Fundraising to continue my dream
Created October 10th- Viewable by link only
My name is Cara Edwards. I own and operate Edwards Aesthetics and I have been in business just over 5 years.
There is a great chance you already know who I am professionally and personally if you have been directed here to this page on my website.
If you don't know who I am and what my business stands for, all I ask is a few moments of your time. to get to know me, my story, why I love living my dream everyday, and importantly how you could be apart of something so dear to me. Thank you for reading.
It is no secret to many that I love doing what I love doing. From servicing my clients to helping local/non local professionals in my industry. Some experiences from my clients vary but there is no doubt each story you hear has the same underlying message. The dedication, uplifting, supportive, compassionate, and emotional response I have for every single person I have the pleasure of having in my life and in my business.
I have been married for 9 years this December. Of those nine years the past five years I have dedicated the largest portion of my life to building a business from the ground up. Building a name for myself that didn't require a loan but instead sacrifice. After graduating from Esthetics school I knew I wanted to work for myself. I wanted to invest in myself. We, my husband and I, wanted to remain cautious and begin small. I found myself working out of a small room in an established hair salon for 4 and half years. over those years I not only established myself and the things I needed to perform my services, I established relationships with clients, other esthetician's, and brands I endorsed and educated others about. I became not only a successful business owner,I became an ambassador, I became a demonstrator, I became award winning, I became an example.
Growing up as a single child witnessing my single mother that also sacrificed many things for me taught me "how bad do you want it?" and I would go after it, not always succeeding. My childhood and starting a business isn't the only time my family has felt that sacrifice, it never is for most of us. Some of our hardest moments in life is what molds us into the person we are, its what sets us apart, it CAN define us in a positive way.
Through every sacrifice I have made I always done my best to show grace and compassion. I have sacrificed my own to make sure others have been able to make ends meet, paying for two household holds for a period of time because it was my in my heart to do so. giving my time and sometimes only day off to show my children how giving to the less fortunate is what is expected of us from HIM, being there for friends through their darkest and saddest moments while they sit in my office... all the time I couldn't have felt more grateful they chose me to come to.
You see everything that was set into motion for me five years ago I wouldn't have been able to fulfill anything that shaped me into the woman, mother, and small business owner I am today.
By October 2019 I had built my business single handedly to reflect leadership within my industry. I had put years into the wax company by being their ambassador and educator and in-person demonstrator at IECSC in Ft. Lauderdale. More info about that here
By November 2019 I was at a place in my business where I felt comfortable expanding to my own multi-room office. Complete with a waiting room, my office (Service room) and another particular room specifically for training. I wanted to start teaching IN PERSON my technique. Over the past year I had received many inquiries to teach my technique to other professionals who needed guidance and I finally felt like I was ready.
At the end of November I was in place of my own with the space I needed to execute everything I wanted to achieve. With a start date of mid- April 2020 to begin in-person teaching I would have enough time to purchase the items I needed for my training room. By the first week of March I was able to finally finish and look forward to what was ahead....Until Covid hit.
March 23rd, 2020 came. My birthday, Covid-19, the mandated shut down of my business, along with many others came
the shut down of all non-essential business in OKC. Everything stopped that day and the weeks following.
Everything felt like it was going backwards on a broken rollercoaster, I couldn’t see which curve was coming next. I had only been open four and half months in my new office and weeks away from teaching. Everything stopped with no light or end in sight. With daily briefings from the White House I saw that help was coming but why wasn’t I receiving any communication from the various places I applied for for assistance. Why was my mortgage company not offering a deferment for the payment that is due, now that we are almost a month in… what about the following month? We were offered a forbearance, so a lump sum of those missed payments are due immediately upon the end of the forbearance. Being denied traditional unemployment insurance and awaiting Pandemic Assistance hoping everyday that maybe a solution would come as we were only living off of Brandons police officer salary, Youtube commissions, other sales commissions, and the various clients that gave to me. Having the idea of losing something you have worked so hard to build with your own two hands and possibly losing it to something you have no part in, the lack of reassurance and understanding from the mortgage company was too much. Everything was so confusing, I had the worst visions in my head of what if this goes on for months? How am I to afford our house AND my office? Deep depression set in. I waited to cry in the shower every morning and evening before bed so the kids couldn’t see or wouldn’t be able to tell, I spent days sleeping… every time I woke up I would be so upset that I opened my eyes. When bills came due I became scared to pay them, what if we ended up with nothing to live on? I paid them anyway.
