National small business week: Shining light on Hays businesses

 As a continuation of our Small Business Highlight last week, we are featuring a few local businesses in our community. We asked small business owners in Hays County to reflect on the challenges they face; how their business supports the community; and how the community has supported their business along the way.

 Peak Physical Therapy – Kyle

  We are an LLC that is owned and operated by a woman entrepreneur. We started the business at the very end of 2019 and we’re just starting to see growth until March of 2020 hit us with the COVID crisis. 

  We are a healthcare facility that treats patients with a hands-on approach. This was severely limited with the onset of social distancing. We did not have strong financial backing so instead of furloughing staff we decided to all make sacrifices and went “part time” and found other part time jobs so that we could stay afloat. Many of the hospital based PT clinics, Physician Owned PT clinics and nationally owned clinics in our area have deep pockets and they often refer their PT patients in house. We do not have that advantage and have to market heavily to physicians in the area as well as to the public via direct marketing and community service. This is challenging but very rewarding as people get to know us and experience the level of care and individual customer service that sets us apart from our competitors.

  Our physical therapists have volunteered to help teach at the Kyle Area Senior Zone for fall prevention, balance control and safety. We have partnered with the Phoenix Stone Foundation, Buda/Kyle YoungLife Ministries and Pratt Karate Club. Peak has had the privilege to not only support these organizations financially but to offer seminars on injury prevention and treatment. Peak PT has also volunteered to serve at Focus Sports Camp for kids. We will be helping run the first aid tent and assisting with injuries or advising families on injury prevention and care.

  The community has supported our business by trusting us with their care. We are starting to grow and many people are “repeat customers.” Although we do not wish people to re-injure themselves in order to return for rehab, we are thrilled that they have come to trust us and know that we care and will do our very best to help them recover

  The Kyle Chamber has supported us with a ribbon cutting and celebration when we opened our doors. The majority of Kyle and many community leaders and other small businesses have encouraged us and supported us. We are thrilled and blessed to be part of the Hays community!

 Blue Computer Solutions – Kyle

  Supply shortages and price increases have been an ongoing challenge over the last few years. We volunteer. We’ve hosted fundraisers in our community to raise money so we can donate computers and other supplies to organizations and individuals.We have the best small business community!  Word of mouth is priceless and we appreciate our customers and community partners for spreading the word about Blue Computer Solutions.

Oldham Family Orthodontics – Kyle

  Some challenges that we face are just getting our name out there. We opened in Jan 2021, so we are still fairly new. 

  My husband, Dr. Oldham, and I live here in Kyle and love being and living in this community. Every patient that walks through our doors becomes part of our family. That’s the beauty of being a small business. Forming these relationships with your community. I know all our patients by name. I don’t have to look at the schedule to check the name of a patient who is coming in. I recognize them immediately when they walk through the door. Being a family owned business does face challenges. You are always thinking of where your next patient is coming from because that helps the business stay alive. You don’t have corporate backing when times are slow. Also, your business is your livelihood. … We as small business owners pour our heart and soul trying to provide the best care and service to our patients.

  We love going to local events, attending church locally, and giving back to our community. I grew up doing service projects all the time, and I definitely wanted to incorporate that into our business. We have had local food drives and my favorite, we made tutus for Halloween costumes for children at Greater San Marcos Youth Council. I’m also on the Hays Education Foundation Board. I love being on this board and helping give back to our teachers in our district.

  This is the most welcoming community ever!! Immediately, we felt the love and support from other small business owners, who still continue to give us advice. We are such great friends with people who were so supportive of us when we first opened. And our patients!  We just want to say thank you to the community here in Kyle and surrounding areas! Thank you for welcoming us with open arms. 

Southpoint Auto and RV Sales – Buda

  One of the main challenges right now is the auto and RV markets [are getting]higher and higher. We try to make it both affordable and possible to own one or the other. It’s hard to keep pricing low due to the costs, but we are looking for a second outlet to keep pleasing our customers. We provide another option for people with bad credit, no credit or first time buyers to become a car or RV owner. We know “life” happens and sometimes people just need a second chance. Throughout the years, we’ve been recommended by other customers and friends that take advantage of our second chance financing, which we are grateful for. And at times, we’ve sponsored schools and sports to show the community we care.

 Lux Limo – Hays County

  [A challenge we face is] finding qualified chauffeurs, equipment availability and volatility in the fuel market to name the three largest. We support local charities like Buda’s bright side, Hays Hope Closet and large events such as Night to Shine, by providing free and discounted limos for their special events and help drive donations. Referrals and publicity are a huge part of our community support. Just simply spreading the word of our service is what our community helps us out with.

 EveryBODY Fitness – Buda

  A challenge I have faced is advertising and getting the word out about my new small business throughout the community. My small business supports this community because everybody is welcome! Inclusivity is important to me so anybody can come to a fitness class and not feel intimidated, embarrassed or judged. EveryBODY Fitness is supportive of all and promotes positivity, kindness and always with a smile. Friends within the community have shown me and my business love & support by attending my very first fitness class as well as sharing Facebook posts. Also, I volunteer at Buda Brightside every month and they have been nothing but supportive when I lead the group with my adaptive fitness classes. This community rocks! I started EveryBODY Fitness to help my community by providing fitness for ALL bodies.

Milagros Religious Gifts & More – Kyle

  Since we are located downtown there is not much foot traffic as there are no other shops downtown, just bars. We do have some wonderful customers that travel from surrounding areas to visit our shop. We’ve been in business for almost six years and we’d like to be more visible through some type of city advertisement/exposure. We get lots of customers on the east side of town that had no idea we were here.

