San Diego's Go To Girl for Business Services, Organization, Events and More!
More about my personal and professional background!
I love being outside, whether it's camping, hiking, riding bikes with my family or our most recent favorite activity, geocaching! I have a very supportive husband, super sweet little girl and a Helen Woodward rescue mutt named Norton.
I'm an entrepreneur at heart; this is my third start up! Here's an article about one my businesses on Entrepreneur.com. I love thinking up new ideas and seeing where I can take it. I'm also working on another start up and can't wait to share details about it soon! Contact me today so we can get to know each other. I love connecting with new people!
My senior year of high school I received a scholarship to a small college in Northern Colorado. I was all set to attend and then my boyfriend and I broke up. I decided to take a year off from school because I wasn’t prepared to be in a small town with him. Oh the drama.
At that point, I had already held a job as an Accounts Receivable clerk for a small company for over a year as part of a high school internship and had moved into a second job working for a realtor doing open houses, mailings and other various administrative duties. I got an offer to work for a Commercial Real Estate Broker and I thought that was a better opportunity so I took it. The Broker turned out to be chauvinist and extremely rude so it didn’t last long.
I went on the job hunt and found a really great family run business where I did bookkeeping, payroll and executive assistant duties. During that time, I decided I wanted to go back to school for something I was really passionate about. After talking with a few different family members, I came to the conclusion that nothing made me happier than animals. I enrolled in Bel-Rea Veterinary Technician Training and remained there for two of the five years I had that job. I worked full time and went to school full time. It was hard but I really enjoyed caring for the animals in the school (dogs, lab animals, reptiles, etc).
I started to miss Southern California after living in Colorado for eleven years and felt ready for big changes in my life. I had family in San Diego and decided to pack up and move. I knew I had two options in California; I could transfer to Moorpark College (Ventura) who has a teaching zoo or San Diego Mesa College who has a Veterinary Technician program. Once I arrived in San Diego, I needed to find work and start establishing residency so tuition wouldn’t be as high. I was hired as temporary Receptionist for a small bank. I quickly moved to a Loan Processor position and was hired on full time. I worked there for a few years and eventually moved to a bigger bank and after further trainging I became a Financial Analyst, underwriting Business and Commercial Real Estate loans. I also became a Notary and learned a lot about tax laws and entity formation. I'm thankful for all of the education I received from the banks.
I dated a San Diego Zoo Keeper at one point and we talked a lot about his work and my desire to get back into school to finish my degree. I learned enough from him that I knew I wouldn’t be returning to school to become a Vet Tech. I loved animals dearly but it wasn’t going to be the right fit. I decided the next best thing would be working with kids. Ever since I was little, I thought it would be truly meaningful to counsel children. Interesting side note, I was telling my five year old about this recently and she declared she would like to do the same. She said she thinks it would be great to help kids whose parents are in jail, she would like to help them not feel sad. I don't know how she learned about jail or knew the kids would be sad. She warms my heart like no other.
I went to Mesa (community college) part time for about three years. In the middle of the economy boom around 2006-2007, I was making really good money for a girl in her 20’s and the bank was giving me very large bonuses. I decided to quit and use that money to help me finally finish school. I got to the point where I could transfer, but unfortunately, the economy started tanking, my money was running out and my husband’s business had slowed down. I didn’t think going into debt was the right way to finish my degree. Instead of transferring, I finished with an Associate’s Degree and decided to return to work.
Having a gap on a resume doesn’t “look good” and most of the jobs I found paid minimum wage. That was hard to swallow considering how much I was making a few years earlier. I had a friend who owned an Event Planning Company and I started working for her in addition to helping a few friends with their weddings. Thankfully that resume gap didn’t matter to them! I decided it was something I could easily do on my own and Divine Events by Helena was born. I planned weddings full time for about five years. It was perfect when my daughter was born because I could be home with her during the week and my husband stayed with her evenings and weekends when I had meetings and weddings. I also started an Organization Business and was helping people, mostly moms, organize their homes and offices. Even though I thought I was good at my work, I was disappointed in my income and wanted more for myself and my family. And to be honest, I wanted my weekends back.
One of my good friends had recently started working at Baby Tula and helped me get a job there. I was hired as a Wholesale Account Manager. I worked there for almost two years and in that time held two more positions, Production and Logistics Manager and Business Manager. The small company was growing rapidly and they allowed me the opportunity to explore different roles which I am grateful for. They have since been bought out by a very large company so I’m glad I left when I did. Small to Medium Sized Businesses are definitely my jam.
One of my husband’s clients needed help running his Transportation Company so I went to work for him almost one year ago doing bookkeeping, HR, payroll, etc. About four months into the job, I started exploring more opportunities and feeling the itch to run my own company again. Everything I considered didn’t feel right though. I didn’t want to do any of the jobs or work that I know I’m capable of on a full time basis.
Then one day in the shower (ha!) I had an epiphany. Why not do a variety jobs? Why not utilize all of this experience and education in multiple ways? I couldn’t think of a reason not to. I started building helenaparker.com and reaching out to friends, looking for opportunities. I’ve since signed multiple contracts and I love the diversity of my clients and the work I do for them.
Sometimes I get this weird feeling that people don’t understand what I do or why. I wonder why I can’t settle in to one career for very long and don’t have any particular skill or experience that I value above the rest. I don’t necessarily know what I want to do for the rest of my life. I often feel alone in this because most of my friends have a career that they set out to do and they have stuck with it. Or they have a business they are passionate about and don’t see anything different in their future. But then I stumbled upon this Ted Talk and I finally knew I wasn’t alone. I’m not weird, or at least not super weird. ;) I am a multipotentialite! It’s really satisfying to hear someone say that not only is this common, but it is a good thing!
My current passion is helping small to medium sized businesses with their needs and now you know how I got here. As you can see, I have a diverse background so I can help with things like hiring, logistics, social media, customer service, bookkeeping, organization, events, blogging, websites and the list goes on. If I can’t help, I have an extensive network and will find someone that can! If you made it this far, you deserve a cookie. Thanks for reading and please let me know if you need help with anything in your business!