging when a client doesn’t come back or chooses to leave a negative review without contacting her first to resolve any issues.
Jenny says she also struggles with the business side of running a business. “Playing with and entertaining children? I got it! Knowing where to advertise? Managing staff and their issues? It's like I'm wandering around in the dark,” she says.
However, she is proud of owning and running her own business where she gets to help families. “I love that I get to set my hours, and that I get to be a part of so many families' lives. Also, I get to bring my babies to work with me, once they get old enough,” says Jenny.
She advises new business owners to reach out and network. “Don't try to do it all yourself, you'll go crazy. People are out there that WANT to help you, you just have to let them!!”
She is most excited about being a MOB NW member because of the community she has found. “Finding my tribe, and a place where I feel accepted and understood. I think we've all been there when we have kids and lose some friends. I've always felt that owning and running a business has caused some friends to distance themselves from me as well. It is nice to have a place where people understand that sometimes personal time/plans come after family and business,” she explains.
Her ideal referrals are parents with children ages 30 months to 12 years in need of childcare. Kids Klubhouse is just 5 minutes from downtown Portland and a few miles from Highway 26 and 217.
You can find Jenny online at: