If it hasn’t been made evident by now, we love people here at AAT! We love hearing about their stories and passions for our community, but we also love hearing about what our fellow locals do and why they do it! For example, we have some wonderful neighbors who own/manager some fantastic local businesses and serve our town tremendously by doing so! This fact is why AAT has partnered up with our good friends at B3 Glass, to bring you all “Small Business Fridays!” Each week, we’ll feature a different, local small business and talk with its owner and hear about their journey, their business in general, as well as their heart for their customers and our city!
This week, we’re talking with Hayley Baumgartner who has a couple of interesting aspects to who she is. One, Hayley is a business owner/health and lifestyle coach through her business WellnessNV. Two, Hayley is the chapter leader for Elko’s branch of The MOB Nation organization. What exactly is The MOB Nation you ask? That’s a great question; the group has only been in Elko as of March 2018, so don’t feel silly for asking it! The MOB Nation is a movement that empowers mother business owners through community, education, networking and by working to change how moms in business are perceived. The collective consists of multiple chapters in US states such as Oregon, Washington, California, Nevada, Hawaii, and Texas. Nevada specifically has branches in Reno, Henderson, Las Vegas, and of course, Elko/Spring Creek! However, I (Anthony Crosby) am by no means a MOB expert; let’s learn a little more about it from Hayley, herself! “It started in Portland a couple of years ago (2012). The woman who founded it went to all of these other kinds of networking groups and just saw that they were kind of stiff, especially since she was a single mom who couldn’t find a sitter! So, she started the group to be a safe place where moms, no matter how they looked or what business they did, could come together and support each other. One of my girlfriends is a mom up in Portland, Oregon. She told me about this awesome networking group that is looking to open new chapters in other states. I looked into it; I liked it and applied to be a part of it, and within a week I was the new chapter leader for Elko County. It all happened really fast, but the Elko chapter has taken off! It’s been amazing and interesting to see all the women who are actually in this area who own their businesses! There is so much here, and it’s been so much fun to meet all these women. We currently have once-a-month meetups at different local businesses alternating between Elko and Spring Creek, and all the meetups are kid friendly. It’s a great time where women can drop in, network, and enjoy some wine and food! It’s a really nice time. We also have our MOB Alliance which is our paid monthly membership group who act at the strongholds of women business owners in the community. The women who are a part of the alliance jumping on this have seen huge growth from being a part of it.”
Thank you for giving us some solid insight into the movement, Hayley. As the chapter leader in our area, it may be useful for some of our readers to get to know you a little bit; tell us about yourself! “I am a fifth-generation Nevadan; my boys are sixth generation Nevadans, so Nevada is in our blood and bones! I was born and raised in Reno; I’ve been here (Elko) for about nine years after meeting my husband who was working for Barrick at the time. That’s how I (physically) ended up here in Elko, but my journey has just developed into me wanting to support other women in our community, truly; that is my goal. I went through a health scare that totally changed my life a couple of years ago, and it got me thinking about why I am here as I was a stay at home mom who wasn’t really doing anything for the community. Ever since I’ve joined my son’s PTA, I’ve volunteered for the Elko County Fair for the past couple of years, and I went through the certification for health coaching. After my own scare, I realized I didn’t want other women to feel the loneliness and fear that I did; that was a mindset change for me because growing up, I saw other women as competition. However, a switch flipped inside of my head to where I wanted to figure out a way in my life to help other women.”
Hayley, what would you say is a common challenge you and some of your fellow mommy entrepreneurs may have faced/are facing as you ladies look to find success in our town? “It can be a struggle if you’re not from around here. If you don’t know the right people to talk to, it can be hard to get certain opportunities. This was a huge part behind starting a MOB Nation chapter in our area because I wasn’t from here, and I didn’t want there to be any restrictions for someone who may find it hard to break into a specific Elko “scene.” The whole idea was to take away any of the stiffness when it comes to networking. Some moms come in jeans, some moms come in yoga pants, and some moms do come dressed up because it is fun to dress up every once and a while! You can just come as you are.”
If a mother business owner is reading this feature right now but is on the fence about trying out something like The MOB Nation, what kind of encouragement would you offer her? “Life is a struggle as a mom; no matter what, there are obstacles every single day. I guess we’re the ones who are crazy enough to try and juggle both business and family! However, there’s usually a need for the business in the family or the mom’s life as she’s trying to have that fulfillment. That’s why I encourage women to come out and try MOB, even if they’re nervous because the community and support found at MOB are much more than they may think. No matter how put together we may look on the outside, we’re all struggling in our own ways, and we need that support.”
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See you around a local business, Elko!