Have you ever met a successful business owner and wonder what is her secret? We asked the National Association of Women Business Owners (NAWBO)to get some answers. Joining us now is Karen Albright, owner of BodyLase®, a Raleigh Med Spa.
“I had been home for five years after practicing law for some the time so when my third child finally went to kindergarten it was time to go back to work. I thought about what I can do but didn’t really want to go back into practicing law because it wouldn’t give me that much flexibility with my children. After a casual conversation with my sister in Chicago, that led me to learn about laser hair removal. And at that time, about twelve years ago, Raleigh didn’t have a lot of laser hair removal centers. I thought it would be a great business to bring to Raleigh, a Raleigh Med Spa.”
It was something that she was genuinely interested which makes all the difference in the world. When you are a stay at home mom, busy with three children, it can be difficult to make that transition back into the workforce.
“It was difficult but we managed,” said Albright. “I kind of decided to give up making dinner. I gave up laundry and just focused on things that were important which was spending time with my children and my business. I now get help with all the other stuff and that really made a difference to me.”
I’ve heard a lot of women say that phrase “you can have it all but not necessarily have it all right now.” Does working affect your parenting? Do you feel like it makes you a better mother to be getting out of the house and having your own thing?
“I’m definitely happier to be getting out of the house. I wasn’t happy staying home everyday all day so I love having a little something to do. And I think I am a good role model for my daughter. She is now getting ready to go to college next year. I do make sure I’m home for the kids after school and I can do that because I do on my own business. It gives me that flexibility to work from home. With computers and cell phones, it’s pretty easy to work from home.”
What would you say is one of the keys to being able to strike the right balance? “This definitely makes your life so much more enjoyable if you can figure out that work life balance challenge.” It there something that you learned along the way to building your business, that you wish you knew when you got started? Something you’d like to share with other women? “I wish that I had given myself a break.”
“When you’re going through starting a business, even a Raleigh Med Spa, it is hard. Lots of tears. Lots of frustrations and I think if I just had given myself a little bit of a break, it would have been a little smoother in the beginning.”
Did you enjoy join NAWBO in the beginning? “Actually I didn’t. I waited till my business was about five years old before joining. It was wonderful. I wish I had joined earlier to be honest with you. That is something I would say I would have done in the beginning. NAWBO offers a great support network for women in business. They have all been through what I’ve been through. And it’s just nice to have someone you can relate to.”
Did you have to do a lot of learning about laser hair removal in order to start your business? “There was a lot of training but my husband’s a physician so that really helped. He brought in the medical knowledge and we opened this business together. That was great assistance plus we have on going training on all the technology.”
NAWBO holds monthly meetings and you can learn more about this organization at www.nawbo-raleigh.org