We are working diligently on our Stephen T and Vikki Lee show… A bigger undertaking than we originally thought. We did get this clip edited in time to wish everyone an awesome holiday season. Be sure to watch all the way to the end… because I sing!!! (not a good thing) It really is a testament to one stepping out of their comfort zone for a laugh! Thanks Stephen T.
I found some pictures from a project from 15 years ago…. and all these years later I am still hands on! I wanted everyone to know that I do not drive around in a big red truck, bossing everyone around. I do have a big gray truck, but it is full of tools I use and yes I still climb ladders. I am crazy about my work! I have always said that I will probably die with a hammer in my hand, but I haven’t missed a thing! Stephen
Happily, our Holidays are headed our way.. The plethora of activity goes on and on.. We prepare the ambiance, and then we think of what we can do for others. Southern Smarts pauses to consider all the worlds ministries that need attention, and we are going to jump into the gift of giving. When we say that to the world, we see that sometimes the world can be a next door neighbor who lost a loved one last year. Sometimes it can be acknowledging a person on the street, and feeling compassion in your heart for what they may have gone through. Always, there is the hope of Santa Clause for needy children. There are meals to be cooked for homeless and hungry. There are donations to be made for enslaved, and persecuted. There is abundant need for refugees, the repressed, rejected, and victims of natural disaster. The list goes on, but it starts with a recognition, and then the unabashed desire to satisfy what touches you. If you want to give yourself a gift, let something outside yourself break your heart, make you mad, and make you cry. Make it forever. Then get attached to your calling. Make it as much a part of your life as the gym, your next vacation, and your next promotion. When you discover the vision, and the passion to give to others, you have given the best present ever to yourself…
Welcome aboard the flight path that is my life. During this trip, you might want to pull down your window shade, fasten your seatbelt or occasionally don your oxygen mask! I am almost 50 years old and am reinventing my life. Having lost both parents too early, battling thyroid cancer, filing bankruptcy and losing my house, this path has been both difficult and challenging. I have embraced the hard times; though, and am now putting the pieces back together and running a successful small business called FetchSitandStay, 1st Class Concierge. I am the face of many in the year 2013. I am an entrepreneur.
After my career as a commercial flight attendant came to an end, I moved on to private flying. I adored the ability to “make it my own.” I wore many hats and had so much responsibility and I thrived in that environment. I was able to unleash my need to be creative as I planned my international flights, set up executive meetings, developed menus, stocked the aircraft and prepared amazing culinary delights at 40,000 feet. But then one day; with absolutely no notice, I was ushered into the office, told they were ‘downsizing’ and asked for my badges, keys and credit cards. That was it. It was over.
After sending out hundreds of resumes, it seemed my time as a corporate flight attendant had come to an end. After dealing with the initial shock of yet another huge loss in my life, I knew that I had to do something better. I decided to take everything that I loved about that world and try to create a business where I could do it all at ground level. And so, I became FetchSitandStay, 1st Class Concierge. I wanted to be a personal assistant to busy executives and extra hands for the moms who had to juggle activities with children in three different schools. I got my Realtor’s license so I could assist my friends who didn’t have time to put a for sale sign up at a new listing. I got my Certified Nursing Assistant License so I could offer senior care. I took some cooking classes to fill another need for private chef services. I took event planning courses so I could help with Charlotte’s posh party scene. I also started walking dogs.
I have been involved in animal rescue for years and have done fostering, transportation, donating, networking and fundraising. I have helped build a fence for a dog who had only known a chain. I have taken newborn kittens from one city to another so they would have a chance at a happy life with a willing rescue group. I have donated time and money and have tirelessly posted unwanted animals on social media networks to spread the word of their availability. I hosted a huge fundraiser recently and was able to give $500 each to 3 deserving local rescue groups. Animals are my passion and based on the calls I get, this is where the needs are in my community. Pets are like children and most people want to make sure their pets are well-cared for even in hard economic times. For many, boarding is not an option and FetchSitandStay is the answer. What makes our company different, is that we stay in your home while you are away and not just from 9pm-6am like most. We are there, keeping your babies comfortable in their own environments, giving them the ability to stay in their normal routines and giving them lots of love and attention. We also offer daily visits and mid-day potty breaks and dog walks.
As my friends know, I have a hard time wrapping anything up and giving it an ending. My life is like that. It’s an on-going story of take-offs, cruises at altitude and sometimes rough landings. But I always land on my feet and start running again. Only now, I usually have a dog attached.
