in business — 2021 —
2 • women in Business • October 27, 2021
A passion for teaching turns into a business
alicia fajardo ■ Kevin Rounce | Reporter
Alicia Fajardo has dedicated most of her life to education. She worked as a teacher, taught future teachers through Yakima Valley College, helped with Inspire Development Center, and now has opened a small educational store in Grandview. “I love taking care of kids and teaching them.” It was through her experience that she noticed that there needed to be more support and resources for monolingual, Spanish-speaking parents and educations in their native language. “That why I opened the store and you see all these educational materials,” Fajardo said. “In every training I do my providers always ask me where do you get that toy or that tool among other questions.” So Fajardo decided that she would open a store where she could provide these resources; to parents, teachers, day cares, whomever might need it. Her connections and extensive knowledge allow her to be able to understand what is specifically needed and tailor the purchase to the child in question. She is also using her store to bring up other local businesses and artists by selling jewelry, silicone rattlers
and teethers, and other items that are made by residents of the Yakima Valley. “I’m working with a lot of people around the Valley to help each other. Looking to raise each other up through word of mouth advertising.” Fajardo admitted that it is scary to have opened the story, but she believes that she must remain positive and trust that this is what she is supposed to do. At one point during our conversation, she got a little emotional when she talked about her folks coming into the store. “They said, ‘Wow. This is pretty cool.’ I could tell that they were proud of me.” She says life experiences, regardless of whether it was positive or negative has helped her grow. “The people that inspired me are the good and bad teachers or good and bad managers. I could pick out things I decided I did not want to do, or that I did want to do.” She says she’s also inspired by people who decide to use education to go in a different direction for their life, regardless of age. “I try to inspire people as they come in. They know my background and come to me looking for advice,” Fajardo said while stressing the importance of education. “Holding a degree, I’m not
I try to inspire people as they come in. They know my background and come to me looking for advice. Alicia Fajardo
worried. I can go back into teaching if this fails.” But for now, she is going full force with her store at 205 E. 2nd St. in Grandview while maintain her job with YVC and during the pandemic offering Zoom trainings for anyone who needed her help. With Fajardo, it’s about teaching and helping those who are looking to better their life. She said she spoke with her daughter, who is attending WSU, about following her passions and knowing that you will be happier in the long run. “I don’t want to stop teaching or training.” ■ Kevin Rounce can be contacted at 509-837-4500 ext. 110 or at email@example.com
October 27, 2021 • sunnysidesun.com • 3
Audrey Brandsma, Owner
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Our Family, Serving Your Family R
Carolyn Smith and Carolyn Alanis work as a team to be sure your family is taken care of and the office appointments are kept on schedule. The women of Smith Funeral Home have been grateful for the opportunity to serve Lower Valley families since Hap and Kathryne Smith founded the family YEAR Serving The S business in of the YakimFamilies a Valley 1951.
