Being an entrepreneur can be incredibly rewarding. Not only do you have the potential to make a significant impact on the world, but you also have the freedom to pursue your passions and create something truly unique…such as merging occupational therapy with home design and construction.
While there are certainly challenges to overcome, the benefits of being an entrepreneur far outweigh the risks. Taking risks and exploring new ventures is what keeps us motivated and inspired. The path to success is never a straight line. But perhaps the greatest benefit of all is the sense of fulfillment and satisfaction that comes from following your dreams and making a difference in the world.
Starting a business can be a challenging but rewarding experience. As I reflect on the exciting, risk-taking adventure of Blue Day 2 in late 2018 I was also realistic about the amount of time it would take to simply build my business. It does not grow overnight we may not even see success for a few years. The first year is often a loss, but with perseverance, dedication, and hard work, you can achieve your goals. In addition, knowing I couldn’t take on the housing crisis on my own, I also felt called to start a coalition, the Inclusive Design Alliance, to rally a village and make a change that requires collaboration and effort over the course of several years.
As I mention collaboration, let’s rewind even more. I met my friend, colleague, and partner in crime, Gretchen Kingma six years ago when she just started her business, Empowered Homes, and making her mark as a new realtor (and also occupational therapist). She’s “the” OT Realtor! Her burning passion for universal design and accessibility in the housing industry was comparable to mine! I didn’t want to scare off my first date with this amazing gal whom I was set up with via another OT in another state, so I said under my breath, “Someday we will work together and we will be a power duo.” Let’s just say, setting wildfires because nothing will simmer our burning passion for equality and inclusion in the housing industry.
During the 5 years of running Blue Day 2, I have completed multiple small bathroom projects (virtually and in-person), consulted on multiple new construction floor plan reviews, meticulously fine-tuned the nitty gritty details of a full home remodel and a commercial project, and presented several education presentations to universities and organizations including a visit to the capital of Missouri with Gretchen and our colleague, Lori, to pitch a proposition. One that would help realtors identify existing homes on the market that are universal design-ready. Meaning, a home that could be easily modified for universal accessibility. After five years of running this alone, I have finally joined forces with my dream partner, Gretchen! As occupational therapists, we rely on each other and usually do not prefer to work alone because we are well aware that collaboration is more of a holistic approach to client-centered care. Think about a medical team working together on a complicated medical case that requires more than a doctor and a nurse...the WHOLE team including therapists, social workers, etc. problem solve TOGETHER.
It is time to branch beyond Blue Day 2 and join my friend, fellow OT, and now business partner in the launch of our new, mom / women-owned construction company, Custom Joy. We share a similar vision and values, and I believe that together we can achieve even greater things. Combining our strengths and resources will allow us to expand our reach and provide even better products and services to our customers, what we call, ‘end-to-end solutions.’ I am looking forward to this new chapter and cannot wait to see what we can accomplish together!
What does this mean for Blue Day 2? She will still be around - as I love to write blogs about traveling and all things universal design. All our blogs will still be found here at Blue Day 2 however, all of our services will be transferred to Custom Joy. We will start accepting new clients after July 1, 2023.
To all my clients, fans, supporters, partners…everyone…THANK YOU for being a part of Blue Day 2 and I hope to see you around at Custom Joy!