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How Ladybosses Are Navigating COVID-19

Across the region, businesses and organizations are finding creative ways to operate amidst the COVID-19 pandemic. We spoke with a few local Ladybosses to find out how they are navigating this new normal.

Nicole Mendoza, Lead Photographer + Owner Nicole Midwest 

Nicole Mendoza

“I’m a photographer whose income is mainly weddings. The whole wedding industry’s hearts go out to all of the couples affected by the virus, and we are doing everything we can! Right now I’m grateful to have a full team, which opens up a lot of dates for weddings to be rescheduled due to the virus. As a team, we’re taking it one step at a time. We send each other encouraging messages in our group chat and prioritize our clients every day to make sure the transition to new dates goes smoothly! 

Nancy Ellering, Owner Rest Day Massage Therapy

Nancy Ellering

“I own a one-room massage studio specializing in massage for athletes. It’s a tough time to be in the business of touching people in a small, enclosed space! I’ve been closed down for a few weeks now, but have been partnering up with my pal Courtney Shoemaker with Shoe Fly Yoga Fitness Adventure and putting on Flexy From Home yoga classes. The hope is to keep my clients stretching until they can come in for some body work! 

I’ve also been doing online continuing education courses that I don’t typically have time to do while I’m massaging full-time. I remodeled my studio and have been trying to write some blogs with tips on how to stay flexy while at home.”

Maddy Gavle, Director of Marketing and Media + Hairstylist Salon 3|5

Maddy Gavle

“We were one of the last salons open before being mandated by the governor to shut down. We really have no good way of adjusting, since our business is solely based around touching and being closer than six feet from people. But we are still finding ways to cope and hope to come out of this strong! We have been more active on social media and our website. We also recently started a podcast, Honestology, and will be uploading an episode weekly instead of twice a month.”

Audra Maurer, Doula Rauha Birth Services

Audra Maurer

“I am a Full-Spectrum Doula and owner of Rauha Birth Services. With restrictions on supporting clients in-person at hospitals in our area, I have developed virtual services ranging from one-time Zoom support calls to help the birthing person plan for these unexpected changes, to full virtual support for folks during labor. This can be a very scary time to be expecting and preparing to birth. Some are looking at switching to home births, many are worried about separation from their newborn and/or partner. Developing new, accessible offerings for all is an important way for me to help birthing persons and their partners navigate this time.”

Ashley Ham, Co-Founder Dear NICU Mama 

Nicu Mama

“To support and encourage NICU mamas in our community, we have started offering virtual Girls Night Outs! Many of our moms have been living in isolation since October because their children are immunocompromised, and spring is typically a time where they begin to ‘emerge’ into the real world again. These GNO have been a really fun way to connect with each other and take our minds off of all things COVID-19. We have also been really intentional about posting content that is affirmative and hopeful, and one of the ways we have done that is by interviewing a variety of mental health specialists on our podcast that specialize in maternal mental health. Our mission is to bring any NICU mom out of isolation—even virtually! We are all in this together.”

Christina Hemmer, Vice President of Clinical Services Dakota Boys and Girls Ranch

Christina Hemmer

“Dakota Boys and Girls Ranch is doing several things to help people get through the crisis. In our residential programs, we are using Zoom to ensure kids continue to feel connected to family and friends they may not be able to see during this time. Dakota Family Services, the outpatient clinic founded by Dakota Boys and Girls Ranch, is offering virtual community chats on Fridays at 1 p.m. for parents and community members. DFS is also offering special teletherapy sessions for those struggling with COVID-related anxiety. 

Dakota Boys and Girls Ranch Thrift Stores temporarily closed to keep the community and our employees safe. But we do have online stores on Etsy, eBay, and Poshmark. Our retail operations are a vital part of our operation as they help underwrite the services we provide to children and their families through our residential program, school, and outpatient clinic. We are grateful to our communities for continuing to support kids and families during this time!

Paula Reyes, General Manager Hooligan’s Bar and Grill

Paula Reyes

“We are open for curbside and delivery, but have taken a different route to be creative during this time. This applies to everything from discontinuing any outside delivery services to allow our employees more work opportunities, introducing new food styles and specials daily, and vamping up our social media. Everything is self-ran, from making our menus to our marketing. Our latest project is a Drive-In Social Distanced Theater!”

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Written by Katie Beedy

Paul Smith

Leading Your Business Into A Post-COVID-19 World