mith funeral homes and crematory
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4 • women in Business • October 27, 2021
_____________________________ Address, City _____________________________ Contact Person _____________________________ Phone
Mail To: P.O. Box 878, Sunnyside, WA 98944 Or drop off at 600 S. 6th St. in Sunnyside
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ONLINE: WWW.HAPO.ORG October 27, 2021 • sunnysidesun.com • 5
6 • women in Business • October 27, 2021
Bringing healthier options to Sunnyside and surrounding areas
thania labra ■ Ileana Martinez | Media Director
The knowledge and importance of nutrition came at the age of nine years old for Thania Labra, owner of Juice Mae in Sunnyside. “The earliest memory I have of how nutrition was important, was when I lived in Florida,” Labra explained. “My mom somehow knew that there was a guy selling produce from his pickup truck, and she made us walk two miles to pick up fruits and vegetables and then two miles back.” At the age of nine, the future business owner didn’t understand why her mother did these things. It wasn’t until she was a bit older that she realized people in the surrounding areas were ill due to malnutrition. “Looking back, I understand why it was always really important to her, and now is to me.” Juice Mae, a local juice and protein shake bar, is the newest addition to Downtown Sunnyside, 504 S. Sixth Street. The new business celebrated their grand opening on Friday, September 3, 2021, and has been bringing healthy products to Sunnyside ever since. “I’m mostly trying to help people in the Sunnyside area have healthier options than we’ve been given, because we are such a Redbull driven community,” Labra explained. The
ingredients in all Juice Mae products are hand chosen by Labra herself — handpicked berries, specialty protein powders, and locally sourced fruits and vegetables. Labra, mother of two, had the idea when she was 20 years old. “I always knew I wanted a juice bar, and when my son was born, I made it a goal that by the time he was between third and fifth grade I would have my business so that I wouldn’t have to ask someone for permission to be a part of his life.” Her children, ages 8 and 6, can be seen regularly at the shop, along with Labra’s mother, who is also a proud employee. Labra smiled ear to ear when sharing how she was able to hire her mother. “It’s my greatest accomplishment, hiring my mom. She had me when my sisters were much older, so I was the baby of the family,” she went on. “I always felt like it was my responsibility to watch over her when she reached a certain age. So, when I opened the shop, and I was able to give her the opportunity because of how amazing the support has been. That part currently is still setting in.” Labra’s mother has always been a huge inspiration in her life. “My mom has always had a business, since I can remember, and even prior to me being born,” she described. Labra always knew going into business was her goal
I’m mostly trying to help people in the Sunnyside area have healthier options than we’ve been given, because we are such a Redbull driven community. Thania Labra because of her mother and her focus on always helping people. “That was always her staple, ‘how can I help someone?’ People that stop by Juice Mae during the week are greeted with a smile. “That’s the best part of my day. They come in and have great conversations — they’re curious and very supportive. My customers are just happy that I’m here and emphasize how grateful they are. It seems like this was something that they were looking for that they just didn’t know how to obtain.” “It feels like everything that I’ve worked for is for this moment. Everything that I already enjoyed and already loved... is for this moment. So that I could help people, and that’s where my purpose resides.” ■ Ileana Martinez can be reached at 509-837-4500 ext 115.
October 27, 2021 • sunnysidesun.com • 7
8 • women in Business • October 27, 2021
Service with a smile, bringing local businesses together
nancy lopez rodriguez ■ Ileana Martinez | Media Director
If you’re walking into Bonzis, you’ll likely be greeted by the biggest smile you’ve seen that day on the face of Nancy Lopez Rodriguez. Lopez Rodriguez is driven by her desire to serve people, and it shows. “I really do love people. I love getting to know their story, getting to know the person,” she said. “Sometimes I might not remember your name, but I’m going to remember your face.” She has been a part of the Bonzis brand for over five years, she shared. “I look forward to coming to work, it’s exciting to deal with all kinds of people,” she mentioned. ““Like there’s Doug, I know Doug,” she smiles as she waves to a customer coming to check their mail. Lopez Rodriguez enjoys being a friendly face to everyone that stops by to either check their mail at the private mailboxes, drop off a package to be shipped, or grab a drink at the coffee bar in the store. “You get to hear their journeys. I always tell myself to treat people the way I want to be treated somewhere. Because I know how it feels to be turned away without help.” Lopez Rodriguez is also the brains
behind the vendor markets that have been “popping up” in the business’ parking lot. The popup markets have been an idea in the store for quite some time, but it was only after visiting one that Lopez Rodriguez brought the idea home to Andy Bonzi, owner of the store. “I had gone to a popup about a month or so ago, and there were people I knew and just such a positive energy,” she exclaimed. “So, I came back to the store and talked to Andy about it. We got together and thought, ‘how to do we do this?’ I said let’s just do it!” The first Bonzis popup market occurred on Saturday, September 11, with about eight vendors ranging from local artists, fruits and vegetables, baked goods, and candles and has only been getting better. “Now it’s growing and we’re up to over 20 vendors for this Saturday, October 30. “It’s so important for small businesses to have this opportunity,” Lopez Rodriguez went on. “It’s really nice getting recognition for your hard work. When someone comes to me and says, ‘I love your work, what you do,’ that’s what matters.