It is with great pride we begin this new path here at Southern Smarts. As many of you know the major focus of Southern Smarts is “simple living for simpler times’. Unless one has been living under a rock, we have recognized the economy has been sluggish at best. Millions of people have found their lives changed forever and most look for exciting and innovative ways to recover. An important segment of society that has been hit particularly hard is the 40-65 year old range. Through Corporate downsizing, and changing opportunities we are finding ourselves in the unique position of reinvention. companies no longer recruit in a traditional way. Older hiring practices have become obsolete. How can a group of educated, hardworking, and sensical potential employees become the work force of the future? How can this group highlight their skills, and share their many talents? Ultimately, how can this important group blow through many superficial barriers, and do what they do best?
This unique group has inspired Southern Smarts to focus on the “New Entrepreneurs”. These folks are taking their lives in new directions by starting new businesses and giving opportunities to themselves and others. It takes courage to switch gears anytime in life, let alone towards midlife. Many of us had planned, focused, and worked hard for many years to reach success and secure our futures, and we can do it again!
In the future, we will highlight people who have become a little older, and a lot wiser. They have faced huge challenges, and transformed them into something personally and economically rewarding. We would love to hear your stories, and hope you enjoy all we have to share.
Southern Smarts will now be featuring a new Entrepreneur every two weeks that are making a difference and creating new lives for themselves and their communities. We certainly hope their stories will help promote their businesses and give hope to those that are trying to embark on their own path.
We encourage all our readers to please let us know if they or someone they know would like to be featured . We are so excited to be starting this new path and look forward to hearing from all of you. You may visit our FB page and comment or send us a private message regarding a featured entrepreneur. Stay tuned to hear about Stephanie Wade, our first featured entrepreneur.
Have a fantastic Day!
Steven Chaberek, Southern Smarts.
Rob grew up in Waynesboro, VA where he learned to love the outdoors. He attended and graduated from the Art Institute of Atlanta in 1985 with a degree in Visual Communications.
After college, Rob moved to Charlotte, NC and worked for several advertising agencies before joining one of the nations largest banking companies – eventually earned a creative director’s position. His career with the bank spanned 13 years, 3 corporate name changes and countless mergers.
Today, Rob makes his home in Charlotte, NC with his wife Heather, his children Morgan, John and their golden retrievers, Annie and Sophie.
If you don’t find him in the garden planting something colorful or on the lake fishing, he’s probably in his studio trying to put images to paper or canvas.
I’ve always loved to create things whether it’s sewing, cooking, decorating or scrapbooking. While working on a Christmas present for my son I found a cute piece of fabric with cats on it. I immediately thought of my friend Shirley and her cat. I knew I wanted to make an apron but didn’t have a definite pattern in mind.
At home I realized that the apron I wear the most is one that belonged to my great-grandmother. It is made from an old flour sack and the printing is still visible on the back side of the apron. I love it because of its history but also because it is comfortable. I can wear it for hours and even forget I have it on.
From there my small business was born. I love working with fun and bright fabrics, anything that makes me smile. A lot of my aprons are not just traditional “food” prints but anything from polka dots to paisley. I love creating something new so I keep experimenting with new ideas and am hoping to begin a line from recycled fabrics like vintage tablecloths. I have a few mother/daughter sets and some holiday theme aprons.
It’s not too late to place an order for Christmas. You can contact me via email at email@example.com. Aprons are $16 each with $2 shipping and fabric samples can be viewed on my Facebook page using the following link.
Howard Schultz, CEO of Starbucks and Opportunity Finance Network are working together
to create and sustain jobs in underserved communities. They specialize in bringing low-cost
loans to small business startups, assist them in business planning, and get them to the point
of hiring new employees. To say I was shocked that a titan of corporate america see’s a direction
and is willing to put his money where his mouth is was an understatement. Before posting to this
blog, I checked out a couple of interviews Mr. Schultz did and found him to be a breath
of fresh air. He seems to have a tremendous amount of knowledge and ideas on how to bring America back
Starbucks is donating the first 5 million dollars and as of Nov 1, 2012 we all can donate, just $5.00.
We think this is a great idea, and will be donating ourselves. Check out the link provided. We look forward
bringing you more stories like this!! Lets bring back the great USA! We all can make a difference. S. Chaberek