  Since the start of our business, we give a percentage of our monthly proceeds to St. Vincent de Paul, which is an organization located at the Catholic Church but not funded by the church, money and perishable food items are collected from donations received from parishioners. The organization uses the money and food to help those in the Kyle community who are in need with payments with utilities, and food. This organization helps anyone, regardless of religious affiliations or denominations.

  Thanksgiving Turkeys and fixings are provided to some families who apply. At the end of every year the families with children that were visited during each year are kept on a list and the family and children are invited to a Christmas meal with Santa and the children are given gifts. We love being able to help our community in this way, it is a special way to give back.

 Texas Independent Auto Glass – Kyle

  The challenges I face are having folks supporting and trusting a small glass company [as]they support [larger businesses like]Safelite more. We offer the same services and accept insurance as well. Also, rising prices make it difficult to do business when the customer traffic flow isn’t quite there.

  I help sponsor some local youth football programs, and sponsor the Buda 4H every year. I offer discounts to military, first responders, and teachers! We appreciate them for all they do. I felt supported by the community by them voting for me as best glass company for “Best of Hays” 2 years in a row as Don’t Mess With Texas Windshield Repairs. It made me feel like I was doing the best job I could for only being in business for myself since 2017. They refer to me a lot as well.

Triple Elevation Custom Creations – Buda

  When people tell you to start a business, they don’t necessarily tell you how hard things are going to be to get it started and keep it running. I spent countless hours researching and [using]YouTube [to learn]how to use certain settings on a camera, create a website from the ground up, get color just right on a photograph, use different programs to create a custom design, etc.

  There were days when we had over 500 shirt orders come in, one heat press, two people aligning designs, two to three people weeding decals and we had to process all of them within a certain time frame. So my family and I would wake up at 6 a.m. and would not go to bed until midnight or later. We were not nearly prepared for the chaos and we had shirts covering our dining room table and boxes of shirts along the walls. Eventually we cleared out our game room and turned it into a workshop.

  We were finally up and running and doing extremely well, until we got hit with the pandemic of 2020. A lot of our work comes from schools since we do a lot of their school uniforms, so when they shut everything down, we really had to take a step back from pushing sales because we didn’t want to put others in a financial struggle and that’s when we took an even bigger hit. We really had to get creative and come up with new ways to not only help the community feel some type of “normalcy,” but also keep our business up and running. Till this day, we are still learning the ropes of having a small business.

  We support other local businesses in our community by sharing with our customers other local business information so that those businesses can grow.  Our team also volunteers at the end of the year with Brown Santa wrapping and delivering gifts to family members for Christmas. We also do many collaborations with other local small business hosting giveaways throughout the year.  This allows small businesses to interact with the community and grow.

  When the community shops locally, that is great support in itself. This allows small businesses to build rapport with our community along with building relationships. When providing phenomenal customer service, our community will share small business information with other individuals.

All Weather Restoration – Kyle

  During Covid, cash flow was a real problem. We were not able to do projects due to employees not being able to go to people’s homes. We were able to give them projects to do but due to low cash flow it was very difficult to keep employees employed but we did.

  We support our community by offering discounts to military, educators, senior citizens, law enforcement and first responders. We also like to employ local members of our community.

  The community supports us quite a bit. They refer our business to their friends and family by word of mouth, reviews on Facebook as well as Google. We do the majority of our work on Kyle and Buda. Simply by hiring us, they are supporting our small business.

Brynn Ashtyn Handbags – Buda

  Challenges we face as a handbag company are that people usually buy one or two products and don’t need more than that. It takes a while before they need to “replenish” so to speak. So sometimes we struggle with holding interest in the company and keeping people excited about new and upcoming products.

  We support our community by providing an annual scholarship in our daughter’s name to a Hays High School student in the softball program. We are so honored to say we’ve provided over $25k in the past four years sending girls to college.

  The community has supported us in so many ways. Not only purchasing our products (which directly contribute to the scholarship) but also selling our products in downtown Buda in Ellipsis Boutique, at pop-up events in Buda, showcasing us in Buda special videos, and providing special event nights at the highschool. Not to mention all the wonderful emotional support and love we’ve received from the community the past 5 years.

 Benevida Health and Wellness Center – Kyle

  Benevida Health and Wellness opened in 2014, well before the crazy boom we are experiencing now. It was a fine balance between challenging and terrifying. Rather than purchasing an established practice, we chose to build new. You can imagine the excitement in those early days when we reached 25 patients per week – oh the days of small beginnings.

  A unique challenge we had was that we are a self-financed, family-owned and operated business. We all brought different knowledge about business, administration, and chiropractic medicine, but were really in uncharted territory. Kyle was still a relatively small community and while learning and growing, we had to establish ourselves as a trusted community partner. Another challenge we faced was, although we are a small business, we did not want to allow finances to drive patient care.  Our goal has always been to keep the lights on but keep our services affordable and accessible.

  Although not unique to our business, the covid pandemic brought new challenges. One of the most rewarding was that we really became a safe haven for our patients. Dr. Lain is someone that our patients trust not only with their health care, but also with their struggles and celebrations.

  The Kyle community is amazing. I feel extremely supported by other businesses as well as the community in general. In many ways, I feel like the community is locking arms and venturing into exciting times ahead as we grow and prosper.

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