It’s really nice getting recognition for your hard work. When someone comes to me and says, ‘I love your work, what you do,’ that’s what matters. Nancy Lopez Rodriguez
“And I think that’s what’s important to us at Bonzis. We see that our vendors not only get recognized for the things they do, but also their customer service, they’re all so great. I think that’s why we’ve been successful.” The next popup market at Bonzis is set for Saturday, October 30 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at 633 Yakima Valley Highway. Vendors with questions about future events can reach out on Instagram @bonzis.shop or stop by the store. ■ Ileana Martinez can be reached at 509-837-4500 ext 115 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
October 27, 2021 • sunnysidesun.com • 9
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1602 Morgan Rd. B • Sunnyside, WA 98944
10 • women in Business • October 27, 2021
Sandra Villa, Lucia Navarro, Nicole Jech, Delia Ramos, Karen Hosmann
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Call us today 509-790-0065 and like us on Facebook! Business Hours: 9 am - 5 PM • Monday - Friday
Salute to our local hard working women Back Row, Left to Right: Irma Valencia, Cassandra Bautista, Silvia Alvarez, Silvia Ramos, Nora Cisneros, Daisy Leon, Rocio Cisneros, Jacqueline Guerrero and Deanna Gutierrez. Front Row, Left to Right: Aketzally Salazar, Dalia Sabalza, Luz Sanchez Gabriella Alvarez
October 27, 2021 • sunnysidesun.com • 11
12 • women in Business • October 27, 2021
Keeping Sunnyside looking good for more than 20 years
catalina espindola ■ Kevin Rounce | Reporter
Cutting and styling hair is not something Catalina Espindola just does, it is who she is, and has been for a long time. “When I grew up in Mexico, my neighbor was a hairdresser and I would help her out after school. I have loved it since I was very young.” Despite that, it took a long time for her to open a salon of her own, waiting until after she got her visa, her GED, married, had three daughters and worked other jobs. She did maintain her passion for cutting hair by styling her friends and family at various times during her life, sometimes for money, but nothing professionally. Espindola worked at warehouses, and then at a day care, but the dream remained alive, it just needed the right time to blossom. It turned out that time was when she had to make a choice, get a certification to remain at the day care, or pursue her passion, so off to beauty school she went. Upon graduation, she worked at a salon but, “After a year I wanted
to go out on my own because I liked the idea. I wanted to be my own boss.” So in January of 2001, she opened Catalina’s Hair Care where she has been for more than 20 years. “It’s great to work here. We are a family. Sometimes it feels like I’m here more than I’m home.” She even gets to work next to her daughter Ariana at the salon and spend a lot of time with her other daughters Vanessa and Catti along with a few grandchildren. If you’re into reading online reviews, the shop is a great place to get a haircut. “Catalina is an expert! She cut my hair so fast and did such an amazing job!” says one review. “Catalina did a great job, even with my thin, fine hair,” said another. Catalina’s Hair Care holds a stunning 4.8/5 stars on Google reviews. Espindola says there has been ups and downs with far more positives then negatives which Espindola called just “little things” in recounting her experience. “My favorite stories are ones
It’s rewarding to have your own business. Fight your fear or you won’t know. If you try, you’ll probably succeed. Catalina Espindola
that involved people coming to work for me and then going out on their own,” noted Espindola. “When someone leaves here inspired. It just shows that if I can do it, you can do it.” She says it’s something she hopes young women in the community can take from her. “It’s rewarding to have your own business. Fight your fear or you won’t know. If you try, you’ll probably succeed.” ■ Kevin Rounce can be contacted at 509-8374500 ext. 110 or at firstname.lastname@example.org
October 27, 2021 • sunnysidesun.com • 13
14 • women in Business • October 27, 2021
Rewards in service, helping women make good choices
becky morris ■ Kevin Rounce | Reporter
