Recently, I received an email from Kim Lawrence. She introduced herself as having heard about The Rockwall County Housewives in the City from a member of a group she belongs to. They thought the two of us should team up and work together. Kim and I cater to the same type of women in our professions. Kim wanted to help educate the women in our age bracket about how to care for their baby-boomer parents. I couldn't have agreed more and that is why Kim Lawrence with Seasoned Life Transitions, is our most recent Rockwall County Housewives Leading Lady!
In 2016, Kim Lawrence's mother suffered a severe stroke. In one phone call, her life was changed forever. She was now a caregiver to a loved one. She learned the hard way how difficult it was to transition one's life and that of another.
She had to figure out an exit strategy from a business she had owned for 18 years in Austin, sell, not only her own home, but her mother's too. She then needed to purchase a new home that could be made accessible for her mother, would allow them to live together, and find quality in-home care assistance. She would also be downsizing and either moving, selling, or storing all of the contents from both homes during this process. A daunting task to say the least.
The experiences she encountered revealed to her the tremendous need that baby boomers and their parents have to be prepared for these kinds of life events.
It became her mission to help educate the community, as well as, offer a service that helps them get through the overwhelming process of downsizing a loved one's home.
Describe yourself in three words: Dependable, hard-working, and honest.
What do you consider your greatest professional achievement? Being successful with my own wholesale distribution business for 18 years and seeing "my baby" (that I started from scratch) successfully acquired has been my greatest achievement thus far. I do have more goals; however, so I may still top that one!
What are your professional goals for the next six months? Being new to Rockwall, I am devoted to continuing to help the community and build a network of other senior service professionals. I organized a group of ten different companies to put together a free seminar called, "Are You Ready...When Life Comes Knocking?", which is set for February 3, 2018. I will also continue to promote and build my downsizing and consignment service business, helping others who are ready to pare down their possessions.
I just completed a course with Asheford Institute of Antiques and expect to receive my diploma and PACC Appraiser certificate in September. I am working towards USPAP certifcation in the fall. I will also continue writing a blog called "Diary of a Seasoned Life" as another vehicle to help others (www.theseasonedlifeblog.com).
What profession other than your own would you like to attempt? What I am doing now is my new found profession. Helping people and having fun in the world of antiques and collectibles is my dream job.
How do you maintain a work/life balance? I would not be able to do all that I do if it were not for the in-home caregiving service. Having help to care for my mom is crucial for my own sanity, as well as, mom's quality of life. Working from a home office is also helpful. I can work from my computer, study, and research whenever I have some free time.
What websites do you visit every day? I read and post things on Facebook quite a bit. I also have been going through Ebay and other sites that sell antiques and collectibles to research values and help identify items.
What are your top three favorite people/places/things to do in your city? Again, being new to Rockwall (since May), I am still discovering great places. I currently seem to spend most of my time in Kroger and Home Depot! I have met so many great people, but Karen Mendenhall, Steve Hanson, and Jason Dugsdale have all been great in helping me meet people.
What is your goal for retirement? I do not intend to ever officially retire. I tell people that I hope to be like Joan Rivers and continue being productive and working until I drop dead.
Do you have any advice for women who'd like to start their own company? The number one thing is to find a way to build a business around something for which you feel passion and love. Once you have an idea, you must take the time to put a business plan together. Doing your research and running the numbers is crucial. Can you be profitable doing this? You must also be honest with yourself about whether you have the skills to run a business. There are many people who are very talented, but have no business sense.
Any final comments? It is so important for families to have a frank discussion with each other about what is expected when a loved one is experiencing a life event. If parents think that their children will want all of their things and just know what to do, they are terribly mistaken. There is an arsenal of things a caregiver will have thrown at them at once and it is overwhelming beyond belief. Preparing in advance and having a plan in place would take so much of that stress away. Don't leave a burden to your loved ones.
Visit her at our next Girls Night Out event in October at The Landing at Chandlers. Allow Kim to evaluate some of your collectibles and see what they appraise for!
Connect with Kim Lawrence and Seasoned Life Transitions at:
Advice Blog: www.theseasonedlifeblog.com
"We really found home here in Royse City, we've fallen in love with this community and the down-home people."
Growing up in the freezing winters of Minnesota, Jennifer always wanted to live in Texas. When she was offered a position with American Airlines, based in Dallas, she jumped on it!! She worked her way up the corporate ladder there, and in her 16 years at American, she met her husband of 25 years, Nicolas. Together, they have two children, Noea, a college student at UCCS in Colorado, and Jaxon, a sophomore at Royse City High School.
Jennifer and her sister always talked about having a business together. They wanted a family-operation that supported their community and envisioned a meeting and dining location and a social gathering place. After many years of talking about it, they decided to take the plunge, both walking away from the security of their long term career jobs.
For one year, they worked service industry jobs focusing on reintroducing themselves into the restaurant industry. They experienced God opening many doors, and even closing a few that eventually led them to Historic Main Street in Royse City. "We really found home here in Royse City, we've fallen in love with this community and the down-home people."
Royse City has welcomed them with open arms, and the residents have really helped make their dream come true. The Well Lounge gives back to the community by offering Live Music EVERY Friday and Saturday night, they support our First Responders by having a donation “Coffee Jogger”, where patrons can drop in money. When a uniformed First Responder comes into The Well for anything, they help pay for their order with the donations. They also have Bow-Wow Bingo night, where they partner with the Lions Club, and all the bingo proceeds help the Royse City Animal Shelter.
Jennifer has served on Royse City's Heritage Board for four years, and also volunteers at the First United Methodist Food Pantry, "Our Daily Bread". She feels that God lead her to this little town called Royse City, where her family continues to be enriched by so many treasured customers and friends. "I can't wait to see its continued growth and development into an urban place, we plan to call home well into our retirement!"
Describe yourself in three words:
Committed, Blessed & Appreciative
What do you consider your greatest professional achievement?
The continued growth and success of The Well Coffee Lounge, we will celebrate our 10 year anniversary in 2018.
What are your professional goals for the next six months?
To expand our business by offering beer and wine. This will provide a new venue for evening social gatherings and events in Rockwall County.
What profession other than your own would you like to attempt?
I would love to own my own lakeside resort; complete with cabins, supper club, and recreational facilities
How do you maintain a work/life balance?
I stick to a weekly schedule that includes family time/time at home and days off to share with family and friends.
What websites do you visit every day?
I don't spend a lot of time online, but I ALWAYS check Facebook
What are your top three favorite people/places/things to do in your city?
I love to gather with friends at our many local craft breweries and restaurants. I shop local, and enjoy all of our many boutiques and salons.
What is your goal for retirement?
Work a little, play a lot
Do you have any advice for women who'd like to start their own company?
Always start with a well-constructed business plan, have a servant's heart and pray for guidance & wisdom.
Any final comments?
What I have loved most about owning our little coffee haven, is the neighbors I have met in our wonderful community who I now consider friends...all over a cup of Java!
How do our readers connect with you online?
Business Facebook Page: @WellCoffeeLounge
The Well Coffee Lounge
103 E Main St, Royse City, TX 75189
My name is Dawn McKee. I live in Royse City, Tx with my husband, Billy; 2 boys, Grant (away at college) and Grayson, who is almost 11; and our 13 year old Labrador, Jewel. I've never passed an Estate Sale I didn't break for, and I HAVE to have my morning coffee...ALL DAY!!