Claire Bryan Times Union, Albany, N.Y.
WWR Article Summary (tl;dr) Alicia Womack is on the road to launching her own caregiving business. "Comfort Care Keepers" will offer respite to caregivers who have been stretched thin throughout the pandemic.
Born and raised in Albany, Alicia Womack always wanted to start her own business. In 2013, she took a leap and started a hair salon in Troy, but didn't have much success.
"When I first started off I got into the whole entrepreneurial side of things blindsided," said Womack. "I tried my best to make it work, but long story short, the business did not survive."
Seven years later, in the middle of a global pandemic, she found herself laid off from General Electric, and excited to take on the challenge anew.
This fall, she signed up for the Capital Region Chamber's Entrepreneur Boot Camp, and now she is on the road to launching her own caregiving business, offering respite to caregivers in 2021 who have been stretched thin throughout the pandemic.
Her company, Comfort Care Keepers, will provide in-home, day, overnight, weekend, and vacation respite relief services for families and caregivers who are caring for those who suffer from developmental disabilities, mental or physical health issues, or issues related to elderly care.
At the start of the program, Womack wanted to open a staffing agency because her previous work was in human resources. But when one of her fellow classmates, who suffers from developmental disabilities, mentioned that there are not enough resources for her, Womack's vision changed.
"There really isn't a respite in-home service that gives the caregiver a break to kind of step away and take time for themselves, to have that ah moment or just relax," said Womack.
Womack credits her classmate's comment, along with her time watching her mom be a teacher at the Center for Disability Services for 25 years, as the inspiration behind her business.
"My childhood and my upbringing has been surrounded by individuals with disabilities and I'm thankful for having that exposure as a child," said Womack. "And even with that, I have family members who suffer from developmental disabilities too... so it hits closer to home for me."
Womack lives in Schenectady and wants to start providing services to her community first. In the future, she hopes to expand services across the state. She plans to offer sliding scale pricing for those in need. She hopes to partner with Community Caregivers and the Center for Disability Services, as well as other local organizations.
Starting in April, she'll be working out of her home office in Rotterdam, but hopes to purchase an off-site space in the future. She plans to contract 12 to 15 independent healthcare professionals.
"The Chamber provided me with the tools and resources to live out my life-long dream," said Womack. "This organization really has all the tools to help you be successful going forward."
To contact Alicia Womack reach out to [email protected] ___ Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.