In case you were unaware, the term “midwife” means “with women.” The American Pregnancy Association, APA, says midwives provide a wide variety of services to women, but perhaps are best known for helping in the birth of a child. Becky Morris works as a midwife at Prosser Memorial Health in the Grandview Clinic. “I started in health care as a patient care tech and watched midwives supporting women during the birth process and I loved helping and being involved,” she said. “The relationships I observed during that time between the midwives and the women they supported inspired me to want to learn more and want to pursue midwifery as a career.” Morris has been a midwife for seven years now and loves it. “I enjoy supporting and educating women in every stage of their lives, whether they are just starting a relationship and wondering about contraception (birth control), starting a family or entering into the menopause stage of life.” According to the APA midwives can help: • Decrease risk of needing a cesarean • Reduce rates of labor induction
and augmentation • Reduce use of regional anesthesia • Decrease infant mortality rates • Decrease risk of preterm birth • Decrease third and fourth-degree perineal tears • Lower costs for both clients and insurers • Increase chances of having a positive start to breastfeeding • Increase satisfaction with the quality of care Morris cited all the midwives that she worked with early in her career as inspirations and recounted a story of working with them before she was even among their ranks. “I was checking the waiting room and a laboring woman slowly walked into the hospital and said she was going to have her baby ‘right now!’ She said she could no longer walk and sat down on the floor. She did not have anyone with her. I wanted to run and get a wheelchair, help her get into it and quickly take her to a patient room. She said she was scared to deliver before she could get into the hospital and scared to deliver alone. I knew then I could not leave her to get a wheelchair. I called out for help but she delivered so fast that it was just me and her alone in the waiting room. I was scared to catch her baby because I had never done it before but I remembered the
The relationships I observed during that time between the midwives and the women they supported inspired me to want to learn more and want to pursue midwifery as a career. Becky Morris calmness and positive attitude of the midwives I worked with. I decided I would be calm and positive even though I was scared.” The baby was delivered successfully, and Morris says she and the new mother bonded over the experience. It’s a mission she hopes to take forward, connecting with women of all ages, working with them and providing them with information. “The more educated they are, then they’ll know their options and make an informed decision.” She might even impress one or two of them enough that they become midwives themselves. ■ Kevin Rounce can be contacted at 509-8374500 ext. 110 or at email@example.com
October 27, 2021 • sunnysidesun.com • 15
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SunnySideSun pr in t • dig it al • lo c al
Debbie Guerrero Office Manager
Rachel Turner Multimedia Sales Consultant
Ileana Martinez Media & Marketing Director
Janet Hicks Distribution Specialist
Karen Zackula Multimedia Sales Consultant
600 S. 6th Street • PO Box 878 • Sunnyside Phone: 509-837-4500 • Fax: 509-837-6397 www.SunnysideSun.com Follow us online @thesunnysidesun
The staff at the Sunnyside Sun includes many multitalented women! They are active in their communities, schools and churches, and involved with their families. They are a part of many tasks and responsibilities from the front office, to the content, layout, mailing and delivery of your paper each day. Stop by to place your classified, birthday or business ad. We’re here Monday through Friday to help you with your advertising, subscriptions or story ideas.
16 • women in Business • October 27, 2021
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Perla Zepeda, Agency Owner (center) Insurance Specialists Sandra Chavez and Stefani Navarro
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Business Hours: Tues. – Fri., 9 – 5 p.m. Sat & Sun by Appointment Jewelry, Lotions, Hair Products and more
2590 Yakima Valley Hwy, Ste 1 • Sunnyside, WA 98944
Ph: 509-837-2280 - Fax: 509-837-2299 Left to right: Megan Newbury, Michelle Briscoe, Brezzi Campos, Linda Bordwell, Angela Rodriguez, Lala Campos, Julie Kukes, Juliana Saucedo.
For 35 years, Hairworks stylists have been here for you. We are excited to be getting back to a little more normal. This past year we welcome two new young stylists, Lala Campos and Juliana saucedo. We look forward to keeping you looking your best!