March 23rd through May1st was a mix of the darkest and saddest of days I will always remember. Kind of like a heartbreaking memory you think of from time to time. You not only think of it, but you can feel it.
I know my business took a massive hit from March-April. Those months cannot be replaced. They cannot be made up. I was offered relief from the landlord on my lease payments during the lockdown. He knew I wasn’t bringing in money and he found it unfair to charge me.
I paid him anyway. Every dime. I wanted to make sure I had a business to come back to. Without a business I can’t provide at home. I was the only tenant that paid.
Since I have been back in my office in May I have been so grateful to be doing what I love doing. Lifting clients up that visit me, like I said earlier…reassuring the people that can not reassure themselves. As I have been open since May I have been mandated to keep my waiting room closed, only allowing 1 person at a time in my office, leaving no room for teaching in the room I spent months before lockdown making perfect and prepping for. All I see is unused space, wasted money, the dreams I had for that area will not be happening as no one will be traveling anytime soon to pay for extensive training. With the upcoming elections, the never-ending discussions of the second wave, school closures/openings/re-closures/AB schedules, and upcoming fear of flu season nearing … I find myself in the familiar territory I was in the spring. The fear of losing everything again... BUT I’m remaining proactive and positive. I CANT go back to where I was mentally.
Everything about how we conduct business now how changed. How we receive education. How we teach. We have become more innovative and resourceful. I have had to run scenarios over and over in my head more times than I can count. My solution would be a huge shift in what I had planned for my business. As we move forward day by day, I think we are realizing EVERYTHING is subject to change.
Moving my business to a home based business. Having the separate space dedicated for my work, my clients, my demonstrations, an online system of training with no distractions or interruptions. Being able to take the foundation I wanted for my business, adapting it to how I can move forward should the future reflect mid march. Having a space to continue to teach online while being on the same property as my children to teach them from home, something we are currently watching parents struggle with everyday.
I am unable to provide this in the home we currently own. I have been able to contribute to our savings by once again making sacrifices and extreme changes but its not enough for what we need right now. I contribute to our savings everyday. My husband picking up side jobs in his community so he can also contribute.
Asking for help isn't something I can gather the courage to do. But I realize this situation is much bigger than what I can provide alone.
I am looking for guidance and reassurance when it's usually me giving it. I know for a fact God would not have given my talents and abilities he has to have them taken from me. I love what I do. My business is my passion... my destiny.
I am looking for a miracle.
My family is hoping to raise enough to move forward in purchasing a larger house with a detached guest house/structure so I can continue doing what I have been doing the previous 5 years. What I know I am meant to do. Who I am meant to be.
Any amount you are able to donate puts us that much closer to surviving this.
If I able to some how achieve this miracle I am requesting. I will be donating every single piece of furniture, machine (waxing pots), and the PPE supplies I have stocked in my training room I had purchased for training to an esthetician in need. The best part of receiving a miracle such as the one I am asking for, it will give me the opportunity to become a miracle for someone else. A fellow professional who might be where I was 5 years ago.
-----I took a big loss in income each day I was closed.
--I cannot get those days/income back.
-----My "growth" was impacted (physically and on paper) for those 8 weeks.
--Out debt increased... Credit card usage, mortgage forbearance, our savings ran dry by the end of May.
-----With me being Self Employed and in the service industry I am what lenders call "higher risk". Even more so given with current health risks, mandates, and impact to the above key points.
--It dismisses any chance for us to obtain a loan for a the size of a home that will give me the ability to
service from home(with considered state board regulations) while remaining an extremely professional and delicate style, teach (online to other professionals) from home, and having the space for teaching my children from home.
The picture of me wouldn't have been possible if I hadn't of heard the message "Greater is Coming" on the same closed. The same day I was supposed
to be celebrating another year my life.
I have faith my greater days are coming. I have faith the right people are being put in my path.
I believe my due season will come. God has the final say.
What HE starts HE finishes.
If you would like to reach out to me with any questions or concerns please do so.
I will link my email address and my husband Brandons email address.
Thank you so much for your time and reading my story. Have a blessed day.