1417 Lincoln Avenue • Sunnyside
Left to Right: Marissa DeChand, Scharrel McDaniel, Dr. Mary Pine, Sonya Carranza and Stacey Hancock
Pine Family Practice LLC Mary L. Pine PA-C
Open Mon-Fri 7:15 am - 5 pm | Closed Fridays at Noon 2240 E. Lincoln Ave • Sunnyside, WA 98944 Tel: 509-836-2367 • Fax: 1-888-927-0390 After 5 p.m. please call 509-788-1637
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Did we miss you? I’d Like To Be In Women in Business 2021! _____________________________ Business Name _____________________________ Address, City _____________________________ Contact Person
1220 Yakima Valley Hwy., Ste. C | Sunnyside, WA 98944
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Mail To: P.O. Box 878, Sunnyside, WA 98944 Or drop off at 600 S. 6th St. in Sunnyside
October 27, 2021 • sunnysidesun.com • 17
18 • women in Business • October 27, 2021
Trust in some of the most difficult times
carolyn smith ■ Kevin Rounce | Reporter
If you have lived in Sunnyside for any length of time, there’s a pretty good chance you or someone you know has worked with Smith Funeral Homes and Crematory. They’ve been in business since 1951 after all. While she doesn’t go back quite that far, Carolyn Smith has been helping people through the most difficult times in their lives since she was 19 years old. The company was originally founded by Greg Smith’s parents Hap and Kathryne whom sold it to Greg and Carolyn in 1987. “It’s a business that is very gratifying, but very hard. You learn about people over the years,” says Carolyn. She says that having been a part of the business and community, she’s able to know so many people, and count them among her friends and family. “It’s important for me to know them, help and direct them in the most difficult time of their lives. I want to make it as easy as possible.” That means talking with the families to make sure their particular loved one is celebrated and remembered in a way that is symbolic
of them and unique. Smith says that sometimes means she can offer options, but there have been occasions where family members have to come her with a specific request. Historically, funeral homes and the businesses surrounding them have been a largely male-dominated industry. Smith says as a woman she has felt the need to prove herself on a lot of different levels to show that she can do the job well. “Many times I get a call saying, ‘Thank you for being there. You helped us in a very difficult time,’ or I will get a note, or someone will call whom I helped 10-15 years ago and they express gratitude that I’m there with confidence that I can get them situated again.” Smith noted that she is comfortable and confident in how she helps and serves each family. She says she’s always learning something on the job, and because of the amount of time she’s been there, there’s very little she hasn’t done or continues to do from physical tasks such as daily clean up, wash cars, removals, working in the preparation room, office and bookwork, meeting with families, conducting funeral
It’s important for me to know them, help and direct them in the most difficult time of their lives. I want to make it as easy as possible. Carolyn Smith
services and preneed insurance. Whatever it takes to serve is her, and the company’s motto. Smith Funeral Homes has been in business now 70 years and been parts of multiple generations of families who have had to deal with tragedy, expected or not. Carolyn noted that it’s very humbling to be trusted with such responsibility, but says she approaches each person with humility and compassion. “If it’s not my own family that I’m serving, once I get done helping them, I feel like we’ve become a family.” ■ Kevin Rounce can be contacted at 509-8374500 ext. 110 or at firstname.lastname@example.org
October 27, 2021 • sunnysidesun.com • 19
Y A K I M A FED ERAL S ALU TES ALL
M E E T T H E W O M E N O N O U R M A N AG E M E N T T E A M
President and CEO
Senior Vice President Chief Human Resource Officer
Senior Vice President Chief Deposit Officer
Vice President Audit Manager
Vice President Compliance Officer
Assistant Vice President Manager, Sunnyside Branch
Assistant Vice President Manager, Ellensburg Branch
Assistant Vice President Deposit Operations
Assistant Vice President Mortgage Loan Operations
Assistant Secretary Human Resources
Assistant Secretary Manager, Stadium Branch
20 • women in Business • October 27, 2021
Toll Free 1-800-331-3225